Sealing Machines: Operations, Specifications and ApplicationsEngineering360 News Desk | July 16, 2015
Sealing machines close and seal an individual package or provide a long continuous horizontal or vertical seal. There are many different types of sealers. Sealing machinery that combines form, fill, and seal functions is also available. Some sealing machines transport the plastic film horizontally, while others transport vertically.
- Seal-only equipment wraps or secures products, but does not form packages or fill them.
- Manual sealing machines aid only in the setting or holding of products.
- Semi-automatic sealers help with both packaging and placement, allowing a single operator to perform several activities with greater speed and accuracy.
- Fully automatic sealing equipment requires limited operator intervention. Typically, operators need only to replenish packaging components by loading supply hoppers or removing completed cartons.
One of the main differences between a semi-automatic and fully automatic sealing machine is that, fully automatic sealers close all of the flaps, including the leading, trailing and side flaps before taping, while semi-automatic sealers tape only the top and bottom.
Sealing machines are used to seal containers with liquids, granules, powders and sprays for consumer, bulk, and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supply shipments. Packaging materials include aerosol containers, bags and pouches, blister packs, bottles and jars, as well as cartons and boxes. Some sealing machine suppliers provide related packaging equipment. Equipment that can be used in conjunction with sealing machines includes accumulators, batching machines, bagging machines, banders, sleevers, and box making equipment. (Click here for a video on the usage of tray sealing machine)
Selecting a sealing machine requires an analysis of specifications, features, and applications. Fully automated sealing machines list the rate, which is usually measured in pieces per minute. Some sealing equipment is made from stainless steel for improved corrosion resistance.
- Integral feeders and computer interfaces that link to a control network can be found in some automated machines.
- Aseptic or sanitary sealing machines are easy to clean and designed in a manner that inhibits the growth or presence of pathogenic microorganisms.
- Portable sealing machinery is lightweight or includes wheels or casters for ease of movement.
Sealing machines are used widely in the chemical, medical, and pharmaceutical industries. Sealing machines are also used to process food, beverages, cosmetics, electronics, and semiconductors.
- End of line machines get the package ready for shipment. This may include bundlers (also called sleeve wrappers), palletizers, pallet wrappers, and the conveyor system needed to transport the products. Additional equipment is used to apply labels or print on the box.
- Uniform case sealers should be used for production runs of cases of the same size. They can be physically reset between cases of boxes.
- Random case sealers are used when the size of each box can vary randomly, such as in order picking warehouses. The machine automatically adjusts to the size of the box as presented. Random case sealers are for lower volumes and more expensive than uniform case sealers.
- Standup pouch filling machines are used for products displaying on a shelf (i.e. bottled products). They use individual bags which are fed into the machine. Standup sealers can be used to fill powders, granules, or liquids into the pouch.
Sealing machine must adhere to certain standards to ensure proper design and safe handling. MIL-S-4461 discusses sealing machines using heat to create the seal and MIL-S-22783 is used for jaw type sealing machines.