There are a lot of benefits to using shrink sleeve labels, from allowing you to creatively brand your products and display them on the shelf, to offering practical advantages such as creating a tamper-evident seal. With that said, you will want to take a few precautions when storing your shrink sleeves. Though they are durable, especially once applied to a product, these labels can be damaged if stored or shipped incorrectly, costing your company time and money. To keep that from ever being an issue, here are our top tips for properly storing and shipping your shrink sleeve labels.
Store in a Temperature Controlled Room
Shrink sleeve labels work because they shrink when exposed to heat. This is great news when you need to quickly apply your labels to your products, but it's not such great news when storing them if you leave your film in a hot room.
To avoid damaging your shrink sleeves, store them in a temperature controlled room. The general recommendation is to keep the temperature between 40 and 80 degrees - optimally somewhere in the middle of that range (there are slight variations in temperature recommendations depending on the manufacturer). Do this and you won't have to worry about your sleeves shrinking prematurely. Remember, the temperature of the room should never exceed 85 degrees.
For the same reason that storing your shrink sleeves in a hot room is a bad idea, shipping shrink sleeves in the summer months can sometimes be a problem. If the weather is very warm, you will want to either ship your sleeves overnight or ship them in a refrigerated truck to both keep the temperature in check as well as avoid putting the sleeves in direct sunlight.
Some manufacturers also offer temperature indicating labels to monitor the temperature of shrink sleeves while they are being shipped. Check with your manufacturer to see if these are an option for an added layer of precaution during summertime shipping.
Shrink sleeve labels won't last forever unused, however, their shelf life can vary depending on the specific product. Check with your manufacturer beforehand about the expected shelf life of their shrink sleeves. Some sleeves are only rated to last six months, while others will last much longer.
Due to the wide range of shrink sleeve and neck band material, check with your film supplier for their transportation, storage and handling recommendations. By following a few simple precautions, you will be able to ensure that your sleeves make it from the roll to your product exactly as intended, maximizing your productivity and uptime.
At PDC International, providing companies with the machinery necessary to quickly and effectively apply shrink sleeve labels to their products is our primary goal. If you would like to learn more about how you can take advantage of full body shrink sleeve labeling or tamper evident banding on your products, we invite you to contact us today.