Primarily used for industrial packaging, a case sealer is a piece of equipment that is used to seal cartons during the packaging process to prepare them for shipment. There are two main types of case sealer technologies:
Semi-automatic, which requires human interface to close the minor and major carton flaps. The sealer only conveys the pre-closed package and seals it closed.
Fully automatic, which conveys the package, closes the minor and major flaps, and seals autonomously without manual intervention.
In contrast, a case erector is piece of equipment that unfolds flattened corrugated boxes, closes and seals the bottom minor and major carton flaps, preparing them to be filled. Typically, a case sealer is used downstream to close the top flaps and apply tape to the box once it has been filled.
It is important to use a high-quality case sealer and erector that can match production speeds, as well as have these qualities:
- It must be durably built so that the tape applicator does not violently shake, sway, or vibrate as the carton is being sealed. This issue is typically more prevalent with lower cost fully automatic case sealers.
- The tape applicator (tape head) should be easily accessible. The tape applicator is the heart of the machine. If issues occur during production hours and maintenance is needed, the applicator should be easily removable for repair. If the applicator is bolted into place (hard mounted), then significant downtime can occur for a simple issue that should take only minutes to repair.
- The tape has a short “thread path.” Ideally, the tape thread path will be contained within the tape applicator itself. If a long tape thread path is used, it is important to consider the strain and stress that the tape will endure as it is pulled through the system. This can often lead to the need to purchase a thicker gauge tape than is truly needed to securely seal the carton, as using a thicker tape will lower the risk of it stretching to its breaking point through the longer thread path.