Adapting to Resealable Food Packaging TechnologyHarvill Industries
Although resealable food packaging still gains in popularity, there are still some companies out there that haven’t really thought about making the decision to change from the old and outdated forms of packaging due to misconceptions about the costs involved. In the past it used to be more expensive to add a resealable feature to food packaging, which some companies viewed as a little too risky. But now, thanks to a new option called “pre-applied zipper film” these companies can create resealable food packaging for their product lines. Companies can use the pre-applied zipper film with very few adjustments to existing equipment, according to Dan Donahue, President of Massachusetts based packaging company Donahue-Corry Associates, Inc. With that being said, the new pre-applied zipper film doesn’t come without its share of challenges. The pre-applied zipper film costs more that traditional packaging material because of the zipper component of the resealable film, and the zipper increases bulk so less film is included per roll. Donahue estimates a roll of pre-applied zipper film has about a third as many impressions as a comparable roll of laminated or unlaminated roll stock. “Plus, when expiring rolls are replaced by hand, as is customary, changes can take as long as three to five minutes,” says Chris Graff, vice president of sales and marketing at Massachusetts-based Butler Automatic. “If the rolls are changed, say, once every 20 minutes, that time adds up—over an hour and a half of production time lost in an eight-hour shift on a single line.” But, Butler Automatic zero-speed automatic splicing technology helps eliminate this problem by automatically and precisely timing splices, so more of the roll is utilized, reducing the amount of wasted film and cutting the splicing time down to seconds. Plus, the splicer automatically aligns to the path of the zipper film via the machine to compensate for web misalignment. And, since the splice might not hold if it occurs on or too near one of the zippers, the splicer automatically starts splicing only within predetermined distances to register marks.