Packaging Machines: What is a Sleever? | ÉLITER Packaging Machinery


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Packaging Machines: What is a Sleever?

What is a Sleever?

In the packaging machinery industry, the word “sleever” can refer to, in a broad sense, different kinds of packaging machines depending on what kind of packaging the so-called “sleever” is used for. A sleever, regarding the packaging to be automated, can be:

  • (Cardboard and paperboard) Sleever:
    or more specifically a Wrap-Around Sleever which is a machine designed to place a piece of sleeve flat blank on containers such as cups, tubs, pots, trays, and wrap the sleeve around them and then seal the sleeve with hot melt glue or by interlock.


  • Pre-Glued Sleever:
    just like the wrap-around sleever, however, the machine uses pre-glued sleeves into which the containers are inserted directly.


  • Labeling Sleever:
    A shrink-labeling sleeve applicator that places sleeve labels around the products such as bottles and cans, and by heat, the sleeve will be shrunk and compressed to the product.

Here in this post, we are talking about the details of the first one – Wrap-Around Sleever – for the purpose that you can acquire a full set of knowledge about what is a sleever, how it works, and what are the products the sleever is used for… etc.


How Sleever Works?

A sleever can be used individually with the products to be wrapped by the paperboard sleeves manually loaded and introduced to it, and can also be linked to other packaging machines such a tray sealer, filling machine, and case packer to become a fully automation packaging line. In the following content we are going to talk about the work process of a sleever:


Infeed of Products

Containers such as trays, pots, cups, bottles, tubs, etc., after having been processed by the upstream machines like filling machine, tray sealers are carried by the conveyor towards the sleever. Depending on the products the upstream machines may vary, but basically, they would be:

Thermoforming machine: that produces the container

Filling machine: for example, to fill the yogurt into the cups formed by the thermoformer

Sealer or capping machine: to seal the container with a film or other materials, or lids.



Group the Containers

Before the containers are just about to be introduced into the sleever, there will be an infeed system which is designed to group the containers into the form of multipack desired.

For example, a multipack of yogurt cups could be grouped into the form of two layers, two columns, and three yogurt cups for each column, and thus becoming a multipack of 12 cups.

The infeed system is usually driven by several servo-motors and a series of functional components that help to arrange the products in a collated and regular manner.




Place the Sleeve blanks on the Containers

Now that containers are already grouped and sent to the sleever, a carton erector will capture sleeves from the carton hopper (a section of the machine where sleeves are stored) and place the sleeve on the containers.

The process is realized by mechanical and pneumatic forces, just as what is like on a cartoner machine (check: What is Cartoning Machine?).



Wrap the Sleeve Around the Containers

A series of guides and components in the sleever will fold and wrap the sleeve around the containers, and then on the bottom the sleeve is sealed by hot-melt-glue by the glue-melter.



After all the processes above the wrapped products are ready to be proceeded by the downstream packaging machines such as case packer to pack them into caton box.


What are the Sleeve Styles that Sleever can be Used for?

Sleeves are just like cartons whose shapes, styles, and sizes vary in a considerable manner. However, it is not like the cartoner that in order to adapt it to different carton styles the machine should be adjusted and designed in a specific way, the sleever can be used for a wide range of sleeves regardless of their shapes, styles, sizes, as long as it is within the range of dimension the sleever machine covers. As follow are some of the sleeves that the sleever machine can be used for:

  • Envelope Sleeves
  • Complete sleeves / Full Sleeves
  • Edge-lock sleeves
  • Partial Sleeves
  • Special shape sleeves


What you Should Consider Sleeves for your Packaging?

Sleeves are not like the traditional carton boxes that have six sides, yet they have no ends and are just like a piece of paperboard that wraps around the product. In this way, sleeves, when used for packaging, consume less paper material and printing material than carton boxes. To put it in a brief way, sleeves are more environmentally friendly and economic.

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Zixin Yuan
Digital Marketing Assistant

Zhiwei Bao
General Manager

ÉLITER Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd
No.1088, Jing Ye Rd, Economic Development Zone, Dong Shan District, Ruian Wenzhou Zhejiang, China 325200
+86 (0577) 6668 2128