Why Thickness and Price are not Indicators of Tape Quality

When many manufacturers go to market in search of tape to use for case sealing applications, the primary concern often seems to be the tape’s thickness (in mils) and the price. Purchasers often think to themselves, “Okay, which tape has the best mil rating/price ratio?”. However, this can cause many problems.

Let us take a look at a comparison between Shurtape’s AP 180 emulsion acrylic carton sealing tape vs. a competitor’s version.

Shurtape Competitor
Mil 1.9 1.9
Tensile (lbs./in. width) 27 30
Adhesion to Steel (oz/in. width) 44 4
Elongation % at breaking point 150 130
Holding Time (in hours) 15,000 6,000
Figure 1

Figure 1 indicates that the Shurtape brand shares the same mil rating as the competitive tape, and even has a lower tensile strength. However, 27 lbs./inch width is still relatively strong! Additionally, Shurtape’s version maintains 11x the adhesion to steel than the competition, a longer elongation-to-break, and a much longer holding time! This longer holding time and better elongation rate both translate to more economical tape usage and a much longer-lasting seal on your packages. If you are in need of a strong seal that will last long enough for your needs, Shurtape is the way to go.

Of course, it always comes down to the application and its needs. No tape is the single best tape. However, in search of your next tape source, it is very important not to default to the very common, yet flawed analysis of mil thickness/price.

If you need help determining the best tape for your specific needs, contact R.V. Evans Company by clicking here or calling 800-252-5894!

Click here for an overview of case forming and closure/sealing solutions!

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Carton Forming and Corrugated

There are many different options that the corrugated industry provides to meet the needs of a business. However, factors that can negatively affect corrugated are often times overlooked by companies, but it is vital that companies are aware of these factors and take steps to overcome them. The environment that corrugated is in will play a huge part in how it acts and handles during the forming process. In very dry conditions corrugated will become hard and coarse, whereas with wet conditions can often times make the corrugated soft and flimsy. Those are just the obvious ones, other factors adversely affecting the quality and behavior of corrugated as well, including:

  • The type of scoring applied by the manufacturer
  • The type of corrugated material used
  • The age of the corrugated material
  • The design of the box

The number one problem a manufacturer can face is overcoming variables that disrupt the case forming process. In order to do this, there are two very simple, yet very important steps.

Step 1: Identify and understand. Having a firm understanding of what factors can affect the case forming and closing process, along with how you can overcome these issues is the first step.

Step 2: Find a solution that meets the needs of corrugated rather than forcing the corrugated to meet the features of the machine. Whether customers require an automatic or manual process, a solution can be found. One mistake that manufacturers will make is that they will try to alter the corrugated in order to work with the machine when it should be the other way around. The R.V. Evans Company is equipped to handle cases such as Regular Slotted Cases (RSC), Half Slotted Cases (HSC), and Centre Special Slotted Cases (CSSC) / All Flaps Meet (AFM) boxes.

The process of case forming is a series of small steps that come together to form an effective and efficient process.
Wexxar/BEL has designed and manufactured a series of machines to help overcome these issues. With Servo driven machines, sensors at each step of the process ensure that the step is completed successfully before moving the box onto the next step. This prevents boxes from becoming jammed and holding up operations.
A key step in the beginning of the case forming process is known as First Case Separation. This is done first and foremost followed by the four steps involved with the actual forming of the case.
Wexxar/BEL has outlined the four steps involved in the case forming and erecting process here:

  • Step 1: Prior to separation the cases are pushed through the magazine to the separator head and against the injector blade.
  • Step 2: The separator pushes the first case downward into the caliper slot, which ensures only one box can be separated from the next.
  • Step 3: The separator retracts, releasing the case. This frees the box from the rest of the magazine. The box tilts forward and is available to be injected onto the pins.
  • Step 4: The mechanical jaw closes on the case, which is injected upward on to the pins. The outer surface of the case is metered by domes and onto the pins.

The Pin and Dome concept was originated by Wexxar/BEL. It is used after the injection system to open the box. It uses pins onto which the major and minor flaps of the case are injected. The pins slide into the flutes of the corrugated which is guided into place by domes against which the outer liner slides when the case is pushed upward. The pins and domes are situated along a mechanical jaw, which uses a hinge mechanism to open the box. This system is very successful based on the fact that it can identify and compensate for external factors that are affecting the corrugated. As mentioned earlier, it can erect cases that are dusty, wet, or have irregular surfaces.

Hot Melt Systems
Hot Melt Systems use hot glue and compression to create a strong bond. One much stronger than can be achieved using a mandrel. There are two types of Hot Melt Systems.

  • Internal compression module: It presses the end flaps into place on all four corners.
  • Swinging compression module: It swings into the case and uses active compression to compress the box closed by compressing the corners in.

Tray Formers
There are two main types of Tray Formers.

1) Vertical
2) Horizontal

These two types are exactly opposite, performing the same process in the reverse direction. Vertical Tray Formers use vertical magazines in which blanks are placed. These blanks are driven down at which time hot melt glue is applied. A mandrel strikes the box horizontally, driving the box through the machine and forming it. Horizontal Tray formers use horizontal magazines in which blanks are placed. These blanks are driven down at which time hot melt glue is applied. A mandrel strikes the box vertically, driving the box down and forming it.

Automatic Tray Locker
The Automatic Tray Locker is another type of Tray Former that forms a tray using a die-cut blank by sequentially folding the corner flaps and folding the two sides in using the tab lock feature. The tab lock feature is where the sides tuck over the other flaps and hold them into position using tabs and slots. The nice thing about this function is that it has an easy-to-load magazine that begins down near the bottom of the machine (easy to reach for employees), and travels upward to where they are dispensed at the top of the machine. The boxes then move into the case forming processes being delivered downward in front of the mandrel. The mandrel is equipped with a Servo sensor in order to either decrease or increase your production speed based on whatever speed suits your packaging process the best.

Self-locking tray former
The Self-locking tray former does exactly what it is supposed to do, lock self-locking trays. For most businesses, this is a manual process done by an employee at a table who is repeatedly locking these cases into place. As production and demand increase, automation can be introduced into the process through this machine, saving plenty of time and manual labor.

Summary
There are many different options out there for case forming and erecting. There are also many different factors that can negatively affect your production process costing you valuable time, money, and resources. Be sure to find the appropriate machine to overcome the environmental and potential issues in your process.
For more information on how you can improve your packaging process, contact the R.V. Evans Company at 1-800-252-5894 or visit our website at www.rvevans.com
You can also email us at sales@rvevans.com or connect with us through our social sites.

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Source: http://www.rvevans.com/Packaging-Solutions/PDF/wexxar-case-tray-forming-101.pdf