Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on December 1st, 2020

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How To Set Up Your Side Sealer: A Step By Step Guide


So, you upgraded from a manual L-Sealer to a side seal machine. You’re excited that you can now start keeping up with every order that’s coming in for your new product.


But, before you start packaging your products with your new equipment, you have to make sure that you set up the machinery properly first. There are multiple steps that must be followed in order to set up your machinery correctly so that it runs the way you want it to.


By following each step in this guide, you will be able to optimize your new sealer in a way that will ensure that it runs smoothly, efficiently and correctly.


Having helped thousands of clients set up their sealers in the past, Industrial Packaging is able to help guide you through the process of setting up your new equipment and optimizing it for the best packaging possible.

In this article, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step process for setting up a new sealer. We will also offer additional steps and tips to ensure that your machine runs well from the moment you turn it on.


How To Set Up Your Side Sealer


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When setting up any automatic side Sealer, start with the film cradle and work your way forward. These are the appropriate steps to ensure a smooth-running machine that does not waste time or materials. The steps below are for the mechanical setup of the sealer.


1. Setting The Roll Position - Roll position is very important. Look at the point of the film inverter (the triangles that the film goes over to turn it 90 degrees into the seal area). Draw an imaginary line from this point down to the film cradle. The folded edge of the film should be over half the height of the product. For example, if your product is 4” high then move the roll of film 2” beyond the film inverter towards the end of the machine.


2. Threading The Film - Make sure you are threading the film properly. If the film isn’t easy to pull out of the film unwind then you will get bad side seals.


3. Adjusting The The Rollers - Just before the film inverter there is usually a roller that can move up or down. This roller should be placed so that the top of the roller is centered between the top and bottom inverters.


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4. Positioning The In-feed Conveyor - Next is the positioning of the in-feed conveyor. This conveyor will move in and out to accommodate different width products. Make sure that the conveyor is wide enough so that when you put your product on it that the product is up against the side of the conveyor closest to the film unwind and that the side of the product closest to the side seal is about half the height away from the side seal. Are you starting to see a pattern here?


5. Setting The Height Of The Cross Seal Jaw - When you are setting the height of the cross seal jaw, make sure that the jaw is high enough to let the product under. Usually, you should give an extra ¼ “ for good measures.


6. Set The Height Of The Side Seal - This should be half the height of your product.


Steps To Improve Package Appearance And Machine Function


These are additional steps which will ensure that your machinery is properly optimized to run efficiently and produce the best packaging possible.


1. Set The Bag Length And Pre-FeedThe pre-feed should be set so that the product does not run into the film as it transitions into the seal area and that there is about half the height of the product in front of the package after you seal it. This is a good starting point and it can be adjusted later depending on how the package looks coming out of the tunnel.


2. Set The Amount Of Film After The Packages Go Into The Seal AreaOnce again that pesky half height comes into play. By the time you are done, you will have your package in the seal area with about half the height of the package all around it.


3. Introduce The Film Into The Side Seal - When you put the film in make sure that the tension of the top and bottom layers is the same. If you put the film into the side seal belts and the tension isn’t the same, the looser edge will keep working its way out of the side seal forcing you to keep rethreading the machine.


Other Tips To Ensure Quality Sealing


  • Make sure you use the film separator rod if your machine has one. This will help the film track evenly if the film is "blocking" ( blocking is when the film sticks together due to moisture or static).
  • Keep the inverting head clean. Over time wax from the film will build up on any surface the film slides over. Cleaning it with rubbing alcohol will get rid of the wax and help your film track properly.
  • Something that many people miss is the film support rod. There is usually a rod under the top film inverter, near the seal jaw. The top layer of film is meant to go over this to keep the product from hitting the film too early.

Following these steps should help you avoid most of the beginner mistakes and help get that product off your production floor and into the hands of your customers.


Don't Want To Set The Machine Up Yourself?


Perhaps you are a go-getter and plan to tackle the setup of this equipment on your own. On the other hand, maybe you would prefer a packaging expert to do the set up for you. If you are not enthused at the idea of doing this work yourself, you can use a packaging machinery technician to set up your equipment.


Ensuring that your equipment is properly set up and optimized will ensure superior packaging, less waste, and mechanical as well as material failure. With these handy tips and tricks, you will be able to complete your set up with ease and efficiency.


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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.