Complete Handbook for Overwrapping Machine
The procurement and incorporation of an adequate packaging machine are critical to your packaging line, not only in terms of boosting the production and saving labor cost, but as well the opportunity cost may occur, that is to say, the repercussions of an unqualified machine purchased will have dramatic impacts on your business:
- constant labor and technical cost of maintenance,
- replacement and the second purchase of machine if it by all means not reliable,
- the lagged production which may have a fatal impact on your business…
Understanding the characteristics with which the machine you are searching for can be evaluated, and their principal paramount is an essential lesson you must have before taking action of procurement. This is a complete handbook for your sake to find a select a qualified and reliable overwrapping machine.
We will start with the concept of the action and packaging – overwrapping – itself and step by step move into the concepts of machinery so that any person without former knowledge but is seeking a packaging solution can get a comprehensive understanding of the topic we discuss.
- I. What is overwrapping and Why We Need this Package?
- II. Are there any Varieties of Overwrapping
- II.I. Dot-Sealed Overwrapping
- II.II. Full Sealed Overwrapping
- II.III. Overwrapping with Tear Strip Tape
- II.IV. Heat Shrink Wrapping – Alternative of Overwrapping
- III. The Automation of Overwrapping Packaging
- III.I. Manual Overwrapping Machine
- III.II. Semi-Automatic Overwrapping Machine
- III.III. Fully Automatic Overwrapping Machine
- IV. Primary Steering Components of Overwrapping Machine
- IV.I. PLC and HMI
- IV.II. Motor
- IV.III. Temperature Controller
- V. Tips for Procuring a Qualified Overwrapping Machine
- VI. ÉLITER´s Excellence in Overwarpping Solutions
I.What is overwrapping and Why We Need this Package?
Overwrapping is a process during which an article, object, or product in box, carton, tray, or bundled form is wrapped by a slice of film and sealed. It is a typical requirement that the product comes in a cubical or cuboids form and has flat sides to be covered and sealed. Overwrapping leaves diamond-fold wrapping on the end sides of the carton. There are also synonymous terminologies to describe this packaging:
- Cigarette Wrapping
- Bundle Wrapping
- Tuck-and-Fold Wrapping
- Gift Wrapping
The purpose for which we wrap our product with a film out layer is for sake of preventing the product, both the out packaging like carton and its inner containment from the contamination and affections of elements and facts from the exterior environment. Or to put it in a word, for purpose of conservation but also the aesthetic – appealing appearance.
II. Are there any Varieties of Overwrapping?
Yes. Overwrapping can be further divided into several sub-categories regarding the way they are sealed and the extra functions.
II.I. Dot-Sealed Overwrapping
A dot-sealed overwrapping refers to the fact that on the end-side the film is sealed by heat or thermo in a tiny area where the nibs of folds meet and superpose with each other. This is the finest and elegant form of overwrapping due to its appearance. Yet the fact that it is sealed in a limited area with the rest of the part unsealed, in comparison which the full sealed end which we are going to mention in the next part, is relatively less tight.
II.II. Full Sealed Overwrapping
Literally, in the case of Full Sealed Overwarpping, the total end side of the packaging is folded and thermostatically shaped and sealed. This is a rather stable and tight form of overwrapping. In terms of aesthetic or appearance, it is not comparable with the Dot-Sealed Overwarpping yet regarding the function of water-proof, air-proof, and moisture-proof it is the most ideal form of overwrapping.
II.III. Overwrapping with Tear Strip Tape
Regardless of the type of seal in the end, we may also define a type of overwrapping by whether there is a Tear Strip Tape used. This kind of overwrapping is commonly seen on products such as cigarettes, cosmetics, and gifts. It is especially used for purposes including:
- easy opening of the packaging
- sake of brand promotion,
- a label of anti-counterfeiting
II.IV. Heat Shrink Wrapping – Alternative to Overwrapping
Not belonging to any kind of overwrapping, a heat-shink wrapping is a separate form of wrapping package. A large piece of film is pulled to cover an item after which it is shrunk by heat to tightly cover it and then is cut by a device leaving a line of the junction where it is spliced and sealed together. This is a less stable and pleasant form of wrapping yet of lower cost.
III. The Automation of Overwrapping Packaging
The trajectory through which the overwrapping packaging techniques develop follows a certain evolving structure divided into several levels:
- Manual Overwrapping Machine
- Semi-Automatic Overwrapping Machine
- Fully Automatic Overwrapping Machine
In this chapter, we are going to discuss each category for the purpose that you have a structural and complete overview of them. The way how we define these machines are based on the level of automatic in terms of:
- Product Introduction
- Film Introduction and Splicing
- Ways of Folding and Sealing
III.I. Manual Overwrapping Machine
A manual overwrapping machine consists of a Roll Loading Section, Strip and Cutting Section, a heat forming and sealing panel, and an outer structure. This is a less intelligent form of overwrapping solution since the operator has to manually stretch out a piece of film, cut it manually, fold the end side by hand, and get it sealed by the heat panel manually. In terms of the scale of economy, this is by all means not a suitable device for massive production. Yet for the overwrapping of single and few quantities of items or sporadic use, this is considered as a most economic choice.
