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Wrapping Machines wrap a flexible packaging material (e.g. paper, aluminium and plastic film) around a product or group of products.
See PPMA Member companies who supply a comprehensive range of Wrapping Machines.
What are Wrapping Machines used for?
Flexible wrapping is extremely versatile and is used in many product sectors. It is most common in food, bakery and confectionery for single items, which can range from confectionery (count line), bars and cakes, through to cheese and sausages.
There are many applications of wrapping for single items, including products in daily use, items for DIY, toiletries and cosmetics. Some techniques are used in very particular product areas, such as skin packaging for DIY products and high-quality Fold Wrapping for cosmetics, CDs or cigarettes.
Shrink Wrapping is used extensively in packaging. Heat is applied to a thermoplastic material already loosely wrapped around the product or group of products, which then shrinks around them to form a tight wrap. This method is often used for transit wrapping and protective packaging of larger items, such as doors or even bricks on a pallet.
Stretch Wrap is a flexible wrap with elasticity that ensures a close fit to the product or group of products. Unlike Shrink Wrap, it does not require heating.
Pallet Wrap Machines have been specifically designed to wrap very large items and pallets (see Palletising Machines) for both protection and security reasons. These have found many applications in the building and beverage industries, but they can also be used in many other sectors too.
Wrapping and Sealing a Product
There are multiple further kinds of Wrapping and Sealing machines:
- Wraps a product or group of products in flexible packaging material with a serie of folding, heat sealing or gluing operations.
- Wraps a cylindrical product or group of products in a series of folding, heat sealing or gluing operations, to form a roll-shaped pack. Common applications include packing biscuits and some types of confectionery.
- Wraps a product in aluminium foil before applying a paper band to complete the pack. A common application is in some styles of chocolate confectionery.
- Gathers and folds flexible material around a product and then seals at one point using a label. A common application is soap wrapping.
- Pulls a web of stretch film around a product or group of products before gathering and heat sealing the film edges below the product. Usually used for fruit.
- A wrapping machine which uses a thermoplastic film folded in half along its length. Products, or a group of products, are placed between the two halves of the film, before it is sealed with an L-shaped sealing bar to produce a fully-enclosed pack sealed on three sides.
- A wrapping machine which folds a web of thermoplastic material around a rigid pack, overlapping but not sealing the edges of the film under the pack while the pack is being transported horizontally. Transverse seals are then made in front and behind the pack before the pack is passed to a shrink tunnel where the material shrinks and the overlapped material under the pack forms a seal. This is an unusual machine, most commonly used for bundles of wood.
- A machine which seals products placed on a cartonboard blank by placing a thermoplastic film over the entire surface, which is heated so that the film forms a skin-tight seal around the product and adheres to the surface of the cartonboard blank.
- Common in DIY and small building and electrical products.
- It should not be confused with a form of Blister Packing which uses preformed rigid plastic components to attach the product to the cartonboard.
Speeds for Wrapping Machines
Many single item wrappers can handle products at very high speeds, particularly in the confectionery sector.
When wrapping is used for larger items or units for grouping single products in multipacks for point of sale, or in larger numbers for transportation, then speeds tend to be slower. However, some applications in the beverage sector can achieve reasonable speeds to match demand from teh speed of other machines in the line.
Wrapping Machine Suppliers
Also see a full list of PPMA Member companies who supply a comprehensive range of Wrapping Machines.
Common Wrapping Machine Terminology:
- Seal bar
- Heat shrink
- Heat seal
- End fold
- Film reel
- Thermoplastic film
- Stretch film
- Full wrap
- Shrink ratio
- Cut-off length
- Film width