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The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Shrink Sleeve Machine

Requesting Information


When buying a shrink sleeve machine, it is important to start by requesting information from the manufacturers or suppliers. This will allow you to gather all the necessary details about the machine and make an informed decision. You can inquire about the machine's specifications, features, and capabilities. It is also a good idea to ask for references or case studies to understand how the machine has performed for other customers.

Additionally, you can request information about the warranty, after-sales service, and technical support provided by the manufacturer. This will ensure that you have all the necessary support in case of any issues or maintenance requirements.

Remember to provide detailed information about your specific requirements, such as the type of bottles you will be using, the size of the bottles, and the type of labels you want to apply. This will help the manufacturer or supplier understand your needs better and provide you with accurate information.

Sleeve Speed: Bottles per Hour


One of the crucial factors to consider when buying a shrink sleeve machine is the sleeve speed, which refers to the number of bottles the machine can handle per hour. The sleeve speed will determine the production capacity of the machine and how quickly you can label your bottles.

To determine the appropriate sleeve speed for your needs, you should consider your production requirements. Calculate the number of bottles you need to label per hour or per day, and choose a machine that can handle that volume. Keep in mind that the sleeve speed may vary depending on the size and shape of the bottles, as well as the complexity of the labels.

It is also important to note that higher sleeve speeds may require more advanced machines. Therefore, it is essential to strike a balance between your production requirements and your budget.

Feeding Bottle Direction

The feeding bottle direction is another crucial aspect to consider when buying a shrink sleeve machine. The direction in which the bottles are fed into the machine can impact the ease of operation.


There are two common feeding bottle directions: left or right. As above figure, the layout of feeding direction will affect the total space and maintenance space. Operators will need to perform labels reels change and shrink tunnel adjustment. 

Steam Tunnel or Heat Tunnel?


When it comes to shrinking the sleeves onto the bottles, you have two options: using a steam tunnel or a heat tunnel. Both methods have their advantages and considerations, so it is essential to choose the one that best suits your needs.

A steam tunnel uses hot steam to heat the shrink sleeves and make them conform to the shape of the bottles. It is a popular choice for applications where heat-sensitive products or materials are involved. Steam tunnels provide precise and uniform heating, ensuring a perfect shrink every time. However, they may require a separate steam generator + pressure reducing station and might not suitable to apply to pharmaceutical products

On the other hand, a heat tunnel uses heated air to shrink the sleeves onto the bottles. Heat tunnels are generally faster than steam tunnels and require less maintenance. They are suitable for a wide range of products and can handle high-speed production lines. However, they may not be suitable for heat-sensitive materials or products and high power consumption. Yet, they have a lower heating transfer-rate compared to steam tunnels and may need to increase temperature over 400 ℃.

Consider the nature of your products, production speed, and your specific requirements when deciding between a steam tunnel and a heat tunnel.

Bottle Dimension and Label Size


The bottle dimension and label size are critical factors to consider when buying a shrink sleeve machine. The machine must be capable of accommodating your bottle sizes and applying the labels accurately.

Before purchasing a machine, provide the manufacturer or supplier with detailed information about your bottle dimensions, including the diameter and height. This will help them determine if the machine can handle your bottles effectively. Additionally, consider the range of bottle sizes the machine can accommodate (There is size limitation of shrink sleeve machine and shrink tunnel. Usually bottle diameter below 140mm and height below 360mm), as this may impact your future production needs.

Similarly, discuss the label size requirements with the manufacturer or supplier. Ensure that the machine can handle your desired label size and apply it accurately on the bottles. Consider the maximum and minimum label sizes the machine can handle, as well as any special label requirements, such as full body labels or partial sleeve labels.

By considering the bottle dimension and label size, you can ensure that the shrink sleeve machine meets your specific requirements.

Cap Sealing or Body Label


Another important consideration when buying a shrink sleeve machine is whether you require cap sealing or body labeling. This depends on the type of product you are packaging and your branding or labeling requirements.

Cap sealing involves applying a shrink sleeve on the cap or closure of the bottle, providing tamper-evident sealing and enhancing the product's visual appeal. Cap sealing is commonly used for beverages, pharmaceuticals, and other products where the integrity of the seal is crucial.

On the other hand, body labeling involves applying a shrink sleeve on the body of the bottle, covering a significant portion or the entire surface. Body labeling allows for more extensive branding and product information display. It is commonly used for cosmetics, food products, and promotional packaging.

Consider your product type, branding requirements, and packaging goals when deciding between cap sealing or body labeling for your shrink sleeve machine.

Labeling After Filling


One consideration when buying a shrink sleeve machine is whether you want to label the bottles before or after filling them with your product. Both approaches have their advantages and considerations, so it is important to evaluate your specific needs.

Labeling before filling allows for a cleaner and more efficient labeling process. It eliminates the risk of high temperature damaging the goods inside container, like dairy and pharmaceutical products. Sometimes, it is commonly used for products where the labels need to be perfectly aligned or where the filling process may cause label distortion.

Labeling after filling, on the other hand, allows for greater flexibility in product variations and customization. It enables you to apply different labels or customize the labels based on the filled product. This approach is commonly used for products with multiple flavors, variants, or special promotions.

Consider your product type, production process, and labeling requirements when deciding whether to label before or after filling your bottles.

Factory Design


Lastly, when buying a shrink sleeve machine, it is important to consider the factory design and layout. The machine needs to fit seamlessly into your production line and workflow, ensuring optimal efficiency and productivity.

Evaluate the available space in your factory and determine the best location for the shrink sleeve machine. Consider the machine's dimensions, including its length, width, and height, and ensure that it can be easily integrated into your existing production line. There is a detail that might easily be neglected—make sure that move-in path is clear for machine, including elevator and route.

Additionally, consider the accessibility and ease of maintenance for the machine. Ensure that there is enough space around the machine for operators to perform routine maintenance tasks and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

By considering the factory design and layout, you can ensure that the shrink sleeve machine seamlessly integrates into your production process and contributes to your overall efficiency.

Dase-Sing customer service team accumulated over 30 years' experience and can support customers fast and throughly. If you need more information about real practice, welcome to contact us.

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