Most packaging tapes are pressure-sensitive, which means they require some type of pressure, or wipe-down force, to bond the tape to the carton surface. The proper amount of pressure will drive the tape’s adhesive into the corrugated surface, allowing the adhesive to entangle itself deep within the fibers of the carton, thereby creating a secure case seal.
In automated packaging settings, this wipe-down pressure is provided by the tape applicator. In some models, wipe-down pressure is applied via two rollers positioned at the front and rear of the tape head. In other variations, multiple wipe-down mechanisms are employed to help drive the adhesive deeper into the corrugated surface to create a stronger, more secure seal. This is especially important when sealing under-filled cartons or cartons containing flexible packaging, which may not provide enough resistance from within to achieve proper wipe-down.
Without proper pressure, the tape’s adhesive may not fully engage, resulting in:
- Case reworks: Time and money will be wasted in manual labor to track down and reseal cases, in addition to the excess material (tape) required to reseal each carton.
- Unsecure seals: This can result in cartons opening during storage or transit due to stress, leaving product exposed. The risks for product damage, contamination and refusal at delivery are increased, as are the chances of theft by simply sliding a hand into the carton under a weak seal.
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