Impulse Sealers: Low Maintenance and High Return on Investment

Impulse Sealers: Low Maintenance and High Return on Investment

For heat sealers, the cost of maintenance is negligible when compared to other types of packaging equipment.

Calculating the total cost of ownership from initial capital outlay to return on investment (ROI) cannot be fully determined without taking into account maintenance costs, both preventative and corrective. For impulse sealers, the cost of maintenance is negligible when compared to other types of packaging equipment.

Primary Maintenance
From a maintenance management point of view, a heat sealer is an electro-mechanical device with the heating surface being the most susceptible to breakdown over the course of the machine’s operating lifespan. Hence, a preventative maintenance program should frequently include inspection and cleaning of the heating surface. Ensure its teflon or rubber parts of this surface are clean and free of moisture will prevent warping and premature wear. Upon inspection, if the rubber strip is burned or torn, replacement is required.

The active component of a heat sealer is the heating element or wire. Due to normal wear, tear and usage, this component can breakdown. The integrity of the heating wire should be investigated when sealing quality is reduced. If timer adjustment or calibration can improve sealing quality and the jaws/clamping assembly provides the necessary pressure to hold the materials to the heating surface, then a heating wire replacement would be warranted.

Replacing the heating element or nichrome wire consists of removing the teflon tape and plates first and then removing the screws that are holding it in place. Reverse the process to install the new wire, the tape and binding plates. Finally, energize the heat sealer to verify normal operation.

Secondary Maintenance
While the mechanical components of the heat sealer require little or no maintenance, they should be cleaned and manipulated to verify their integrity and freedom of movement. Units with cutters, foot pedals and advanced controls should be inspected and repaired accordingly. There is no maintenance for the timer or heating controller; however, if failure is suspected, replacement is advised. Since automatic impulse sealers are flexible devices that can be programmed for a variety of materials and applications, improper set up or programming can appear as an operational failure. Re-examine the programming to ensure this is not the source of the apparent failure. Finally, ensure that normal electrical power (120/220vac) within operating parameters is applied to the machine. Power or electrical ground faults will prevent normal operation.

Correcting Operational Failures: Burning and Sticking

To the untrained observer or new operator, imperfect seals in the form of burning or sticking can be misinterpreted as unit failures requiring maintenance, while, in reality, they are usually the result of improper adjustment or set up. A heat sealer is a time synchronized device the heats and cools in a coordinated sequence. If the system is set up for too long of a heating or cooling period for a specific type and width of material, burning or sticking will result. Burning is the result of too long a heating cycle while sticking is a red flag for too long a cooling period.

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