New Cold-Seal Process Launched
|Products are handfed into the SP4500, and the package is cold fused around them.|
Tension Envelope Corp. (Kansas City, MO) has partnered with System Packaging (Perrysburg, OH) to develop what it calls a new and improved cold- seal packaging process.
The flexible packaging process, called cold fusion, is reportedly quicker and less costly than traditional cold seal methods. It uses machines that have been configured to feed rolls of cohesive packaging paper. This newly polycoated laminate paper is USPS approved, printable, waterproof, tear resistant, and puncture resistant. It has a special pressure-sensitive latex coating on the inner face that will only seal to itself, leaving no residue on the items packaged inside.
“We just thought it was a great process,” says Ken Myers, business development manager for Tension Envelope, which built the new cold- seal machine. “It’s perfect for the mail-order prescription drug business, and the packages are also easy to read with a bar code.”
The cold-seal packaging process has been around for 40 years and uses packaging materials such as paper and polypropylene rolls. “This solution, though, saves money,” says Myers. “Labor costs, packaging materials, and shipping charges are all less costly with cold fusion.”
According to Myers, there are two machine options. One machine, the SP9000-18, is a horizontal double-web pouch machine with an infeed table. It can allow a bar code to be scanned and a labeler to apply the correct address label to the package on the exit conveyor. It can also be configured so the package is weighed and posted, and the same data sent to a shipping manifest for recordkeeping.
Another machine, the SP4500, is a vertical double-web pouch cold fusion machine. While similar to the 9000, it allows items to be handfed into a slot on the top of the machine and then cold fused into a package. Once a package has been cut off to the proper length, an address label can be applied. The package is then dropped onto an exit conveyor.
The SP4500 is ideal for packaging mail order pharmaceutical drugs, says Myers. He also notes that both machines can produce 35–45 packages per minute, depending on package size. “You’re talking about up to 500 labels per hour,” he says. “It’s very speedy.”
The cold fusion system is designed to form the cold fusion package, address/label, weigh, post, and sort off the end of the machine in one continuous stream, he adds. “The big advantage is that it reduces the amount of time necessary to process packages,” he says. “Also, the cohesive material provides a big savings over padded and expansion-style envelopes and corrugated cartons. The machines have a small footprint, so users can reduce the space necessary to handle their fulfillment and packaging.”
Myers says the companies are working on developing RFID applications for the system as well, though the project is not yet completed.