Ultrasonic technology increases room for maneuver
Ultrasonic sealing technology is one possibility that enables manufacturers to reduce both costs and product waste while providing strong product protection. Reduced energy consumption, material savings and increased equipment availability allow manufacturers to produce more sustainably and profitable. In comparison to other sealing methods used to date, such as hot and cold sealing, ultrasonic technology represents an attractive alternative.
Reliable product protection – assured product quality
Ultrasonic technology offers crucial benefits from a product safety perspective. The new technology avoids the risk of diminished seam quality and leakage due to contamination of the sealing area by using high frequency vibrations that remove product residues. The resulting sealed seams are secure, ensuring the product is tightly packaged.
One drawback associated with the often-used hot sealing method is the negative influence on product quality by the required sealing heat. The high temperature of the sealing jaws can cause product damage: here ultrasonic’s “cold” approach is a major advantage. Since the tools used are cold, the sealed seam can be placed close to the product without having a negative impact on its quality.
Manufacturers can further benefit from the fact that there is no risk of heatrelated damage to materials or products in the event of machine stoppages. A popular alternative in the past, when packaging heat-sensitive products like chocolate, was to use cold sealing film to prevent products from melting. One disadvantage of this approach is the limited storage life of the film, which tends to stick together or to the product. Furthermore, the relatively high costs involved with cold sealing film have encouraged manufacturers to consider alternative sealing methods like ultrasonic technology.
Ultrasonic sealing technology provides significant savings in terms of the energy required for the packaging process. The film is not heated from the outside inwards, but as a result of molecular vibration within the film. As such, the temperature needed for welding purposes is generated inside the film in the actual sealed seams. This means, for example, a horizontal flow wrapping machine requires only 4.0 joules for sealing compared to hot sealing with 6.7 joules.
As a further benefit, savings can be made with material costs. For horizontal packaging applications, manufacturers can use less expensive film materials, replacing the kinds of films previously required for hot sealing with thinner and more cost-effective alternatives. In addition, the narrower sealed seams possible with ultrasonic sealing technology reduce the amount of material needed. With vertical form, fill and seal machines, up to 16 millimeters of film can be saved per package in terms of bag length.
The “cold” ultrasonic sealing technology also eliminates the need to clean hot sealing jaws. By reducing the issue of film sticking to the heated jaws, ultrasonic technology ensures that there is less material residue after sealing and fewer defective packages, all of which can help to reduce equipment downtime. As a result, manufacturers can see significantly increased operating times and a reduction in waste material.