Single- and double-axis oriented film, which can be reduced under heating and fitted tightly to the packed items, is used as shrink film. In practical terms, any film, capable of increased shrinkage (up to 50% and more) and thus used for packing various products is normally referenced to as shrink film.
In contrast to traditional film package, shrink film ensures package volume reduction at the expense of tight fitting and a relatively low film mass. Shrink film package is often cheaper and more attractive than a standard cardboard box. This kind of package provides certain advantages to retail trade, such as reduced amount of packing material, smaller sales area, occupied by the marketed product. Shrink film protects the goods against environmental impact.
Shrink film is used for packing various foodstuff, cans, bottles, fancy and household goods, newspapers and magazines, office supplies etc.
- individual package. Each item is wrapped up with the film, which becomes tightly fitted to it after shrinkage, shaping the item’s configuration.
- unitized package. A set of similar or different items is first composed, which is then wrapped up with the film like an individual package to become a tightly-fit pack after the film shrinkage.
- pile (or pallet) package. Different items, such as bags, boxes, books, bricks, can or bottle trays etc. are stacked row-by-row to be covered then with shrink film and delivered to the tunnel oven. The resulting compact pile can be easily moved using a pick-and place device.
In structural terms shrink film coatings can be divided into banding, wrapping and jacket-type ones.
Banding type coatings fully envelope a group of goods (packing items) or a shipping pack (block-pack) along the perimeter, leaving special openings on the faces.
In case of a complete wrapping the film coating covers the shipping pack or a group of goods (pack items) entirely.
To fasten the shipping packs together, tubular shrink film is used to make special jackets, in which the cuts are sealed by welded joints.
Nearly the full amount of the manufactured shrink film (around 80%) is used for unitized package of goods. This type of package requires 50-100 µm thickness shrink film. The most frequently used film for unitized package is that of 80 and 100 µm thickness.
About 15% of shrink film is used for pallet package of goods. The major users of this are brick-yards and cement works. For their purposes they use 120-250 µm thickness shrink film. The most demanded film thickness here is that of 120 and 150 µm.
Only 5% of shrink film is used for individual good package. This type of package requires 8-50 µm thickness shrink film. The most demanded film thickness here is that of 15 and 40 µm.
Shrink Film Production
According to experts, the growth of production in 2008 was significantly slowed down, as compared to the previous years: some enterprises curb their production.
The economic crisis produced a severe impact on shrink film manufacturers. Growth rate slowing down and recession, observed in individual industries, have resulted in a reduced demand for package in general and for shrink film in particular.
There are currently about 130 shrink film manufacturers. In this amount only 45 produce multi-layer film (mostly three-layer). At the same time the period of 2007-2008 was marked by launching new lines for the production of more complex shrink film (e.g., five-layer film). All-in-all multi-layer film makes up about 25% of the total volume of shrink film, produced in Russia. A relatively small share of multi-layer shrink film production is conditioned by a high cost of setting up such a production.
Rating of Shrink Film Manufacturers in 2007-2008
Market Research “Russian Shrink Film Market Review in 2007-2008”
There are no major national-scale shrink film manufacturers, as practically every city has its own shrink film production.
Description of the Major Shrink Film Manufacturers
SC “EKOTEK” is an integrated business group, focusing on production and supplies of packing materials, packing products, logistic means, technological feedstock and processing aids. The EKOTEK group was established in Saint Petersburg in 1996 on the base of private companies, united by common shareholders.
Throughout a 12-year period a conglomerate of several small private companies, among which the first one was set up in 1991, turned into quite a competent integrated business group “EKOTEK”, recognized both inside and outside Russia, which has much in common with holding companies, while it is not a holding in a traditional sense. The coordination center of the Group is represented by a non-commercial partnership “EKOTEK Company Group.”
The basic line of the company’s activity is associated with the production of European quality shrink film for high-speed packaging lines. To produce film the company makes use of the last generation Italian "CMG" Concern equipment.
A gravimetric dispensing node ensures high-precision dispensing of the main feedstock and various additions in a pre-assigned proportion to obtain uniform composition film.
The extruder is equipped with a screw made of high-quality steel, subjected to a special thermal treatment.
“NOVATEK-POLIMER” (the former name – OJSC “TURBOIZOLYATSIYA”) is an affiliated company of OJSC “NOVATEK”. The plant has been successfully operating since 1961, being the largest pipeline insulation material manufacturer in Russia and CIS. In addition to this the company manufactures plastic pipes for gas and water supply, composites, component parts for motor vehicles, cable insulation, PVC forms, plastic windows etc. The company’s management system is based on ISO 9001 quality standard. The constituency of LLC “NOVATEK-POLIMER” includes over 1000 companies from various industries, such as OJSC “GAZPROM”, OJSC “TRANSNEFT”, NC “LUKOIL”, OJSC “VAZ”, OJSC “GAZ”.
LLC RPE “EUROFILM SÒ”
The company has been operating in the package manufacturing market since 1995.
A special attention is paid to the transportation of the finished product. Packing and loading processes are mechanized: pallets with the finished product are automatically wrapped into stretch-film.
EUROFILM was one of the first Russian companies to become acquainted with and to set up the production of thin shrink PVC film and has developed its own feedstock formulation, which is for 90% composed of domestic PVC and additions.
The production process represents a complete cycle from making a polymer composition up to the finished product, which allows one to timely influence the end product properties, to ensure work flexibility and to optimize cost-to-quality parameter.
OJSC “PLASTIK” represents a polymer package and container production enterprise, operating in the market of Siberia, Far East and Mongolia for already more than 20 years.
Equipment, used by the enterprise, is imported from Japan, Austria, Italy, Russia, Korea.
