Belcorp is one of the leading manufacturers of cosmetics in Latin America and is supported by one of the largest teams of direct sales agents across the world. Their products include skincare, fragrance and make-up. In an industry that sells beauty enhancement solutions, flawless packaging is imperative to the consumers’ first impression.
To ensure the integrity of their Triple Acción skincare line, Belcorp added an induction seal to their package. The decision was three-fold: they wanted a solution that would prevent counterfeiting, stop leaks during transport and provide an airtight oxygen barrier. Induction sealing also appealed to them because it is a non-contact process that will not agitate their active ingredients.
Belcorp was new to the induction sealing process; however their team of seasoned engineers was familiar with cap sealers from prior experience. An induction sealer has two main components: the sealing head and power supply. Enercon’s power supply energizes the sealing head, creating an electromagnetic field. The sealing head then directs the electromagnetic current to the foil in the cap. The current heats up the foil, melts the inner-seal releasing it from the cap creating a hermetic seal.
Enercon Offers Wrinkle Defying Packaging Solution
They ran into various challenges trying to accomplish a hermetic seal that met both the company’s quality standards and was aesthetically pleasing. The first obstacle Belcorp faced was finding an induction sealer manufacturer that had equipment capable of sealing their unique package design. The cap on the container is asymmetrical in thickness requiring the right application expertise to achieve a consistent seal. Enercon delivered a solution unlike any other induction sealer supplier. Enercon’s Super Seal™ coupled with a sealing head engineered specifically to focus the sealing energy to the position of the foil.
The second obstacle Belcorp faced was finding the optimal operating window. They were running the containers at too high of a sealing power which gave the seal a wrinkled appearance. The wrinkling caused stress on the liner, giving it a weak seal that ultimately lead to a leaking container.
Setting up the proper operating window is essential to ensure a successful induction seal. There are three critical variables that affect an operating window: heat, pressure and time. Heat is produced by the electromagnetic field radiated from the induction sealer. Since induction sealing is a non-contact process, it requires a source of pressure on the foil inner seal in order to successfully seal the product. This pressure is created by the torque on the closure. The third critical component, time, refers to the conveyor speed. The foil liner needs sufficient dwell time under the induction coil to heat to the correct temperature so it can bond to the land area of the container.
Based on Enercon’s recommended best practices, Belcorp set up a DOE to pinpoint the right application of heat, pressure and time for their package. They ran various tests at different output powers, conveyor speeds, closure torque, types of foil seals and container materials. Belcorp’s guidelines require that the package must be able to withstand 5 inches of mercury for 5 minutes, and 20 inches of mercury for one minute in a vacuum test. Through this process, they established their operating window by finding the optimum levels for each variable that would comply with the technical and aesthetic specifications of the product.
“Our experience with Enercon’s staff and their understanding of our process has been great. Their virtual training and information online has served us well when troubleshooting application issues,” says Miguel Angel Muñoz Preciado, Project Analyst.
“Additionally, the synergy between Enercon and Bruna Seals, our foil seal provider, has helped us improve our induction sealing process,” says Preciado.
Defining the proper operating window played a critical role in the successful packaging of the Triple Acción skincare crème. Belcorp was able to iron out the wrinkles in their liner, eliminate leaks and ensure the product’s integrity. Since incorporating an induction seal into their packaging Belcorp has installed Enercon induction sealers not only on their production line in Colombia, but also with their contract packagers throughout Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala.