To Shrink Wrap or Stretch Wrap /Pallet Wrap - What is the difference?
Quite often we get phone calls from people who start talking about shrinkwrapping their goods and we have to quickly clarify exactly what they are referring to. The reason for this is that Shrink Wrapping and Stretch Wrapping - or Pallet Wrapping are two very distinctly different things.
What is Shrink Wrapping? Literally this is when plastic Shrink Film is 'shrunk' by applying heat over a product which produces something like the image on the left below.
What is Stretch Wrapping? This is also known as pallet wrapping - when plastic pallet wrap (also known as stretch wrap) is pulled around a bundle - usually a pallet load - of goods, ultimately stretching the film to create a tightly wound and secured as well as protected load. See image on the right below.
Purpose of Shrink Wrapping and how is it done?
Shrink Wrapping is commonly used for a couple of purposes. Shrink Wrapping can be used to provide a completely secure package for any items - even food, so that any tampering is immediately evident. It is also used to bundle a group of items together providing a professional looking finish to your packaging. There are a number of ways of doing this which are dependent on your budget and volumes. For low volume and low budget shrink wrapping a Shrink A Pack is ideal. It is a portable desk top shrink wrapping unit where all the items required are bundled together you only have to purchase the right type of shrink film to suit your product. From there we have All In One Shrinkwrappers where the L-Bar Sealer and Shrink chamber are all in one machine, and from there it goes up to Semi automatic and Automatic shrink wrap machines as well as a range of heat shrink tunnels. SEE VIDEO'S BELOW.
Purpose of Pallet Wrapping/Stretch Wrapping and how is it done?
As suggested above pallet wrapping is used to wrap pallets. It tightly secures a load for storage as well as transport so that items remain together as product movement can be an issue during transport. It will also protect it from prying eyes (black pallet wrap is available), as well as the elements (although top sheets may also be required in cases of rain).
Pallet Wrapping can be done by hand - using hand pallet wrap and a pallet wrap dispenser as seen in the image above. Or using a pallet wrapper (stretch wrapper). The choice between the two is dependent on the volumes of pallets to be wrapped as well as budget. Clearly if you only do a few pallets per day then to wrap by hand would be the most economical. Alternatively if your volumes are higher then a Pallet Wrapping Machine is the way to go.
Below we have videos of hand wrapping a pallet as well as our most economical manual pallet wrapping machine - the GoodPack R-Wrapper. We also have videos below showing a Shrink A Pack in use and below that an All In One Shrink Wrapper.