Frequently asked questions
We put at your disposal this “Frequently Asked Questions” to support you in your project. Tips for a better shrink wrapping, gas consumption, regulation and many other topics will be covered in this page.
How many pallets will I be able to shrink wrap with a 13 kg bottle of gas?
If we take, for example, the Ripack 3000 heat shrink gun, its consumption per hour sits between 2.9 and 4.9 kg (continued usage). With an average of 3.5 kg/h (average pressure), it is possible to shrink wrap around 120 pallets.
This is merely an indicative figure; a thick cover, the operating pressure and the dimensions of the pallet are other factors that will vary the performance.
What does the date on the gas hose delivered with your Ripack heat shrink gun mean?
The date marked on the gas hose is the product’s year of manufacture.
This date meets the requirements of standards EN ISO 3821 (hose int. diam 6 mm) and DIN 4815 (hose int. diam 4 mm) “flexible rubber hoses for welding, cutting and related tasks”, requirements our supplies meet. No expiry date is provided.
Recommendations for replacement are as follows:
- If there is damage on visual inspection
- No later than every three years with intensive usage
- No later than every five years after first use in other cases
Other elements may also appear, such as the interior diameter, the maximum resistance expressed in Bar or compliance with certain specific certifications.
These hoses are for professional, non-domestic use, another reason for the absence of an expiry date.
Shrink wrap film and the environment
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) film is made of neutral elements; it is an inert material. Its manufacture, its usage, its recycling and its disposal emit no pollutants.
It is 100% recyclable and extremely low-cost. The plastics used during shrink wrapping, made with low-density polyethylene, may be re-used after recycling as components of new plastics, as bin bags, or agricultural plastics.
New extrusion technologies are also making it possible to introduce more and more recycled material into the manufacture of shrink wrap and shrink film.
How should I protect a product with flat film?
The advantage of shrink wrap is that it is available in different shapes and can adapt to all loads. For either very long or smaller loads, flat film is advised.
Flat film is a continuous reel of film with no gussets, which can be folded according to width (centre-folded film).
The weldability properties of the film are therefore used to create, just like with wrapping for a present, packaging which is the closest possible size to the product.
To achieve a good weld to the film, ensure a covering of a minimum of 30 cm.
Begin by welding the film with a continued sweep, and then apply pressure on this area, using an anti-heat glove. At this stage it is essential to avoid rubbing the film, applying repeated pressure instead.
Once the welding is done, undertake the shrink wrapping by keeping the unit at a minimum distance of 30 cm, and according to shrink wrapping recommendations.
Video tutorials are available to show you the benefits of this solution.
How best to protect my pallet with a shrink wrap cover?
The pallet must be lifted so that all four of its corners are free: the aim of this is to allow the film to shrink under the pallet and to thus produce great cohesion between the pallet and the load it supports.
The Calpack pallet lifter is the perfect accessory to facilitate this operation.
You simply need to then slide the shrink cover onto your pallet, and leave enough length to be able to shrink underneath the pallet (H + 200 mm).
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SHRINK WRAPPING (in the absence of specific instructions from the film manufacturer):
Remain at a minimum distance of around 30 centimetres from the film and begin wrapping with the lowest part of the four sides, so that the wrapping starts underneath the pallet. Remember to direct the hot air flow perpendicularly along the sides of the pallet.
Apply heat with a continuous movement, at a steady speed.
As the reactions of various films will not necessarily be the same, monitor closely and modify the heat speed and/or your distance from the film accordingly.
You can also modify the power of your Ripack heat shrink gun thanks to its adjustable Securipack pressure reducer.
Once the bottom of the pallet is shrink wrapped, perform the same operation for each side, working your way around the full width of each side, from bottom to top.
Once the four sides are completed, wrap the top by directing the hot air flow onto the top of the pallet.
Please use our video tutorials in order to understand the logic of the film’s shrink wrapping process.
Due to its constitution, shrink film continues to shrink after heat application, for a variable time period, which depends on its quality, its thickness and the type of load wrapped. It is therefore recommended to wait for the wrap to be cooled and taut before moving.
After cooling and before storage, always check the integrity of the shrink wrap and the products packaged.
How to choose the right wrap or film?
The most suitable cover will facilitate the shrink wrapping of your pallet and protect your load during storage and transport. Shrink film is available in different thicknesses, different formats and different colours.
Making the right choice of wrap is therefore essential in your shrink film packaging project.
The first stage is to choose the size of the cover. There are major standards in terms of pallet sizes (80×120, 100×120, 120×120, etc.). Below are some hints for calculating a suitable size:
- width: + 50 to 80 mm of the pallet
- length: + 50 to 80 mm of the pallet
- height = height of the pallet + 1/2 width + 150 to 200 mm.
For pallets of varying heights, you are advised to pass over the film in a continuous motion and complete a welding using our Multicover range of welders. This solution avoids wastage, in terms of both the quantity of film used and financial cost.
Next, the thickness of the film should be taken into account, according to the weight of the load and the storage and transport methods. An unstable and heavy load will therefore need a thick film, whereas cardboard boxes, which potentially will be stored outside, will need nothing more than a barrier to protect them from the rain.
Below is some information on film thickness:
- in 75 % of cases: 120 µ
- Sharp-angled products: 150 – 180 µ
- Products that are heavy but sit well on the pallet: 130 – 140 µ
- Products that are heavy but do not sit well on the pallet: 180 µ
- Bags of non-fluid products: 120-140 µ
- Bags of highly fluid products: 150 µ
- Crates of overlapping assembly boxes: 120 µ
- Crates of non-overlapping assembly boxes: 140-150 µ
Our configurator is at your service to give you an initial idea of the solution best suited to your requirements. Please don’t hesitate to ask our network of partners for advice in directing you to the right film for your needs.