There is no debate; packaging is the primary differentiator among brands. The Flexible Packaging Industry and specifically, Shrink Sleeves are one of the fastest growing packaging sectors. Shrink sleeve packaging is everywhere today. You will find them on energy drinks, cleaning products, fruit juices, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and almost every other category in and out of your local supermarket.
Marketers understand the power of great packaging and have embraced this technology. Shrink sleeves continue to grow in popularity because of their versatility and branding options. They conform to any shape and work with many container types including metal, glass and almost all plastics. Consumers gravitate to shrink sleeves because of the 360º design space, which makes the products more attractive and shelf defining than a traditional label.
During the Shrink Sleeve creation process there is extra material left on the ends of the sleeve to allow for creating a seam. This seam will shape the sleeve into a “tube” form and hold it in place. Once printed, the seaming machine applies a solvent to one edge of the roll. The seam is where the edges of the shrink material are glued together to make sleeves.
Seam location will vary depending on container shape, style and artwork design. The seam should be placed where it has the least impact on graphics, which typically is the back or side of the product.
The right Seaming Machine can significantly expand production capabilities and to that end, Flexible Pack just invested in one of the most sought-after Seamers on the market, the Karville K2. This stand-alone machine operates at 300 meters per minute and forms the sleeves via an adjustable forming section. It utilizes a direct injection system using both wick and needle dispensers with proportional solvent to velocity control. All solvent features are controlled via the man-machine interface. For film edge position accuracy, unwinds have digital edge guides. The solvent applications also have an optional micro edge guide for the most accurate solvent-to-edge control in the industry.
There are several ways that the K2 Seamer significantly improves processes for Flexible Pack, it:
- Provides complete control over the entire manufacturing and build process
- Offers the ability to convert and finish custom products that have been printed on the Company’s Indigo 6800 Digital Press
- Eliminates external outsourcing
- Allows full control of order quantities and corresponding pricing
- Ensures all service level agreements are met
- Establishes maximum Quality Control and testing of final product
- Significantly increases productivity
Enhanced HP Indigo Process
Indigo Print provides the ability for a very quick turnaround and variable data printed products at industry competitive pricing. Operating the K2 in conjunction with the Indigo 6800 Digital Press affords Flexible Pack the opportunity to take full advantage of those capabilities and ship most products with 24-48 hours.
Highlight: Types of Shrink Sleeves
Shrink sleeves are sustainable, creative and attractive packaging designs that stand out and reflect individuality in branding. They allow Companies to market their products in both interesting and intriguing ways that will stay in the minds of consumers. To stay competitive, brands must stand out and stay memorable with their own uniquely designed shrink sleeve that adds to the product’s personality while simultaneously boosting brand recognition.
Applying typical labels can be a challenge when containers have unique shapes. Shrink sleeves are a great option for uniquely shaped containers. We understand not all bottles, containers, or cans have the same old shapes in this modern day and age. Even containers that have unusual shapes, such as a square or apple shaped bottles can be excellent options for shrink sleeves. While shrink sleeves work great with glass bottles, they also offer a perfect labeling solution for plastic bottles and aluminum cans. They provide more surface for promoting the brand, displaying logos and product feature details. Business leaders are often surprised to see the vast list of finishes that are available, even for relatively small products.
It is becoming increasingly popular for products to showcase what is inside the package with glossy, see-through windows that make the contents glow because it evokes a feeling of being “natural”. It would be hard to sell an organic product in anything other than an attractively sustainable and eco-friendly container without contradicting the product. It is key to create sleeves with specific finishing options that fit the brand message.
1. Full Body Shrink Sleeves
Full body shrink sleeves form fit to the entire body of the container allowing it to be decorated 360 degrees from top to bottom, maximizing marketing space. They can easily give an old product an updated appearance by using shrink sleeves to cover up the old label or offer an opportunity to rebrand the product and create exceptional shelf appeal. Full body shrink sleeve labels feature UV protection, something smaller labels cannot accomplish.
Custom shrink sleeves do not necessarily have to cover the entire surface area of a container, however. They may cover only a portion of a container, such as the shoulder. This allows unconventional contours to display sleek graphics that adhesive labels would not stick to without bunching. These labels will generally be placed on the body of the container, letting the cap or lid be sealed separately with a shrink band or through the use of some other type of seal, though it is possible to do it in one shot with one shrink sleeve. Custom printed shrink sleeve labels can save in warehousing costs, especially when packaging different varieties of the same type of product. Instead of having to warehouse several different printed containers, only one blank container and the different product labels would need to be warehoused, greatly reducing the space needed for the variety of packaging.
2. Tamper Evident Bands
Tamper-evident bands are one of the major uses of preform shrink film. These bands can be printed with warning messages or safety-seal text and are often used in conjunction with another type of warning label – advising that if the safety-seal provided by the tamper-evident band is broken the product may not be good. The use of tamper-evident bands promotes a sense of security to the consumer that the product has not been altered throughout the distribution process. Vertical and horizontal perforations can be added to make the band easier to remove. Custom printed tamper-evident bands are common in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
3. Combination Packaging
Combination packaging uses shrink sleeves to package multiple containers together for the purpose of offering it as one product. Using form-fitting shrink sleeve material allows the ability to package different sized and shaped containers together easily. There are many benefits and reasons for combination packaging including:
- Customer savings
- Free samples and new product promotions
- Eliminating excess inventory by selling more slow moving items at a time
- Increase sales during slow periods with buy one get one free promotions
Conveniently, after any special combination packaging offers are over, the shrink film can easily be removed from the bundled products without damaging the containers and they can be sold separately once again. Combination packaging is frequently used to promote household and personal care products although this trend is growing among other industries as well.
Flexible Pack’s Design Studio is here to provide a whole new level of convenience and practicality to Companies looking to enhance their brand; whether that is updating current product packaging or creating something from scratch. With three levels of service from which to choose there is a great solution to meet both goals and budget. These range from the Starter Kit to the Premium Level of service or the largest Design Studio option, the All-in-One.
Flexible Pack’s robust team of talented designers are backed by decades of printing experience. They will create an attractive, engaging shrink sleeve design that:
- Offers a compelling look that tells the brand story and enhances shelf appeal
- Makes the product stand apart from the competition
- Features engaging graphics and messaging that encourages consumers to reach for the brand
- Provides the best quality and speedy delivery for short-run projects
Flexible packaging, including shrink sleeves are the future of product packaging. Every day, more manufacturers are converting their products to this type of solution over conventional packaging options because the possibilities are limitless.
Several factors play into Flexible Pack’s reputation as a true leader in the flexible packaging space. With the addition of the Seamer Machine, the Company has stepped up its state-of-the-art printing capabilities and ensured that it will continue to lead the way in the rapidly growing global market.