You may have risen from your bed this morning and decided that your business can no longer do without a carton or case sealer, but now you face the most difficult decision: what sort to buy.
Before making your choice, you should first understand the different types available and how they are likely to fit into your current business operation. Take a seat and cast your eyes over this handy Holmes Mann guide to sealing those cartons.
Uniform Carton Sealers
These are the most common types of sealers found on production lines. They can be adjusted for different-sized boxes, but once set they deal with batches of the same-sized carton. They are available in both semi-automatic and automatic versions, although an operator is needed even with the fully automatic versions if a size-change is required. The good news is, however, that this is usually quick and easy to do.
Random Carton Sealers
These are the machines of choice for order-picking outfits, when the size of boxes can vary from one to the next. The technology available means that these sealers can automatically adjust themselves according to each carton that is presented. Once again, these come in both automatic and semi-automatic versions and are ideal for businesses which need to package a wide variety of different cartons depending on the orders that come in.
These sealers feature a lot more technology and mechanical parts, meaning that they are usually considerable more expensive than their uniform counterparts. The flexibility on offer can be invaluable, however, and although they generally work more slowly than carton sealers when dealing with large numbers of boxes of the same size, this is still likely to be a much quicker operation than if you had to manually adjust a uniform sealer every few minutes.
Semi-Automatic or Automatic?
This will depend on your budget, business and packaging operation. As a general rule of thumb, if your firm requires more than one person to keep up with packing and feeding in the boxes, then it is probably worth considering an automatic machine.
The major difference between an automatic and semi-automatic sealer is that the former has a flap-folding mechanism and is therefore longer in order to accommodate this. Obviously, this is something that you may need to take into consideration if space is an issue in your packaging area.
Automatic sealers work by knocking down the forward flap when the box enters, before they put down the flap that trails, and folding bars take care of the side flaps.
Box Packing Stations
These are among the most comprehensive version of this type of packaging machinery, allowing boxes to be folded and taped without the need for an operator other than to adjust the size.