The suction supported sealing station was developed by Theegarten-Pactec for the traditional envelope fold wrap of chocolate bars. As soon as a product has reached the sealing station which is located directly after the actual wrapping process, the sealing tool moves to the product to be sealed at a distance of 0.5 mm to 1 mm. Negative pressure then causes the package to be sucked onto the sealing stamp. In this way, there is no direct contact between the packaging and the product during the sealing process. The heat required for the sealing process is thus distributed selectively and evenly over the entire sealing surface, thereby ensuring that there are no pressure marks or other damages to the chocolate product. Active cooling of the environment ensures additional product safety.
After sealing for approx. 50 – 60 milliseconds, the contact between the packaging material and the sealing jaw is terminated when the sealing stamp moves away – which may be assisted if required by switching off the vacuum. The packaging material detaches from the sealing station and once again rests directly on the chocolate product, which has now been completely packed. The sealing seam only comes into contact with the product again after it has sufficiently cooled.
Theegarten-Pactec’s innovative technology offers numerous advantages: Material costs can be reduced by eliminating the need for aluminium laminate to dissipate heat and protect the chocolate. At the same time, negative environmental influences caused by the production of the material are reduced. In addition, there is no need for an unwinding unit for aluminium paper or aluminium-PP composites in the packaging machine. This saves set-up and adjustment times and makes the packaging process more stable and therefore less susceptible to faults. Thanks to the innovative suction supported sealing technology, there is also no need to apply glue dots to permanently seal the mono foil or paper-based packaging. Costs for glue and for cleaning and maintenance of the packaging machine can be saved.
The second development is the ideal solution for heat sealing of paper-based flow packs – in the high-performance range. Where speeds of 80 to 120 m/min are otherwise possible for conventional films in this range, an impressive 90 m/min is achieved for the paper-based packaging material on the FPC5. Thanks to this solution, the machine can now produce a flow pack package made of barrier paper with integrated heat-sealing capability and a pure paper content of at least 95 percent. Due to the low proportions of sealing material and barrier layer against grease penetration, moisture or other environmental influences, the packaging produced can be fully recycled in the paper waste stream and reused for new applications.
The two new developments from Theegarten-Pactec described above reflect current trends quite well. On the one hand, we see the trend towards paper-based packaging in terms of environmentally friendly production. On the other hand, plastic-based packaging is also being continuously developed.