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How Much Does a Shrink Wrap Machine Cost?

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We get it. A shrink wrap machine might not be the most exciting purchase for your business. But in most cases, it is a necessity. It’s something that will substantially speed-up your manufacturing processes and protect your products from damage. Shrink-wrapped products might even be something your client requires.

Ultimately, a shrink wrap machine should offer a healthy return on investment, without it, you could risk damaging your products, wasting time packing manually, or lose out on important business contracts due to something as simple as the packaging.

We work with our clients to establish the best shrink wrap machine for them. Cost is a factor, as is the nature of their business and their requirements. For example, a client may invest in a more expensive machine, that wraps products faster than the cheaper varieties, saving them so much time and therefore money in the long run.

We pride ourselves in getting to know your business and being upfront and transparent with our prices, which is exactly why we’ve put together this post.

How much do Shrink Wrap Machines Cost?

The cost of a shrink wrap machine depends on a number of factors. At the very least, a machine may cost you between £2000-£4000 for a basic machine. On the other hand we’ve built machines that cost upwards of £40K before now. But what is the difference?

Cheap Shrink Wrap Machines.

The cheapest shrink wrap machine we provide is probably our Chamber Machine. The cost of this new is usually between £2000-£4000. This shrink wrap machine is usually a ‘starter machine’, it can wrap 8 items a minute and requires significant management.

Truly Bespoke Shrink Wrap Machines

Now these machines really do vary, but we can tell you that the most expensive machine we’ve ever made was £40,000+. This was an Automatic In-Line Sleeve Sealer for a well-known company–a large, robust, bespoke, solid machine that needed to handle a lot of products. They needed the machine to run by itself with very little manpower.

What Makes a Machine More Expensive?

Shrink wrapped bottle moving on conveyor beltA number of things can add cost to a shrink wrap machine, including:

Wrapping Speed

Our Chamber Shrink Wrap machines can wrap approx. 8 items a minute, our automatic sealers can wrap up to 30 per minute. The faster the machine, generally the higher the price. That price has to be weighed up. Will a faster machine provide a healthier return on investment? Getting products out there more quickly is clearly beneficial.


Some machines, like the Chamber Shrink Wrap Machine, require management. You will need to place the product into the machine and judge where the shrink wrap needs cutting. With semi-automatic machines, less management is required, and many machines we manufacture require very little to no management at all. Again, this is a task of weighing up your priorities and ROI. Is it worth paying someone to manage the machine? Or would it be more cost-effective to buy an automatic version instead?

Size of the Machine

We can wrap products as large as a king-size mattress. But, put simply, the bigger the machine, the higher the cost. There are more materials and parts needed to build a machine as complex as this one.

Transportation Costs

Large, bespoke shrink wrap machines obviously can’t be sent by Royal Mail! Transportation costs can add to the overall cost of a shrink wrap machine. We’ve supplied to companies all over the world, which required sea travel to deliver the product.

For the majority of my clients, the decision is between cost of running vs cost of machine.

Pricing example

[easy-pricing-table id=”392″]

Manual Machine

1 person managing and maintaining the machine at a cost of approx. £15,000 per year delivers 8 products per minute. The cost of the machine might be between £2000-£4000

Total Cost – Minimum of £17,000 for the first year and £15,000 per year thereafter.

Products – Based on 5 hours a day (on average) – 2400 a day

Total cost after 3 years £47,000

Automatic Machine

Minimal management and maintenance. Costs £1,000 per year, delivers 30 products per minute.

The cost of the machine might be £30,000.

Total Cost – Minimum of £31,000 for the first year and £1,000 per year thereafter.

Products – Based on 5 hours a day (on average) – 9000 products a day

Total cost after 3 years £33,000

Essentially, it’s a number crunching exercise! But you may find that a higher priced machine, actually saves you thousands in the long run.

How Long Does It Take To Make a Machine?

As we make the machines ourselves, rather than importing, machines can take between 4-12 weeks depending on what you need…

Small Chamber Machines: Approx. 4 weeks

Mid-Range, L Sealer and Tunnel Machines: 8 weeks

Large Automatic System: 12-14 weeks

For companies who buy in machines, these times may be shorter or longer, depending on their providers.

What to Watch Out For When Buying A Shrink Wrapping Machine

With very cheap machines, you may find that the company you’re using is buying from Italian/French/British companies, but the actual machines and parts are made in elsewhere. This can sometimes become problem when parts get damaged or broken. Sometimes, agencies change hands and the specific parts for that machine become unavailable. No matter who you’re investing with, always ask what the provisions are for damaged parts and products and the help you will receive in fixing any issues.

What Makes Uwrap Different?

We, like many of our clients, are manufacturers ourselves. We make 80% of our machines. The other 20% is usually for very urgent enquiries, where a machine is needed very quickly, but we’ll always a reliable supplier. But for all standard requests we make the machine ourselves.

This means that if two years down the line a part becomes damaged, we have the know-how and ability to make another, install it quickly and get your machine working again. We also have experienced engineers who can answer any questions and are only a phone call away.

Where to Go From Here

The key is to find the right shrink wrap machine that will provide you a return on investment. I would have a think about your priorities. Do you need a robust machine that needs little management and wraps lots of products? Or do you simply need a small machine that can reliably wrap a low number of products.

If you want to talk it through, give us a call on 01253 300400 and we’d be more than happy to help. We’ve helped businesses with small budgets, through our rental or second-hand machines, or large corporations with specific shrink wrapping needs.

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