Press Release

PDC’s R-300 Shrink Labeler and New KST Steam Shrink Tunnel – Just the Coverup for Tricky Sunscreen Bottles 

Contact:  Michael Johnston (203) 853-1516, ext. 226

Norwalk, CT (March 10, 2020) – When a leading manufacturer of personal care products needed reliable equipment to apply shrink sleeve labels to its sunscreen brands, it turned to PDC International, a world leader in shrink sleeve labeling and shrink tunnel technology. PDC’s R-300 shrink labeler and new version of the KST 140-712 steam tunnel delivered, overcoming two difficult issues of packaging shape and varying weight. PDC also delivered huge cost savings versus the previous In-Mold and PS labeling methods.

The project offered a number of challenges to shrink sleeving. For one, the oval plastic bottles included contoured finger grips on both sides, into which the label had to consistently shrink. In addition, the manufacturer required that they be able to run the line with both full and empty bottles, wanting to pre-decorate some products prior to filling and capping.

PDC’s R-300 TS-CB shrink labeler proved ideal for the shrink sleeve application. This R-300 model includes timing screws and proprietary cleated belt system for extremely precise product handling. This provided very tight side to side and vertical graphic placement tolerances. PDC built the systems with capabilities to label both empty and full bottles. Empty bottles are run in pucks, which transport and stabilize the bottles on the line during the labeling and shrinking process, while full bottles run directly on the conveyor. Line speeds are 250 bpm. 

PDC’s agile new KST-140-712 Steam Shrink Tunnel was chosen to complete the labeling process. This is a five-zone system tunnel, with thermostatically controlled zones, plus pre- and post-shrink zones. Each run is externally accessible in order to adjust steam flow and rotary position, allowing adjustments to be made without waiting for the tunnel to cool.

Key to this project was the addition of a motorized steam tunnel lift system enabling the tunnel to be easily lifted above the conveyor for clearing and maintenance. PDC also developed a custom de-pucking and sorting system for the empty bottles that removes the labeled bottles from the puck with inclined gripper belts, and counts and sorts bottles into designated boxes.

The end results are perfectly fitting shrink sleeves on either full or empty containers, which offered dramatic savings versus prior labeling methods.

PDC International Corp. is a world leader in shrink sleeve labeling and tamper evident neck banding technology for packaging in the food, beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical industries. For more information, contact Gary Tantimonico at PDC International at 203-853-1516, Or visit

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