|What is Simpl-Seal®?||The Simpl-Seal process seals plastic-to-plastic and plastic-to-paper utilizing adhesive that is cured with ultraviolet light. (UV-sealing replaces RF, Sonic, heat and pressure sealing.) A package with "wet" adhesive travels on a conveyor, through a tunnel, past patented Simpl-Seal's UV light and emerges invisibly and securely sealed.|
|How does UV work?||UV (ultraviolet) acts as an instant catalyst for the adhesive. When the adhesive is "wet applied" to a package seam, it remains uncured until it is processed through the Simpl-Seal curing tunnel. In the tunnel, the package seam (and UV-adhesive) is exposed to UV. The cure and bond are completed at conveyor speeds... instantly. In the adhesive are "UV Initiators." When they see the UV, they become active and convert the liquid plastic in the adhesive into a solid bonding agent.|
Who is using the
|Millions of packages are sealed each month with Simpl-Seal. Businesses that make cell phones, knives, crafts, cosmetics, hand tools, memory chips, blow torches, perfume, smoke alarms, hardware, gloves and so much more use Partner Pak's Simpl-Seal. The reasons for use vary from cost-reduction, to sustainability, to merchandise protection (no harm to the merchandise during sealing).|
|How can UV sealing be more sustainable?||The biggest sustainability issues are plastic, energy, weight/bulk, source separation, recycling and waste. UV-adhesive sealing allows more eco-friendly plastic choices to be made. So, less plastic may used for the same package (results in less weight, too), and plastic waste may be eliminated. Less energy is used to seal and source separation is maximized. Add to this, the use of already recycled substrates such as RPET and PCR, or bio-substrates such as PLA.|
|How is UV-adhesive handled?||Two answers: 1) When application is automated, it is only handled to replenish adhesive reservoirs [daily/weekly]. 2) When application is manual, those working with the adhesive wear traditional, protective gear.|
What is the cost of
|Average "seals" secure the perimeter of a clamshell or blister. A liter of adhesive (applied automatically) seals between 6,000 and 25,000 units. This is one-cent to quarter-cent per package. Offsets include energy reduction and elimination of tooling, together saving an estimated $10,000/year... 1 million to 4 million seals.|
Isn't adhesive sticky
|Adhesive can be mishandled. And, when it is, the potential exists for spills and messes. But, in many situations, adhesive is dispensed/applied automatically, so it is not "handled" (and cannot be mishandled). Should a mishap occur (mishandling), the liquid is easily wiped up, as it remains liquid until cured by exposure to UV.|
|What is meant by the JIT claim?||JIT (Just In Time) packaging is a rarity with predecessor sealing, but is a real possibility with Simpl-Seal. Simpl-Seal has such rapid changeover time (switching from one package to another) that yesterday's "inventory runs" can give way to Simpl-Seal's per-order runs.|
|What can go wrong?||Run out of adhesive. UV light goes out. Conveyor stops. A “spares kit” deals with most of this. Good planning deals with the remainder. (Note: Adhesive, conveyor parts and lamps can be ordered for overnight delivery.)|
|Is the Adhesive hard to work with?||
When the adhesive is applied manually, nothing could be simpler to learn and do. Adhesive (glue) is something nearly everyone grows up with and knows about.
When adhesive application is automated, the person filling the reservior and cleaning the apparatus needs to read and follow instructions. It is a simple process, but learning and/or training are important.
|Does Simpl-Seal require special package design?||
No. Testing determines how existing packaging can be sealed. Testing also identifies what may be done to take advantage of Simpl-Seal’s natural automation and save labor without a negative impact on shelf-presence. Further, testing can show how assembly automation (Simpl-Track®) may improve worker efficiency.
The most common “change” in packaging is an adjustment to the sealing seam. Predecessor methods commonly use a half-inch perimeter sealing flange. For a 5X7 package, that is 30% more plastic than the 4X6 cavity needs. Many packagers want to reduce plastic expense, weight and bulk. So, is redesign common? Yes.
|What is the choke point?||The slowest production step is the "choke point." Simpl-Seal packagers report different choke points (denesting, content insertion, adhesive application, package closing, etc.). No packager has reported that sealing is the choke point.|
|What can’t be sealed?||If the adhesive cannot "see the UV light" from at least one angle, the package cannot be sealed. All popular plastics can be sealed, but at least one side needs to be transparent. Clear-plastic to clear-plastic, paper to clear-plastic, opaque-plastic to clear-plastic may all be sealed. Testing is recommended.|
|Is the Adhesive toxic?||According to the MSDS reports and related shipping/handling documentation, Simpl-Sealant is not considered toxic. But, as is the case with virtually all industrial adhesives, protective gear should be worn when handling it. Don’t ingest it. Don’t get it in your eyes. And if some gets on your skin, wash with warm soapy water. These are standard worker warnings.|
|How fast can sealing really go?||Measuring the speed of Simpl-Seal is pure math. Assume a 25” conveyor (average size) runs at 30fpm. That calculates to 3,600sf per hour under the UV light. Now assume 5X7 packaging (very common size). Four such packages “fit” in a square foot. Allow 50% spacing and the result is about 10,000 per hour. A 15” conveyor calculates 6,000 per hour. And, options exist that allow 50% more speed.|
|Is the UV light a worker hazard?||Human exposure to ultraviolet (UV) happens every day. Working indoors or wearing appropriate clothing reduces exposure to the sun. Simpl-Seal’s UV is intense and focused on a small area (where sealing is done). This small area is confined to a steel tunnel. Steel shields workers from UV. Safety interlocks do not allow the tunnel to be opened for service while the UV lamp is on. When maintenance and use procedures are followed, the UV meets all OSHA standards for worker safety.|
|Can UV Adhesive be purchased from a non-Partner Pak source?||
There are several companies making UV Adhesive. Cost varies little from one source to another (adhesives market is competitive). Partner Pak’s relationship with Dymax was forged from a history of testing, reliability, consistency and cost-effectiveness. Dymax adhesives are tested and approved for use with Simpl-Seal®.
Adhesives from non-Dymax sources are not tested and approved. Performance warrantees and guarantees are voided when non-approved adhesives are used.
|What is the most common reason for not converting to UV sealing?||Production managers are trained to resist inconsistency. Change is the most common source of inconsistency. Result? Change is the most common barrier to converting to UV sealing. Proof that comes from testing, references and video (all three) is the most common way that resistance to change has been overcome.|
Partner Pak, Incorporated
5322 Oceanus Drive - Huntington Beach, CA 92649