III.II. Semi-Automatic Overwrapping Machine
In the case of semi-automatic, some certain functions are automated including folding and sealing. Yet the operator still has to pull the film manually out from the film roll and cut it before loading the item into the machine. It is rather an auxiliary machine to assist handcraft rather than an automatic solution. In a context where a semi-automatic overwrapper is used, the labor cost is relatively much higher. The quality of output is also, to some extent, depends on the mastery and handcraft of the operator. This is to say, there is a considerable rate of error.
III.III. Fully Automatic Overwrapping Machine
A Fully Automatic Overwrapping Machine, in contrast with the previously mentioned ones, outstrips them regarding the level of automation, labor cost saving, intelligence, precision, and most importantly the output. Taking these characteristics into consideration, the reasons for which it has an edge over the previous ones, when a specific context of application is considered, especially when it comes to the scale of economy, including:
- Free from labor or manual intervention in packaging line
- Connectivity with other packaging machines to form a packaging line
- Inner control system and automation that ensures no film waste
- Stable and fully reliable overwrapping forming and free from error
- Less unit cost of package in massive production
These are almost the most pivotal and critical points to consider when it comes to the large quantities and constant manner of production. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss the structure and design of an Automatic Overwrapping Machine so that we can understand from a structural level why it gets so many advantages and much superiority.
i. Loading and Infeeding System
In some situations, an overwrapping machine is used with manual loading, the operator only has to introduce the packed product manually for sake of overwrapping. When it comes to building a fully automatic packaging line, a transport conveyor shall be applied for the connection of the overwrapper to the former one – most usually a cartoning machine, and the back-end packaging machines which might be a tray packer or palletizer.
ii. Film Infeeding and Splicing
The function of film infeeding and splicing is automated with the Film Infeeder which is one of the most first sections the introduced product would get in touch with the overwrapper. It is generally a hybrid section mechanically, pneumatically, and photoelectrically driven and renders the job of introducing and splicing the film correspondently based on the size of the product to be overwrapper. In this section, a high level of precision is required now that it affects all the procedures that follow.
iii. Overwrapping, Folding and Sealing Function
The process of overwrapping in an automatic overwrapper is realized through several sections. The first step, after that the product passes through the Infeeder and gets covered by a splice of film, is to fold and seal part of the film that covers the product’s side panel.
The product is delivered, caught, and secured by the turret – a component of the overwrapping machine that keeps rotating. The film on the side of the product is primarily folded and sealed by a tucker with a heat panel. A subsequent heat shaping is done by a second heat panel when the product is still secured by the turret before it is released.
After processes that take place when it is secured in the turret, the product is exported to the next section for film folding and shaping on the end-side. A pair of large vertical panels are responsible for the heat forming of the film the covers the Front Panel and Rear Panel of the product before it is finally exported from the overwrapping machine.
IV. Primary Steering Components of Overwrapping Machine
After the overview of the working process of an overwrapping machine you might come to ask, how are these functions steered and controlled? Fine, in this chapter we’d introduce some principal components that drive and control the overwrapping machine.
IV.I. PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and HMI (Human-Machine Interaction) Panel
To avoid entailing too much professional knowledge and to put it intelligibly, a PLC is an industrial computer that controls manufacturing processes. While an HMI is an interface through which the operator and mandate instructions to the PLC system with the purpose to configure and maintain the machine.
This component should be the one all of us might be familiar with to some degree. A motor is a device that converts the electrical power into mechanical force that drives all the phaser systems.
IV.III. Temperature Contorller
As you have read in the previous text that an overwrapping machine contains several sections that shape and seal the film by heat, you must have come up with a suggestion that there should be a device that controls these heat generation components. Well then. A temperature controller is the one in charge of this task and it is configured through the HMI panel. A certain degree of temperature is reached and then maintained so that each output is appropriately shaped and sealed by heat without any manual intervention.
V. Tips for Procuring a Qualified Overwrapping Machine
After all these explications you must have had a rudimentary but also a comprehensive overview of an overwrapping machine. We’d like to take some steps futher so that, together with all the information provided and learned we can proceed to define what are those characteristics a qualified overwrapping machine must-have.
I. Cover of Size and Format Changing
In case that the manufacturer has to produce products with different dimensions, it would be of many costs, for each dimension, to purchase a specific set of overwrappers. A fine overwrapping machine should be able to cover a specific range of dimensions and in the meanwhile easy and fast in terms of format changing. The mold cost should as well be economic.
II. Size of the Machine
Space is critical in a factory. A compact design machine should be considered with preference.
The efficiency of a machine determines how many products are rendered daily. A project should be specifically reviewed by the machine manufacturer to check how much output the machine can reach regarding the size of the product to be packed.
IV. Durability and Quality
Nobody would like to replace a set of machines frequently, or shortly gives it up and turns to purchase a better one. In this sense, it is critical to check with the manufacturer prudently and especially the components used, their handcraft, and precision in production, and if possible, ask for a cycle test to check virtually the machine´s quality.
VI. ÉLITER´s Excellence in Overwrapping Solutions
ÉLITER is a leading overwrapping solution provider in the Chinese packaging machinery market. Click here to find more information about our innovative overwrapping solution.