Troubleshooting Extra Layers of Film at the End Seal – Part 3 of 4

Optimizing Set-Up and Adjustment of Crimpers, Sealing Jaws, and Knives

The first two parts of this series explored the potential problems created by end seal wrinkles and creases and ways to eliminate or reduce them on horizontal flow wrappers (Part 1) and vertical baggers (Part 2). In some situations wrinkles or creases are unavoidable, and, even without those issues, most packages have the inevitable transition between multiple film layers created by either a fin or a lap seal.  This can make it more difficult to achieve quality seals, and attempts to do so can lead to additional issues:

 Excess pressure can easily crush or split the end seal.

 Overheating distorts the seal and can cause poor hot tack, where the film springs back open, or “moons,” before the seal can set.

The operating window for creating quality seals can be elusive, resulting in packages that leak or are distorted and either fail to protect the product or have little appeal to consumers.

This post reviews some of the detailed solutions in Greener Corporation’s Knowledge Center that will help you seal over extra layers of film at the end seal by refining the set-up and adjustment of crimpers, sealing jaws, and knives.

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Troubleshooting Extra Layers of Film at the End Seal – Part 1 of 4

Refining and Eliminating Wrinkles and Creases on Horizontal Flow Wrappers

Varying thicknesses of film at the end seal can cause sealing problems, especially at the transition point between two and four layers created by the fin seal, gussets, wrinkles and creases, as well at the corners. Applications of pressure and heat (if applicable) must be great enough to cause the sealant layer to flow into and seal off these voids. Excess pressure can easily crush or split the end seal, while overheating distorts the seal and can cause poor hot tack, where the film springs back open, or “moons,” before the seal can set.

Package Quality Issues_Greener Corporation

The operating window for creating quality seals can be elusive, resulting in packages that leak, are distorted, and have little appeal to consumers.

An important step in troubleshooting these issues is to eliminate unintended wrinkles and creases. This post, the first in a four-part series, will examine this process on horizontal flow wrappers; Part 2 considers these issues on vertical baggers.

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Optimizing Knife and Anvil Set-Up on Horizontal Wrappers

Set-up procedures for knives and anvils can vary according to the make and model of the packaging machine, knife adjustment style, and other factors. There are, however, some general principles that make these adjustments more effective and efficient, reducing downtime and parts costs.


Diagonal Zig Zag Knife for Horizontal Wrapper_Greener Corporation
  Optimize Knife Design

  • Knives ground on a diagonal, or bias–whether they have a zig zag or a straight cutting edge–require less pressure to cut so they are easier to set up and typically last longer.
  • Zig zag knives with smaller (more) teeth are also easier to set up and provide longer life.

  Set Up the Crimpers First

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HEAT: Improving Seal Quality and Consistency

For heat seal applications, each packaging film structure has a Seal Initiation Temperature (SIT), at which the sealant layer is heated enough to flow into and seal off gaps in the end seal and provide a minimally acceptable seal, and a Maximum Temperature, beyond which the film distorts, fractures, or has inadequate hot tack (seal strength and integrity while the seal is still warm). The temperature range between the minimum and maximum is the film’s Operating Window.

For a number of reasons, regulating heat is not as straightforward as simply adjusting the temperature setting within the operating window for the film you are running.

 The sealing face of crimpers and sealing jaws is often hotter in the middle than at the ends, where heat dissipates more quickly. These inconsistencies are readily apparent in the thermal profile shown below:

Stainless Steel Crimper Thermal Profile

Stainless Steel Crimper Thermal Profile

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Case Study: Packaging Material Cost Reduction

Project Goals

The corporate engineering department at a large, international company commenced a project to reduce material costs for a variety of products that are individually packaged on horizontal flow wrappers. Greener Corporation was invited to participate in a series of meetings that defined the project’s initial goals:material cost reduction_Greener Corporation

  • To reduce the cut-off length for each package by reducing the overall seal width, thus allowing the product envelope to remain unchanged.
  • To achieve material savings without degrading seal integrity or productivity levels.
  • To achieve a project payback period of twelve months or less.

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Clearance and Pressure on Horizontal Wrappers: What’s the Difference?

Greener’s latest “Tech Bites” video explains how proper clearance and pressure adjustments optimize horizontal flow wrapper performance.

Clearance and pressure settings on horizontal flow wrappers are critical for achieving quality packages, minimizing downtime, and controlling costs. We’ve noticed that the differences between clearance and pressure, and the proper occasions to adjust each of them, are not always clear to those making these adjustments. Greener’s latest “Tech Bites” video and blog post differentiate the function and adjustment of clearance and pressure. Read more

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White Papers: From Problem Solving to Proactive Improvement

Greener Corporation has published a series of white papers devised to help optimize package quality and productivity on horizontal and vertical form fill seal packaging lines. In addition to helping you solve problems, these technical articles provide foundational information you can use to implement proactive improvements—an approach that helps deter problems from occurring in the first place.

End Seal Leaks at the Fin Seal Fold

End Seal Leaks at the Fin Seal Fold

Serration Pattern Design

Serration Pattern Design

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