Heat sealers are a great way of protecting your goods or equipment in transit or in storage – used in combination with plastic sheeting or bags, they allow you to completely contain your items and protect them from dirt, moisture, and dust, or to hold them firmly and securely in place in boxes or on pallets. Here are our top tips for using heat sealers.
There are a lot of different heat-sealer options on the market with a range of different sizes, power sources, and other specifications to choose from. The two main types, though, are the bar and the gun. The bar-type heat sealer applies the heat in a fixed-line, so is of particular use when packaging smaller items using bags or tubes, as well as smaller films. Guns apply heat where directed, and so are the best way of wrapping items and pallets using larger plastic sheeting.
Whenever you are working with heat, it is good practice to wear PPE. In the case of heat sealers, you will want to use heat-resistant gloves, especially when handling heat guns. This will ensure that you do not accidentally burn your fingers or hands while sealing.
The bar type of heat sealer is typically an impulse heater – meaning that it will rapidly heat when used, fix a seal, and then turn itself back off ready for the next use. Guns, on the other hand, will continually heat if not turned off, and in larger packing stations with high throughput, it can be tempting to simply leave the gun running between seals. Avoid this temptation, it can be very easy to accidentally position yourself or a product in front of the heat and cause injury or damage.
After you have applied the heat to the plastic, you should always check the integrity of your seal. Misaligned tubes, bags, or films in a bar sealer can result in inconsistent seals, which in turn will lead to moisture or dust getting into your package. Similarly, if you overheat or do not correctly and accurately apply heat to larger sheets when wrapping a pallet or box you could weaken the seal and end up with an unsecured package.
If you are frequently checking your seals and finding them to be poor, it might be a timing issue. Bar-type heat sealers will usually have an adjustable timer setting, which is the amount of time that the heat is applied to the plastic to form the seal. If you are using particularly thick plastic you will need a longer time setting – make sure that you adjust the timer as required to ensure that your seals are consistently good.
Heat sealers use heat, not pressure, to form the seal, so you should not be leaning or pressing too hard on the arm of your bar sealer. This will only cause you to tire and lose productivity – instead, let the bar do the work for you, simply lower it and wait for the heat to do its job.
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