Wearable Shrink Wrap Machine Parts
Shrink wrap machines are made in different sizes and designs. In our blog post A Guide to Shrink Wrap Machine Costs we detail the many different shrink wrap machines available to accommodate different products. The article covers everything from beginner machines to fully automatic machines.
No matter the machine used, with enough production time, parts will need to be replaced. There are common parts on most all machines that are considered wearable parts. In this article, we are going to discuss common wearable parts in shrink wrap machines and offer some ideas of how often the parts will need to be replaced and offer a baseline estimated cost.
Before we begin discussing the specific parts we want to point out the importance of maintenance and temperature settings. Just like any machine, proper maintenance will increase the life of wearable and non-wearable parts. Be sure to properly maintain a machine per the instruction manual.
Shrink wrap sealers and tunnels use heat to seal and shrink products. The goal to increase machine life is to find the proper heat settings. The lowest amount of heat necessary to properly seal and shrink products is ideal for extending machine life.
Teflon Tape – Shrink wrap sealers either use a sealing wire or hot knife to heat and mend film together. Depending on the machine design, a Teflon tape is either used over the sealing wire or on the opposite side of the micro knife.
Teflon tape resists heat very well and provides excellent protection from the heat put off from a sealer. Over time, the tape will turn black with a heavy residue and eventually develop burn holes. Whether using a machine with a micro knife or sealing wire, it is important to change the Teflon tape when holes appear. The tape is used to protect either the sealing wire or another part of the machine and if it is not properly maintained further damage can be caused.
Teflon tape can vary in widths and thicknesses depending on the sealer being used. Because of this is can be difficult to give a base cost. Most Teflon tape ranges in cost from $1-$4 per ft. The life of a Teflon tape strip can vary based on machine settings. A lower heat setting for lighter shrink film can increase the life of a tape strip by thousands of seals.
Wire Replacements – Sealing wires and micro knives are very common wearable parts. They incur the most heat during the sealing process. Most sealing wires are fairly thin and wear out after a few thousand seals. Micro knives or hot knives are thicker and last much longer than sealing wires, but over time eventually, wear out.
As mentioned above, the ability to run the shrink wrap machine at the lowest temperature possible while properly sealing the film being used will increase the life of all sealing wires. With Teflon tape replacements properly maintained, a sealing wire should last a few thousand seals. A micro knife can last tens of thousands of seals. Micro knives should be cleaned daily to ensure a longer production life. Users can quickly wipe down a micro knife at the end of the day with a damp cloth when no power is being run to the machine.
Silicon Seal Strip – The silicone seal strip is used for wire sealing machines. The silicone strip contacts the sealing wire each time the sealing bar is lowered. Over time the flat silicone surface develops a burn line where the wire contacts the silicone.
On most wire machines, the silicone strip can be turned over and used on the reverse side prior to being replaced. Like other wearable parts, the life of the silicone strips varies depending on heat settings and seal times. Silicone strips range from $1.00 - $1.50 per inch.
Transit Channel – Transit channels are for machines using a micro knife sealer. The micro knife rests in the transit channel which is made from porcelain. Over time with thousands of seals, the knife becomes loose within the channel.
Transit channels vary on size and cost based on the machine being used. All transit channels should last thousands of seals. Longer sealing times for thicker film can cause transit channels to wear faster.
As with any other working machines, other parts can go out from time-to-time. The parts listed above are the most common parts because they come into direct contact with the heat used to make a seal.
We recommend when purchasing a machine, to be sure the supplier has readily available parts in case a problem arises.