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Overwrapping and Shrink Wrapping: Pros and Cons

Film Wrapping – A Versatile Packaging

Film wrapping is one of the secondary-packaging processes which is versatile and can enhance the visual appearance, duration of conservation of the product, the status of hygiene and clearance… for which features it is widely used on foods for its perishable feature, and cosmetics and luxuries products for their needs to give superior visual appeal.

Overwrapping and Shirnk Wrapping
Among the packaging styles of film wrapping, there are two highlighted kinds of film wrapping packaging which are Overwrapping (Overwrap Packaging) and Shrink Wrapping, and sometimes they can be confusing for people to decide which one to turn to.

In this article, we are going to discuss and talk about the features of both of them, as well as the difference, pros and cons of Overwrapping and Shrink Wrapping




I. Definition of Overwrapping Packaging and Shrink Wrapping

What is Overwrap Packaging?

Overwrapping Packaging

Overwrap packaging, known also as cellophane overwrapping, is only feasible for products with flat sides, or say, those that come in cubic or cuboid shapes.

A piece of film is to be wrapped over the product and the fringes and leftover parts are folded and sealed on the two end sides of the product thus forming a diamond-like sealing style which is also called Tuck and Fold Seals (also known as cigarette-style seals).

But in some other cases, companies, for example, such as Tecma Aries, may also refer to overwrap packaging as some kind of packaging where containers such as bottles, cups, soft drinks, and ready meals are wrapped by a piece of cardboard sleeve with bottom gluing.


shrink wrappingShrink wrapping, on the other hand, is not restricted to cubic or cuboid shapes items or is ideal for both food and non-food products regardless of its size, style, shape…

The shrink wrapping is during a process in which a product goes through a tunnel where it is covered over by a plastic film bag. The film is then heated to shrink tightly around and product and then an L-shaped sealing line is formed by which the film wrapping packaging can be torn.


II. Benefits and Disadvantages of Overwrapping and Shrink Wrapping

Both overwrapping and shrink wrapping offer some advantages in terms of manufacturing.

The advantageous features of overwrapping packaging are as follow:

  • Promotional Features and Attractiveness:
    Overwrapping packaging principally focuses on giving the product a sense of luxury and superiority. A decent and sleek packaging look is created with the diamond-like seal style / cigarette-style seal formed and the product looks in a neat and high-quality finish.
  • Versatility: 
    Overwrapping packaging is not only restricted to the secondary packaging but also the primary packaging such as that for soap. Whatsmore, it is also applicable for multipack overwrapping in order to bundle several products together.
  • Containment-Proof:
    Overwrapping keeps the content from dirt for exterior context.

The advantages of shrink-wrapping are as listed below:

  • Wide application:
    In contrast with overwrapping packaging which can only be used for cubic or cuboid items, shrink wrapping can be applied for products of miscellaneous shapes and styles. Shrink wrapping can be also used for larger size objects.
  • Protection:
    While the main purpose of overwrapping packaging is to give a sense of luxury, shrink wrapping attaches more importance to protecting the object from dirt during storage and transportation.
overwrapping and srhink wrapping


Think about only the advantages of overwrapping and shrink wrapping may not help in terms of choosing the right method of film wrapping packaging since each of them has some disadvantages as well. Following we’d mention some shortcomings of overwrapping and shrink wrapping.

The disadvantages of overwrapping are:

  • Restriction: Only restricted to cubic or cuboid-shaped objects
  • Cost of automation: Overwrapping machines cost usually more than shrink wrapping machines
  • Size tolerance: not an ideal form of packaging on large items

Those of shrink-wrapping are:

  • Extra high temperature: to form the shrink wrap that temperature should be raised up to 180 degrees on which level toxic emission may produce when the material used is the polyolefin.
  • Energy consumption: the heating process of shrink wrapping consumes more energy than overwrapping does.

III. General Differences between Overwrapping and Shrink Wrapping

To put it in a word, it is important to know clearly the pros and cons of overwrapping and shrink wrapping and have a clear idea about the differences between them. Generally, shrink wrapping applies accommodates almost all kinds of products regardless of shape, styles while overwrapping is only applied for cubic and cuboid objects. Additionally, overwrapping is a better choice when it is preferred that the product should look more neat and decent to give better visual appeal while.

IV. ÉLTER´s Overwrapping Packaging Automation Solution

Automatic Overwrapping Machine

Great aesthetics, excellent and reliable performance, easy operation… ÉLITER is committed to offering our clients with best-of-class overwrapping packaging machinery.

With the endeavor of three generations of family business experience and cutting-edge technology and the dedication of a team with experienced engineers and technicians, we ÉLITER is at your service to enhance overwrapping packaging automation in your production.



Our leading position in the market in terms of overwrapping packaging solution is highlighted by BT-2000L Automatic Overwrapping Machine which is the top leading overwrapping equipment that demonstrates a higher level of performance thanks to the improved film infeeding function with ÉLITER´s patented technique Tri.Driver® installed. As a result, BT-2000L makes a tight and beautiful finished wrap on every item with an output up to 100 overwraps per minute.

  • Unparalleled output (compared with old-design overwrappers in the Chinese market)reaching up to 100 wraps/minute while rendering a perfect wrapping performance
  • Advanced film infeed system that enhances film infeed stability when working at high speed
  • Incorporated with our patented technique Tri.Driver®
  • Adjustable structure that enables quick format change to cover various product sizes.
  • Turret wrapping process and up-to-date turret design that calls for only 1/3 of format components cost in contrast with older-design overwrappers in the market

Get in contact with our team for more information. For more details you may also refer to our articles are follow:

About the Authors

Zixin Yuan
Digital Marketing Coordinator
* Graduate of Ningbo University

Zixin Yuan gots her Graduate's Degree in International Business from Ningbo University. She is CEFR C2 certified in English with CPE by Cambridge University and responsible for digital marketing at ÉLITER Packaging Machienry.
Zixin Yuan - LinkedIn

Zhiwei Bao
Company Owner
* Msc.
* University of Granada
* University of Vigo
* Interdisciplinary expertise in packaging, SME management, international business
* Past experience at Hapag-Lloyd, ZIM and Kuehne+Nagel

Company owner at ÉLITER Packaging Machinery, a mark of Huaneng Machinery. He is the third generation of the family business. He got the Msc. degree from the University of Granada and University of Vigo. He worked at several world´s leading companies in international shipping including HLAG, ZIM and K+N before taking over the family business in packaging automation.                           
Zhiwei Bao - LinkedIn

About the Company
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd
No.1088, Jing Ye Rd, Economic Development Zone, Dong Shan District, Ruian Wenzhou Zhejiang, China 325200
+86 (0577) 6668 2128
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery