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Technical Information

Shrink Film Q & A

As a potential Ameri-Seal customer, and user of heat shrink labels, it would be beneficial for you to take a moment and think about the following questions before you start:

Calculating Layflat

Steps to Calculating the Layflat Using The
Circumference of the Container.

Measuring Cap-Shrink Bands

Easy Reference for
Standard Cap Sizes

Artwork Guidelines

Artwork Guidelines for Seamed Shrink Sleeve Material.

Rotogravure Printed Shrink Film

In rotogravure printing, the image is engraved onto a cylinder because, like offset printing and flexography, it uses a rotary printing press.

Shrink Flim Q & A

  • What type of container are you considering the seal or closure for? (i.e. bottle, jar, box)
  • Are you going to cover the whole bottle or jar, etc. or just the top?  This will help determine if need a Cut Band, Neck Band, Full Sleeve, Printed shrink sleeve, Multi-Pack or Specialty Band.
  • Will you be sealing more than one product together?  If so this is what we call a Promotional Multi-Pack shrink sleeve.
  • Is it a bulky or hard to cover item? (i.e. baseball bat, ball, shoe, children’s bank, toy, etc.)  If so this is what we call a Specialty shrink sleeve.  Our film also helps resist scuffs when wrapped around hard to ship items.
  • Can you send us a sample of the product to be sealed, or two, or three?  This is the best way to insure that your product can be measured and sealed properly.  We will size it for you, free of charge, seal it and send it back within 48 hours.
  • How will you be shrinking the seals, bands, and/or shrink sleeve?  With a hand held heat gun or automatic equipment?
  • Will you want the shrink sleeve to be colored or clear?  Printed or non-printed, with your own verbiage or Ameri-Seal, Inc. standard stock prints? (Call Customer Service for standard stock prints and colors that Ameri-Seal.
  • How about a perforation (a perf or die cut allowing easier removal) on your product’s seal? Vertical or Horizontal?  Single or Double, or how about a Pull Tab?
  • What quantity should you order?  What type of film should you use?  How should you seal it? 

Rotogravure Printed Shrink Film

Rotogravure (roto or gravure for short) is a type of intaglio printing process, which involves engraving the image onto an image carrier. In rotogravure printing, the image is engraved onto a cylinder because, like offset printing and flexography, it uses a rotary printing press.

Rotogravure Process and Components

In direct rotogravure printing, the ink is applied directly to the cylinder and from the cylinder it is transferred to the substrate. One printing unit consists of the following components:

  • an engraved cylinder (also known as "gravure cylinder") whose circumference can differ according to the layout of the product being made.
  • an ink fountain
  • a doctor blade assembly
  • an impression roller
  • a dryer

Ameri-Seal presently prints up to
ten (10) colors on this computerized
Rotogravure Press.

Metal Etched Cylinders
are used to create designs
for meticulous print quality.

Ameri-Seal uses
solvent based inks which
dry immediately.

Printing registration is
extremely important
and is continuously monitored
throughout print run.

Engraved cylinder

The first step of Gravure is to create the cylinder with the engraved images that need to be printed: the engraving process will create on the cylinder surface the cells that will contain the ink in order to transfer it to the Shrink Film. Since the amount of ink contained in the cells corresponds to different colour intensities on Shrink Film, the dimensions of the cells must be carefully set: deeper or larger cells will produce more intense colours whereas smaller cells will produce less intense ones.   There are three methods of photoengraving that have been used for engraving of rotogravure cylinders, where the cell open size or the depth of cells can be uniform or variable. Rotogravure cylinders are usually made of steel and plated with copper, though other materials, e.g. ceramics can also be used. The desired pattern is achieved by engraving with a laser or a diamond tool, or by chemical etching.


The rotogravure printing process is the most popular printing process used in flexible-packaging manufacturing, because of its ability to print on thin film such as PETg or PVC, which come in a wide range of thicknesses, commonly 10 to 76 micrometers. Other appreciated features include:

  • printing cylinders that can last through large-volume runs without the image degrading
  • good quality image reproduction
  • low per-unit costs running high volume production