Reduce Total Manufacturing Costs with Automatic Impulse Sealers

Reduce Total Manufacturing Costs with Automatic Impulse Sealers

Automatic impulse sealers can reduce overhead through higher output, improve quality and reduce labor costs.

In an increasingly challenging business environment, manufacturing enterprises implement automation to shave costs and seek production efficiencies. While the automation of core production processes are a necessary albeit expensive undertaking in both time and capital investment, packaging process automation usually can be accomplished in part with low-cost, turnkey systems such as automatic impulse sealers.

The Basics of Impulse Sealing Technology
For many decades, impulse-sealing technology has been a reliable, packaging solution for sealing mono- and multiple-layered, thermoplastic materials such as, polyethylene or polypropylene (poly bags), polyvinyl, polyolefin, and laminations. Since these materials require a fairly low temperature to melt and form a secure bond, impulse sealers are a practical sealing solution for these materials.

All impulse sealers use a controller to generate short-term, synchronized and intermittent electrical pulses that energize a heating wire or strip embedded in the sealer to melt and fuse the materials together. When the heating wire is de-energized, the cooling cycle is initiated and it is during this time period a solid, secure, airtight and watertight bond is formed. This intermittent heating cycle can be varied to adjust to different types and thickness of materials. Since they are only consuming energy during the heating cycle, their energy consumption is minimal (when compared to direct or constant heat sealers).

Automatic Impulse Sealers
While the most common impulse sealers are hand-operated, these manual devices are not well suited for high-speed, packaging operations that require both continuous and repeatable sealing. In these situations, an automatic impulse sealer is best applied because it can be programmed and adjusted to accommodate different production runs and materials. Materials up to 15 mm in width (20 mm for heavy duty applications) and 40 inches in length can be sealed, depending on the machine model and manufacturer. In addition, they can achieve up to 50 sealing operations per minute or 2,000 per hour. This formidable rate would require several workers to match, hence, can be a labor, cost saving solution.

Most automatic impulse sealers are flexible machines with increased sealing capabilities that can be set up for both semi-automated operation via a foot pedal control and unassisted automatic operation. Learning to set up the machine requires a minimal amount of training and entails selecting the mode of operation, setting the sealing rate, which depends on the thickness of the material to be sealed, and programming the timer for congealing, heating, and recycling operations.

The maintenance of automatic impulse sealers amounts to inspection and periodic cleaning. Replacement of the heating element may be required but can be easily be performed by an in-house maintenance technician.

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