Instructions for Shrink Wrap Machines
One of the most common and inexpensive ways to shrink wrap is through the use of a bar sealer. This tool uses shrink-wrap film, a heated bar and a heat gun to create even lines and give a professional look to packages. Shrink wrapping is useful in sealing items such as books, which can be damaged by repeated opening, but also can be used to package CDs and other products. A starter kit with film and heat gun ranges between $200 and $250.
Slide the roll of shrink wrap film onto the machine. The opening should be on the right side; the sealed side is on the left. The front of the wrap should not be sealed. If it is, skip to Step 4.
Switch on the sealer bar and allow time for it to warm up. Then pull the film carefully under the sealer bar. The film should hang about half an inch past the edge of the machine.
Firmly depress the sealer bar to create the first seal. If your machine does not have automatic release, wait five to 10 seconds or until the shrink wrap begins lifting away from the bar. Do not let the wrap darken or smoke. This first seal will serve as the bottom of the "bag" you slide your product into.
Pull the sealed wrap further through the machine to allow enough room for your product. It should have at least a 1-inch margin on each side, depending on height. If the shrink wrap area is too small, it can damage the item. However, too much excess film will wrinkle and bubble, ruining the aesthetic effect.
Slide your product through the right-side opening. Center the package within the chosen area, adjusting if necessary. Make sure there are no creases or wrinkles on the film.
Firmly press the bar down a second time, sealing the top side of the "bag." At this point, the shrink wrap should be closed on three of the four sides.
Once the wrap has cooled, lift it up from the machine. Then, feed the remaining open side evenly under the sealer bar. Press down to create the last seal. Make sure that your three seals are even, not ragged, and are parallel.
Use the heat gun to begin the shrinking process. The heat gun resembles a hair dryer, but it produces an intense wave of heat, so avoid touching anything but the handle. Point the gun at the package from a distance of about 1 foot, then slowly move in closer. Make sure to keep a constant side-to-side movement going; concentrated heat in one spot will melt the film, possibly damaging your product and requiring you to start from the first step.
When the film is relatively taut on one side, flip over the package, and apply the heat gun to the other side. Try to keep your seams positioned on the edges of the product if possible.