Shrink wrapping items protects them during transport, but requires many pieces of equipment. To shrink wrap any small item, a sealing wand, film dispenser with film, heat gun or tunnel are needed. Shrink wrap systems simplify the process.
For the home or small business, small shrink systems are available to frame artwork or to package small items. These cost between $300 and $500 and provide all equipment needed for shrink wrapping small items. Consider buying a straight bar sealer or an L-bar sealer. Small shrink wrap systems can be used on a tabletop and should include a durable sealing pad. Look for a system that is portable, can accommodate different sizes and types of film, and can heat up quickly. When shrink-wrapping artwork or photographs, you should look for acid-free or archival-quality shrink wrap film. Not all acid-free films are archival quality. Avoid storing art in shrink wrap for long periods of time.
For businesses that must shrink wrap hundreds of items, or large or irregular items, larger shrink wrap systems are more practical. Sleeve shrink wrappers can handle differently shaped packages, continuous band sealers form a tight seal around many objects quickly, and mail bagging systems can order and pack newspapers, boxes, or other items for shipment quickly. Manual sealers typically cost around $7,000 and automatic systems around $36,000. For added protection, vacuum sealers can remove the air from packages before sealing. Continuous band sealers are useful for containing easily spilled items. To complete a large shrink wrap system, pair the sealer with an automatic heater that moves the items along a conveyor belt to heat and shrink the film automatically. Shrink wrap heat tunnels cost between $2,000 and $16,000.
Shrink wrap systems make shipping CDs, DVDs, books, newspapers, artwork, packages, or crates of product simpler and cleaner, and are sold online by retailers and wholesalers.