Many advances have been made in packaging technology over the past few decades. This blog series takes a deeper look into the technological advances in three main packaging processes: void fill, carton sealing and pallet wrapping.
A Closer Look at the Carton Sealing Process and New Technology
Once the carton has been filled, the next step is to secure the top/bottom of the carton. Common methods include tape or glue. Gluing systems are typically used in manufacturing environments, where processes are automated.
Two types of carton sealing tape are generally available:
- Paper tape (gum tape, water activated tape or reinforced gum tape) – it is know is a great way to secure the top/bottom of the box. It also provides tamper evident protection. Unfortunately, in a high volume applications, this can slow down the process.
- Polyprogylene Tape or Poly Pro tape – it is commonly used for sealing the top/bottom of cartons. Tape can be applied with hand dispensers or automatically with a carton / case sealer. Carton sealing equipment allows the packer to push the carton (with the help of roller conveyor) into the carton sealer. The carton sealer will pull the carton (utilizing belts) through the top and bottom tape heads. Typical carton sealers are either uniform (the case sizes are all the same dimensions) or random (the cases are all different sizes). Random case sealers are typically utilized in distribution fulfillment centres. Random case Sealers typically operate at 70-80 FPM (feet per minute).
Loveshaw manufacture a full line of uniform and random case sealers. Loveshaw’s LDX-RTB is an innovative random semi-automatic case sealer designed to process both void-filled and over-stuffed cases at speeds at least 40% faster than the competition (up to 150 FPM). Patent-pending technology allows the LDX-RTB to process both void-filled and over-stuffed cases with zero adjustments. This new packaging technology provides reliability previously unseen in the random case sealing market. Utilizing CaseLocker™ 60 tape cartridges, the LDX-RTB allows processing of cases at significantly higher speeds than other case sealers on the market today.
Why is Carton Sealing Speed So Important?
As previously discussed, the void fill area (this includes the carton sealing portion) has long been the bottleneck for many distribution fulfillment centers. Increased efficiencies in warehouse management systems have increased the effectiveness in moving product throughout the warehouse, but when cartons arrive at the packaging area the system slows down.
In the past, extra packaging (void fill) lanes/stations were added to handle extra volume. When adding extra packaging lanes, you experience increased capital cost for additional conveyors (either smart or gravity), invoice printers, work stations, overhead lighting, anti fatigue matting, case sealers, as well as significant extra labor costs. With the new packaging technology contributed by the LDB-RTB from Loveshaw, extra packaging lanes are not required and increased efficiencies are realized.
If you are looking for new ways to streamline your packaging process, reduce your packaging costs and eliminate packaging bottlenecks, investigating new packaging technologies is the first step. You can contact a 3G account manager to fill you in on some of the latest technologies to improve your packaging process.