Today’s world has abundance of commodities and with these come the need for effective packaging and delivery. Packaging industries have a growing market these days what with almost every item ranging from food, medicines, chemicals, clothes, etc needing to be safely handled. Commodities like food and medicines have an added risk of being tampered with or losing their integrity. This is where filling and packaging machines come into play. Packaging machines ensure that the products are:
- Tamper proof
- Marketed through the right channels
- Organized transit to the customer
- Convenience to distribute the goods, arrange them in stores, display and later recycle/reuse the items as required.
All the above objectives are more or less the same for industries such as food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, etc. These industries require that the product be packaged and labeled in order for them to be safe for consumers and for items such as medicines to be effectively discarded when they are past expiry.
Categories of packaging machines:
Packaging has different aspects and means. Some of them include:
- Shrink Tunnel Packaging – This involves loosely applying a shrink film over the product to be packaged and passing it through a ‘shrink tunnel’ or heated tunnel. The heat causes the film to shrink and tightly wrap itself around the package giving an air tight and tamper proof packing. This method of packing can be done using conveyor belts as well as roller conveyor. A common example of using shrink tunnel packaging would be packaging for preserved fruits/vegetables, meat, etc
- Stretch Wrapping machines – This involves using materials like polyethylene or PVC films which have high elasticity to stretch and wrap products that require compact packing and moving as a unit. Using stretch wrapping machines pack multiple products at the same time as opposed to using shrink tunnel for packaging, which involves cutting the shrink wrap to the exact size of the product to be covered using heat.
- Induction Cap sealing – Commonly used in pharmaceuticals, this is a multi-layered packaging system where the bottle cap is glued with a form of paper pulp followed by a lining of wax. The mouth of the container itself is lined with a layer of aluminium foil cut to the required size. The bottle is covered with this specially prepared cap and passed under an induction coil which melts the wax layer and melds it with the aluminium foil effectively packing the entire product. The sealing process can be done using a hand held device or through a roller conveyor.
- Strapping machines – This packaging involves using straps made of materials like plastic, paper, nylon, steel, etc having varied tenacity depending on the purpose. The strap being used is made to bind materials using various means like heat, welding, external agents like buckles etc depending on the type of strap being used. These are used for box strapping large consignments for delivery. Automatic strapping machines fasten the process and give a greater output.
Benefits of packaging:
Conclusion: Most of the packaging methods use induction as a medium for sealing and ensuring leakage of goods is avoided. Using shrink tunnel for packaging ensures that lesser material is used resulting in lower costs compared to stretch wrap which is mainly used for moving a bulk of goods. Using induction cap sealing enables consumers to find out if there is any evidence of tampering in the package as there is a residue left, when the cap is meddled with.
Packaging of goods ensures security, damage-free delivery, ease of transition and overall, a professionalism of the end product which is a must in the eyes of the consumer.
This article is written by Arjun Rao – CEO of Multi Pack Machinery Company.