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Reducing Shrink Film Waste and Cost with Shrink It Right

Case Study: Cucumber Grower


Crawford Packaging recently worked with a cucumber grower and packer to improve their shrink wrap packaging. The Grower was experiencing poor shrink wrap packaging as a result of inefficient equipment training, and improper shrink film sizing.

During a Shrink It Right audit, the Grower’s Packaging Specialist noted the final package was not a representation of what their shrink wrapper was capable of. He also discovered that the Grower was producing large amounts of shrink film waste. Following the audit, the Packaging Specialist met with the Grower’s Production Manager to discuss viable solutions. Following the audit, the Grower switched to a shorter roll of GrowPack Shrink Film that was better suited for their cucumbers.

Green English Cucumbers on Conveyor Towards Shrink Wrapper Produce Packaging Machine


A Grower and Packer of cucumbers was experiencing poor shrink wrap quality. Due to poor shrink wrap sizing and improper equipment training, the Grower’s final product appearance was not to the quality offered by their Shanklin TR2 Shrink Wrapper and Shrink Tunnel system. The Grower was using a 14” shrink film for their freshly picked cucumbers. The 60 gauge, 14” film size was too large for their pack and was producing high amounts of shrink film waste.


A Crawford Packaging Specialist visited the Grower’s greenhouse to perform a Shrink It Right audit. The audit is part of Crawford’s Keep it Right philosophy that promotes regular reviews of packaging materials and processes. It ensures a process of continual improvement and enables Packaging Specialist to identify opportunities for improvement. During the audit, the Packaging Specialist noted the Grower’s shrink wrapper was producing high levels of wasted film. This was a sign that the Grower’s film was too big for the pack.

The Packaging Specialist recognized that the Grower’s shrink wrap machine was not properly optimized, impacting the Grower’s final product. The lack of optimization was due to the equipment operator not being sufficiently trained on the machine. The Packaging Specialist advised the Grower on the benefits of Crawford’s Packaging Equipment Training Program and how it would improve and maintain shrink wrap performance.


Shrink It Right

The Shrink It Right program audits existing shrink wrap practices, materials and equipment. The program will identify areas of inefficiency and offers improvements to increase productivity and reduce per pack costs. Shrink It Right has helped a wide variety of clients from e-commerce fulfillment centres to food processors. Through the Shrink It Right program, our clients have realized savings of up to 30%.

english cucumbers on retail shelf packed in growpack shrink wrap packaging

GrowPack Shrink Film

Crawford GrowPack Shrink Films are easy to use and have the strength of films twice the thickness. A thinner film allows manufacturers to hold more film per role, increasing roll yield and decreasing downtime. These films have high clarity and offer incredible optics to enhance shelf impact on the retail shelves. GrowPack Shrink Films are specifically designed to perform well on a variety of high-speed shrink packaging equipment. GrowPack Shrink Films are stocked in 15", 16”, 17”, 18” and 19” with custom sizes available.

Crawford’s Packaging Equipment Training Program

One of the best ways to ensure that your packaging machine is effective and safe is to use Crawford Packaging’s equipment training program. Our factory trained, and certified technicians work closely with equipment operators and maintenance teams to ensure a complete understanding of your equipment. With detailed training, operators and maintenance teams can ensure proper product output, pack quality and equipment efficiency.


Following the audit, the Grower changed their shrink film to a low gauge, 12 inch GrowPack Shrink Film. This knowledge-based and impactful solution helped the Grower to increase their shrink-wrapping productivity, reduce shrink film waste and reduce their shrink film cost per pack.

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Reduced Packaging Waste

By lowering their roll size from 14 inch to 12 inch the Grower has significantly reduced their packaging waste. Less trimming is required per pack making for a much more efficient use of materials. The lower film gauging reduced the Grower’s waste, as less material is used per foot of film created.

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Increased Productivity

Moving to a lower gauge shrink film greatly increased the Grower's film yield per roll. The Grower’s original rolls of 60-gauge film had 4,375 feet of film per roll. The low gauge GrowPack Shrink Film offers the Grower yields of 6,250 feet per roll, an increase of 43%. With 17 inch of film used per pack, this has increased the packs per roll from 3,088 packs to 4,411. The increased packs per roll reduce the number of roll changes throughout the day and reduce the Grower’s downtime.

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Reduced Cost

The lower gauge, accurately sized film, has provided the Grower with an impactful reduction to their shrink film costs. The new film has helped the Grower to reduce their cost down to 2.8¢ per pack. Based on their annual production levels, the Grower is seeing annual savings of $12,000 on shrink film alone.

Crawford Packaging is a full-service packaging company located in London, Brampton and Waterloo, Ontario. From packaging to packaging equipment, installation and upgrades, and in-person equipment training and repair, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.