Consumer Packaging Part 3: Shrink Sleeving

Continuing with part 3 of the consumer packaging, we will cover Shrink Sleeving. Be sure to catch up on Part 1 and 2 of the Consumer Packaging series linked below.

Consumer Product Packaging Part 1: Cartoning

Consumer Product Packaging Part 2: Filling

Shrink Sleeve Labeling is one of the hottest trends within the consumer goods packaging industry.  Shrink sleeves are colorful, branded plastic sleeves that conform tightly to the outer packaging of consumer goods products.  They are found on a wide variety of products ranging from salad dressing to shampoo and from carbonated beverages to snack foods.  These labels comprise what is denoted as the primary product packaging which is defined as the unit with which the consumer directly interacts in order to use the product.  This attractive packaging is what catches the eye of consumers on store shelves.

The primary advantage of using shrink sleeve wrapping on primary product packaging is that the wrapping can be easily configured to fit and cover the entire product package so that “off the shelf” bottles or containers can be used to package most items without any modification for branding.  In this way, the shrink sleeve wrapping does the heavy lifting of attractive product branding.  Shrink sleeves are an effective branding solution because many colors and images can easily be printed onto the shrink wrap.  Also, because the sleeve covers the entire container, the entire product is branded, not just a small, labeled area on the bottle.  Another substantial benefit of shrink sleeve labeling is that the label can also serve as a tamper-resistant security feature on the bottle because the sleeve can be designed to cover the top or lid of the product.  This ensures that the product cannot be opened without damaging the shrink sleeve wrapping. Additionally, with full-body shrink sleeve labeling, there are fewer materials in the recycle stream and can be made of biodegradable materials making it an eco-friendly option.

Shrink Sleeve Labels on Energy Drinks

Shrink Sleeve Labeling Machines

 “Shrink Sleeve Machines,” run at very high production rates to affix shrink sleeves on thousands of consumer product containers per day.  Essentially, these machines take either ribbon sleeves or already cut sleeves and roll or slip the label onto the product package.  Then a flash heating process using steam quickly shrinks the label onto the bottle.  This process can be performed at a relatively low temperature of 170°F-180°F which, when applied quickly, will not damage most commercial products.

These machines consist of hundreds of components designed to perform the specific functionality required for each unique packaging process. Dozens of unique categories of MISUMI configurable components are used on these machines. 

Large components consist of aluminum extrusions, belt and plastic chain conveyors, and pulleys. Medium size components used on shrink sleeve machines consist of rotation handles, shaft collars, lead screws, and toggle clamps.  Smaller components consist of bearings, washers, shaft couplings, springs, knobs, screws, and gears.

No matter the shrink labeling application, the MISUMI product portfolio is overflowing with configurable components to build highly automated custom shrink sleeve machines that can be configured to label quickly, and efficiently, any consumer product. To learn more, visit our dedicated page here.

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