Have you already decided that shrink sleeve labeling is right for your product? If so, have you selected the right shrink partner? Should you go with automated or hand applied labeling? Find out your options with our first step in Shrink 101 here:
Art Development: Mastering Shrink Compensation and Distortion
Keep in mind that shrink labels require a distortion or compensation of graphics. This is important because you want the logos and graphic elements to be depicted accurately when they’re conformed to the container shape.
• When designing, be sure to take your container shape into consideration.
• Use a printed grid pattern if possible. This tool provides data on how the sleeve is forming to the container – showing patterns of distortion areas to avoid, or where to leave room when compensating for graphics.
Hand Application or Automated?
Hand application is ideal for small-scale projects, as well as for projects without existing tooling. Your shrink sleeve decorator can perform testing by hand application. During this process, they can also establish shrink parameters for production, and then bring those settings over to the steam tunnel on another line. This greatly reduces both setup time and downtime.
Automated lines can run at a high speed with very little labor – performing bulk-to-bulk depalletizing and repalletizing, bottle descrambling and sorting, and decasing and case packing. For example, automatic feeders allow totes of containers to be dumped into a hopper, sorted and positioned on the line. The machine feeds them through a conveyor, and then they’re shrink decorated and dried. The automation of this process leads to lower cost, and the ability to run larger volumes.