Ben Ritter is a shrink sleeve and converting specialist at Accraply. The following content is an excerpt from his article – Shrink Sleeves: Seaming, Converting and Application – which originally appeared in Labels & Labeling on October 23, 2020.
The secondary converting process is critical in converting a printed shrink sleeve stock onto the final product container. To achieve a best-in-class shrink sleeve application, the converting and the application processes need to be aligned and functioning in harmony.
This process includes the following steps.
- Slitting is a critical first step as it directly influences the nature and quality of the slit edges. In shrink sleeve slitting applications, the slit edges of the rolls are solvent-welded, producing an overlapped seam that would ideally be invisible on the finished product.
- Seaming follows once clean slits have been achieved. The objective of seaming (or welding) is to transform the flat, printed film into a seamed tube. The end goal should be to achieve this with a seam that cannot be seen or felt, while at the same time, maximizing throughput and minimizing waste.
- Additional Finishing often follows the seaming process. In this step, a doctor machine enables the converter, when necessary, to change the core size, application rewind direction, and remake splices as necessary to ensure that they will pass appropriately through high-speed automatic application equipment.
While converters will be most interested in how to produce a high value shrink sleeve label, it is also necessary that they understand that the application and shrinking process is equally important to producing a finished product that the brand owner – and ultimately, the consumer – will value.
For more information on shrink sleeve converting, read the original article on Labels and Labeling or contact us to connect with a shrink sleeve and converting specialist today.
Ben Ritter is the Shrink Sleeve and Converting Specialist and the Southeast Regional Sales Executive at Accraply, the Minneapolis-based manufacturer of automated label application systems, as well as converting and finishing equipment for the shrink sleeve label and flexible packaging markets.