The most frequent problem in the sealing process is sealing failure. Many times, it is not the machine’s fault per se but rather incorrect adjustments made to the machine, although failures are often case by case. There are many types of packing machines but all of them use heat to close the bag. The good news is that there are measures that you can take when experiencing sealing failure.
Sealing Failures: When a Malfunction isn’t Always a Malfunction
Japan is the global leader in food packaging since the advent of it in the 1960s. Their technology is world class. But even the top-notch Japanese technology cannot avoid sealing failure. Sealing failure can take many forms including wrinkles, scratches, and incomplete sealing.
Of course, profitability is decreased by product loss due to sealing failure, but in the era of food safety, having faulty seals can cause public relations problems with consumers or even worse, a person could get sick.
How to Combat Sealing Failure
A packing machine malfunction isn’t always a malfunction. Often a minor adjustment to the machine or proper maintenance can correct the problem. As you know, food packaging film can vary widely in thickness, so it is extremely important to ensure the machine’s settings are accurate to accommodate the film. If not, a failure is sure to happen.
Other common causes of failure:
- Improper cleaning of parts could cause product contamination or scratches. It is a problem if contaminants get into the seal part, many times through sloppy maintenance. In addition, material residues can scratch the bags, so you must thoroughly clean all parts. It is critical to always check the cutter blade and apply sufficient grease. Teflon tape and conveyor belt damage can also cause sealing malfunctions, so replace them as necessary.
- Static electricity is a problem and can result in wrinkles. If static electricity isn’t eliminated, the film may stick and cause wrinkles. When utilizing a vertical machine, wrinkles are likely and the contents will affix to the bag even during filling, resulting in poor sealing and presentation. Use a static eliminator at the most effective time; during storage where dust is easily attached, when the machine forms the cylindrical tube, or just before sealing. Films are easily affected by static electricity, so make sure you keep it from gathering.
- Using the wrong sealing temperature is a big no-no. There are dozens of types of films, and if not utilized at the proper temperature – determined by material and/or thickness – unevenness or shrinkage will occur and most likely will cause sealing failure.
- We all know higher bag-making speed improves efficiency. But not utilizing accurate sealing time is going to wipe any efficiencies out because of seal breaks. The most common issue when sealing time is off is seal peeling. And if the strength of the seal becomes weaker, it can burst on impact even if it appears sealed. To counter this, we can improve performance by increasing the temperature difference between the film on the printed surface and the sealant surface. Also, by choosing a box-motion-type machine with a longer sealing period, instead of a rotary motion type that often does not have sufficient sealing strength.
Tamarack Offers Finishing Equipment
Tamarack Products was founded in 1969 and is a leading global manufacturer of specialized equipment used in the packaging, label, and business form industries.
Recognized worldwide for providing high-quality machinery, Tamarack designs and manufactures systems for inline film/window patching, RFID inlay insertion systems, web finishing equipment and more. We offer more than 50 years of experience in designing, engineering, and manufacturing patching, gluing, and die cutting equipment that adds value with elements such as RFID inlay insertion, see-through windows in envelopes and cartons, and adding cards and labels to business forms.
Tamarack offers more than 50 years of experience in designing, engineering, and manufacturing inline and offline patching equipment. Our technicians provide installation and testing to ensure that your equipment is operating correctly and ready to support your process. Contact us to speak with an engineer about the most efficient web finishing solutions including window patching.