Berry Plastics Triples Production Speed with New Induction Sealer
Berry Plastics Group is a global market leader of plastic consumer packaging. You might not realize it, but you use their products every day. You squeeze shampoo out of their bottles, sip your favorite coffee out of their disposable cups, throw away your garbage in their trash bags, and wrap your leftovers in their plastic wrap.
Their plant in Easthampton, Massachusetts, manufactures extruded tubes which are typically used for lotions, cosmetics, and other personal or healthcare products. Berry Plastics actually manufactures over 50 different styles of tubes varying in size, shape, color, and closures providing their customers with plenty of options for a unique package design.
Berry Plastics’ customers have the option to add an induction seal to their product which aids in creating a barrier to prevent leaks, deter tampering, and ensure product freshness. The company is a veteran-user of induction sealing technology, using an Enercon water-cooled induction sealer for nearly 20 years. When it came time to upgrade the line’s automation and to increase line speeds they were ready to move to a more efficient induction sealer.
The prior system was cumbersome to operate and the footprint required it to be located in an inconvenient spot in the plant.” says Bryan Russell, Tooling Engineer at the Company’s Easthampton facility.
The company utilized Enercon’s laboratory service to help determine that the Super Seal ™Touch 700 would meet their line specifications. The Super Seal™ Touch is the industry’s latest technology, loaded with features such as touch screen control, recipe management, and network connectivity. However, the most unique aspect about the implementation of this induction sealer is its custom setup.
Sealer Setup Turning Heads
An induction sealer is comprised of two main elements: the power supply and sealing head. The sealing head design is optimized to transfer and direct the energy from the power supply creating an electromagnetic current. The current then heats up the foil in the cap, melts the inner-seal releasing it from the cap and creating a consistent hermetic seal.
Normally an induction sealer is positioned over the conveyor and containers travel under the sealing head. But, because the flaccid, empty tubes lack the rigid form of a typical bottle, Berry Plastics worked with Enercon to reposition the sealing head to maximize efficiencies and to have the ability to seal any size tube.
Recipe for Quick Setup
Berry Plastics took advantage of the Super Seal Touch recipe management option to help reduce setup time and ensure consistent sealing results when switching between lines, cap sizes, and operators. The recipe option allows users to identify and store the system settings unique to each of their products.
As a matter of fact, the new custom automation handling and sealer have more than tripled Berry Plastics’ production speed.