Shrink and Stretch Wrapping: Differences and Applications

“Go ahead and shrink wrap that pallet”, my boss said before he walked out of the warehouse. I leaped into action only to waste 15 minutes searching for a shrink wrapper in the warehouse. There wasn’t one. As my boss returned, he said to me in an annoyed voice, “Ok, what was confusing about shrink wrapping the pallet?”. “I noticed there isn’t a shrink wrapper here, sir”, I said. He stared at me for a second before replying, “Ok…I guess it is hard to miss”, then he grabbed the pallet jack and wheeled the pallet over to a large, conspicuous stretch wrapper just 20 feet away.

There is a common confusion regarding shrink wrapping and stretch wrapping. These two applications have something in common: they are both methods of packaging something in plastic. However, these applications package things much differently and for different purposes.

Shrink Wrapping

Shrink wrapping is the process of using shrink film, a material comprised of polymer plastic, and heat to seal products inside of the shrink film. The heat application process can be done via either a heat gun or a shrink tunnel. Packaging manufacturers like Seal-A-Tron produce shrink wrapping systems for industrial applications. A shrink-wrapped item will look something like this:

Image result for shrink wrapped product

In some cases, entire pallets of produce can be shrink wrapped to provide a form of product protection in transit and/or storage. However, most applications involve individual products, especially food products.

Stretch Wrapping

Stretch wrapping is the process of wrapping stretch film, a highly stretchable and elastic plastic film, around products. The elasticity of the stretch film pulls the products together and keeps them secure. This process is often performed with a turntable stretch wrapping machine like Orion’s Flex CTS Twin Station Stretch Wrapper, although many options are available for different user needs. A stretch-wrapped pallet looks something like this:

Image result for stretch wrapped pallet

This particular pallet was also strapped and equipped with corner board, a form of protective packaging, for optimal protection and security in transit and in storage.

Which One Should You Use?

This question is best answered by requesting more information from the R.V. Evans team. However, to get you started, a brief breakdown of a couple advantages and applications is shown below.

Stretch Wrapping Applications/Advantages Shrink Wrapping Applications/Advantages
· Wrapping boxes and pallets of products

· Cost-effective (particularly with pre-stretch)

· Protection from dust, dirt, and moisture

· Typically used to secure single products

· Best choice for food products

R.V. Evans Co. would be happy to provide you with any additional information you need at 1-800-252-5894 or via the website.

Why 2013 is the Best Time to Purchase New and Used Equipment

As we approach the end of the 2013 calendar year, many companies begin looking at their current equipment situation to determine if a new or used piece of equipment is needed. Fortunately for these companies, the Section 179 Deduction for 2013 exists.

What is it?

The Section 179 Deduction is a 154 page bill better known as the “Fiscal Crisis Bill”. To read all 154 pages click here. To summarize, the Fiscal Crisis Bill provides three things:

• 2013 Deduction Limit = $500,000 (2012’s old limit was $125,000 deduction)

• 2013 Limit on Capital Purchases = $2,000,000

• 2013 Bonus Depreciation = 50%



Important things to note:
According to there are three important things to note about this bill:

• Section 179 Deduction is available for most new and used capital equipment, and also includes certain software.
• Bonus Depreciation can be taken on new equipment only (no used equipment, no software)
• When applying these provisions, Section 179 is generally taken first, followed by Bonus Depreciation – unless the business has no taxable profit in the given tax year.

So, with a $500,000 deduction and a Bonus Depreciation of 50% on new equipment placed in use through December 31st, 2013, that makes 2013 the best time to invest in new equipment. And best of all, packaging equipment distributed by R.V. Evans Company qualifies for tax incentives! Unfortunately this deduction only lasts through December 31st, 2013.
As the end of the calendar year approaches, be sure to take time to schedule a review of your facilities. Feel free to contact us for a free Site Needs Analysis and let us help you determine if new or used equipment can benefit your packaging process.

You can reach us at 1-800-252-5894 or visit us at
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