When cutting problems delay production, quick fixes are often used to get flow wrappers up and running again. But instead of saving a few minutes of downtime, these shortcuts can cost you hours of production time.
This Greener Tech Bite identifies common quick fixes that bypass standard knife adjustment procedures. Their immediate and cumulative effects cause well over half of the cutting and sealing problems that we encounter. Read more
When sealing problems kept a packager of energy bars from meeting their production requirements, they contacted Greener to see if we could help develop a solution. They explained to one of our technical experts that rejects and downtime due to split or unsealed packages had reached the point of crisis. Read more
Sealing jaw carbon impressions provide a vital roadmap for diagnosing and troubleshooting problems on flow wrappers and vertical baggers. This Greener Tech Bite demonstrates how multiple issues can be revealed by a single impression.
Changes on horizontal flow wrappers occur regularly—during sanitation, product changeovers, part installations and adjustments, maintenance, and from wear and tear. These changes can impact the success of your next production run, yet they often go unnoticed.
This Greener Tech Bite presents our quick, Preventative Maintenance Checklist. By investing five or ten minutes to inspect these four areas before starting production, you will be up and running more quickly and avoid hours of downtime. Read more
In this Greener Tech Bite we analyze six sealing jaw carbon impressions and explain how each was used to troubleshoot problems on flow wrappers or vertical form fill seal baggers. Read more
In this blog post and Tech Bites video we outline solutions to achieve repeatable quality and productivity on horizontal flow wrappers and vertical baggers across all production shifts
, multiple packaging machines
, and different plant locations
When cutting problems occur on horizontal flow wrappers during a production run, what are the best procedures to get packaging lines up and running again and to keep them running? Minimizing downtime, producing consistent quality packages, and managing costs require a balanced approach that includes:
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.
When end seal issues such as leakers or splitting occur, an important initial step is to determine where, and how often, the trouble shows up. For problems that occur inconsistently—perhaps leakers on every other package, or splits only on the top or trailing end seals of the package—you need to determine if the bad seals show up randomly or according to a pattern. Do the problems occur on every package? On both ends of the package?
Start out by collecting a series of packages produced by the machine during production conditions. Number the packages sequentially and mark the machine flow direction. If you are working on a horizontal wrapper with multiple crimpers, label each pair (ex: A, B) and mark each seal according to the set of crimpers it came from. Now you can trace the problem seals back to the place they occur.
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.
♦ 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