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Shrink sleeves: Refreshing the look of products sustainably

Source:FoodPacific Manufacturing Journa     Date:2021-06-01
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New packaging trends are emerging year after year. While you don't have to change designs often, this marketing strategy can be effective in reducing cost, meeting new consumer demands, and retail shelf and online positioning. This was among the takeaways during an online webinar hosted by Ringier Events on 27 May 2021, where Dase-Sing Group executive assistant, Tony Huang,  and sales manager Jovy Chen, talked about shrink sleeve materials and machine capability.


The conference was also supported by the Asian Packaging Federation with its vice president Dr. Joseph Ross Jocson speaking on design trends for 2021, and by packaging expert Ms Mayumee Paklamjeak, who is currently an advisor to the Plastics Institute of Thailand and the Thai Printing Association.

dase-sing webinar may 2021 image.jpg

Top, from left: Jack Cheng, Ringier editor is joined by Tony Huang, executive assistant at Dase-Sing Group, and Dr Joseph Ross Jocson, vice president, Asian Packaging Federation; 

Bottom from left, Mrs Mayuree Paklamjeak, advisor to Plastics Institute of Thailand and Thai Printing Association; and  Ms Jovy Chen, sales manager, Dase-Sing Group.

Based in Taiwan, Dase-Sing is a one-stop shrink sleeve packaging solution supplier, and one of the few companies that can supply film (PET, OPS, OPP, PLA, PVC, and PE) printing (rotogravure and digital) and shrink sleeving machines (OPP labelling machine, sleeve applicator, cup destacker and restacker, sleeve underlap machine, and sleeve orientator). The company which counts major F&B and personal care products brands among its customers, recommends staying informed on what's new in materials and technologies appropriate for packaging your products. Using new shrink sleeves is one of the economical ways manufacturers can refresh a brand or product sustainably.


At the webinar, Mr. Huang did a Q&A segment replying to questions regarding the technical impact of using thinner shrink films during production. From a design and sustainability perspective, a thinner film has its obvious benefits, but compared to a thicker version, it is also sensitive to static charge which can cause sleeving issues unless properly addressed during production. To achieve the best aesthetic results, thinner sleeves are more suitable for use with certain bottle designs, he said.


Asked about digital printing, Mr. Huang said that since this process does not involve plates, it has improved printing in many ways, from creating faster prototypes to improving the print quality consistency, and flexibility as well as in helping reduce cost and carbon footprint. Speed to market has been greatly enhanced by digital printing as well.


Dase-Sing sales manager, Jovy Chen added that digital printing is also ideal for mass customization, personalized labels, one-off production, and small order quantities.


On their choice of materials, many companies are now replacing PVC with PET for environmental reasons. While this is well and good, Mr. Huang explains that since the characteristics of these materials are different, the shrink sleeve process is different. Both materials have their advantages but he said PET will eventually be the material of choice moving forward.


Ms Chen said attractive packaging is more important than ever as products compete for shelf and online space as well. She explained the various ways sleeves can be embellished via embossed tactile prints and UV fluorescent effect, to name a few, and provided an introduction to the company's auto shrink sleeve machines for five types of packaging; slow speed machine; a wide caliber machine ideal for milk products and those that require tamper evident protection; high-speed machine that can run up to 800 bottles per minute; the high-speed double head sleeve labeller with a maximum speed of up to 1000 bottles per minute; an underlap machine for personal care products; a multilabel unwinder; and bottle orientator.


As to packaging design, Dr Joseph Jocson of the APF shared some global trends turning heads in 2021. Product packaging design is the process of planning and creating packaging for products, and while designs depend on the priorities of the manufacturer, one can agree that it has to be unique in some way to stand out online or on the shelf. There may be endless ways to show off uniqueness, from the choice of fonts to adopting reusable packaging. Dr Jocson said the following trends are impacting today's designs: recyclability, minimalism, solid color designs, vintage designs, bold and modern illustrations, story-driven packaging, bold typography, pattern and flat illustrations, transparent and window packaging

textured packaging, abstract design and prints.


According to Ms Mayuree Paklamjeak, shrink sleeves are the preferred choice for labeling products in Thailand. They outclass pressure sensitive labels (stickers) and wraparound labels, on both application and supply. She said that sleeves are applicable to different pack materials and shapes; they provide the option for full body decoration and print; the full cover acts as tamper evident feature, while partial sleeves allow consumers to see through a product. Another plus point is that by simply changing shrink sleeve labels, manufacturers can use the same container for different products. This supply chain simplification as she calls allows companies to become more cost effective.

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