The recent heat and humidity make me think about the weather’s effect on wrapping material. What our customers spend on wrapping material far exceeds what they spend to buy an overwapping machine but gets far less attention. So I wanted to focus on the care of the wrapping material briefly.
Dry air creates static which has a major impact on film. That is why we always add static eliminators to our overwrappers. But humid air creates swelling and softening of most materials especially paper, but also including the underlying product which may be in a cardboard tray or box.
Food manufacturers tell us that heat, cold and humidity or dry air also impact the behavior of baked goods. So the issue is not limited to the materials used in the packaging process.
While product is made and quickly packaged, the wrapping material is often ordered in volume and stored for a period of time before use. We recommend that wrapping material, both paper and film, be stored in climate controlled areas. This is not always possible, so awareness of the range of variability of the wrapping material behavior is necessary. Most often this is discovered through trial and error. If you run into a problem try, putting some of the wrapping material in a climate controlled area for 2-3 days and see if its performance improves as a result.
We also know that there is a shelf life to wrapping material. Simply using something that looks okay but has been sitting around for a while may give rise to unexpected behavior by the wrapping material. Common aged-related occurrences are curling on the edges of film and tearing of paper.
What we have found over the years is that the wrapping material is a partner with the overwrapping machine and the product in creating a great looking package. It takes all three plus skilled support to be successful. Choosing carefully the wrapping material and caring for it properly will improve the success of the product getting to and on the shelf at the retailer.
If you are planning to buy an overwrapper from Package Machinery, please discuss your wrapping material with us as well. It will significantly improve your success with your overwrapper.