One of the basic activity lines is associated with the production of mono- and multi-layer film with various properties. This film is used as milk and dairy product package and greenhouse cover. It may be used in reclamation work and as shrink film. Since January 2004 the company has been producing multi-layer light-proof film with an internal black layer for packing saw-timber.
The range of products includes film for packing loose products and confectionary, high and low pressure plastic bags, T-shirt-shaped bags, refuse bags, polymer boxes, throw-away plates and dishes, plastic ware, package materials, printing polypropylene film, mask foil and foodstuff packing parchment.
Production company LLC “VIRAZH” is one of the largest shrink film manufacturers in the Southern Federal District. Its core products are polyethylene shrink film (0.5-1.5 m width, 50-250 µm thickness), folded film (max width – 6 m), polyethylene film, European standard pallet jackets, greenhouse film, PE bags, inserts.
Shrink Film Export
In natural terms the volume of shrink film export in 2007-2008 increased by 24.3%. Such a substantial growth of export is explained by the growth of domestic shrink film production. It is noteworthy, however, that the share of export in the overall shrink film production amounts to about 0.3%. Shrink film, resulting from increased production, is used to meet the domestic demand.
In terms of money the export of Russian shrink film in 2008 increased by 106.4%. Shrink film export in terms of money was far ahead of that in natural terms. However, due to a moderate volume of shrink film export it would not be possible to speak about any regularities, since the film cost is dependent on various factors (e.g., thickness, color, tunnel length, feedstock used etc.)
The major consumers of Russian shrink film are Kazakhstan and Mongolia: their aggregate share grew from 58.5% in 2007 to 73.1% in 2008.
Apart from these two, a large consumer of shrink film from Russia is Turkmenistan, whose share in 2008 made up 14.7%. The aggregate share of the three countries made up 87.8%.
Rating of Shrink Film Recipient Countries in 2008
Source: Abercade Research (Abercade)
Market Research “Russian Shrink Film Market Review in 2007-2008”
The largest exporters, selling the Russian shrink film abroad, are OJSC “PLASTIK” and LLC PCC “TEKhPROKOMPLEKT”: their aggregate share increased from 31.6% in 2007 to 39.9% in 2008.
Among other major exporters there are LLC “VIRAZH” and CJSC “TERMA”. Their aggregate share in the total export in 2008 made up 17.9% and 17.2%, respectively.
Shrink Film Import
In 2008 import increased by 25.8% as compared to 2007. Such a significant growth of import is explained by the increase of domestic shrink film consumption. Although a number of new shrink film production lines was put into operation in 2007-2008, it is evident that the market is rapidly growing.
Nevertheless, it should be noted, that as compared to the domestic production, the volume of import is quite moderate, amounting to only ~ 3.7%. On the whole, the growing production of shrink film in Russia covers the growth of domestic demand.
In terms of money the import of the Russian shrink film in 2008 increased by 41.7%. The growth of import in terms of money surpassed import in natural terms, which means, that the prices for imported shrink film were growing faster than the volumes of import in natural terms.
The most part of shrink film imported by Russia, comes from Israel, China, Turkey and Finland: their shares in the total import in 2008 made up, respectively, 15.9%, 15.3%, 10.1% and 9.7%, while aggregate share increased from 47.1% in 2007 to 51% in 2008.
Apart from the above, France appears to be a major supplier of shrink film to the Russian market - its share in 2008 made up 7.8%.
It should be noted, that import from Israel and China is growing faster, than the overall volume of shrink film import.
Market Research “Russian Shrink Film Market Review in 2007-2008”
The major sellers of shrink film to Russia are P.V.RAN Ltd., Quick Pacific Ltd. and Naxan Plastic Sun Ve Tic A.S.: their aggregate share in 2008 made up 26.5% of the total volume of import.
Another large supplier is Greenhill Invest Finance Inc. Its share in the total volume of import in 2008 made up 3.3%.
Shrink Film Market Trends in Russia
Shrink film represents an innovative product in the Russian market, but it becomes widely used for packing various goods, in particular foodstuff.
Applications of shrink film in food industry are diverse, among which the most frequent are the following:
- package for bakery goods – is used to extend the shelf life of products and to add to their attractiveness;
- package for meat and poultry – is used to extend the shelf life of the product and to add attractiveness and convenience for retail sale;
- package for confectionary and semi-prepared food on trays. Combined with a rigid tray such package ensures a better quality of the preserved product as compared to regular parceling and offers more convenience to consumers in terms of package size;
- unitized package for cans, bottles, containers with strong and soft drinks etc.
In addition to this shrink film is used for packing inedible stuff. In particular, it is used for:
- packing paper stuff, such as fax machine paper, printing products, in which case low shrinkage film is used;
- packing products of radio-electronic, metal-working and light industry;
- packing household goods;
- packing chemicals, foodstuffs, medicines, perfumes;
- packing construction materials, such as plinths, fillets, platbands, drop aprons, jalousie, wall paper and other long-length items. For this group of goods film with shrinkage varying in longitudinal and transverse directions is used;
- packing video cassettes, CD, DVD, gifts etc.
Economic crisis, which started to manifest itself in late 2008, affected, inter alia, the shrink film market. One indication thereof was that for the first time in the last few years the market growth rate slowed down.
Transition to the use of multi-layer shrink film was another significant milestone in the shrink film market development. Possessing numerous advantages as compared to mono-layer film, multi-layer shrink film finds more and more applications in the sphere of package. According to experts, the share of multi-layer shrink film in 2008 made up 25% of the whole market volume. Almost all the companies, which launched the production of shrink film in the recent 2-3 years, preferably produce multi-layer film.