Back in 1977 when we began if you wanted to shrink wrap your product from a presentation point of view you would have firstly used PVC shrink film and secondly used at best a semi-automatic L sealer and shrink tunnel, and more probably just a very basic manual system. This was certainly a very labour intensive operation.
The late 80’s into the early 90’s saw the introduction of the first polyolefin shrink film in the UK and more automated L sealers which could accept product automatically. Both changes were equally important for giving better display results as the new polyolefin shrink films were cleaner, stronger and more machineable allowing them to operate on the first generation of automatic L sealers.
As a result of improved automation there was an explosion of automatic L sealers onto the market because if you had the volume of product to shrink wrap you could do so at three times the speed and half the labour. As these machines grew in popularity, so did the use of polyolefin shrink films to the extent that in a 20 year period PVC went from being the dominant display shrink film by a margin (90% of the market) to virtually non existent today.
We have been at the forefront of these changes and are now number one in the UK market for the supply of polyolefin shrink film with a complete range of films from respected manufacturer Bollore.
In addition, there has been a move to even faster machinery, and we have been able to report a sharp intake of orders for our latest model of horizontal side sealers, the SMAF 4020, which now incorporates many new innovate features such as, a touch screen intuitive menu system making it far easier to operate and a split infeed belt making product detection on the thinnest of packs 100% reliable.
The costs of higher speed equipment has fallen dramatically over the last five years and so now we find we are supplying in many cases high speed side sealing equipment to applications where five years ago an automatic L sealer would have been the preferred choice.
A good example of this is a recent double order won at BT, for shrink wrapping their range of Home Hub products which has replaced a number of older generation automatic L sealers.
The future it would seem is to continue the trend towards ever more flexible and faster shrink wrapping equipment.