What is a case sealer and who needs them? Case sealers do as their name says they seal boxes. Many industries use them especially today with increasing demand for eCommerce and drop shipping. Companies of all sizes are realizing these machines are a handy piece of kit that can increase production and speed of delivery.
Like most machines today, case sealers are reliant on technology and the software that operates them. Case sealers can be semi or fully automated and they come with the promise of reduced labor and material costs. In many circumstances, they are increasing the productivity of the workforce through giving worker hour back to the business to utilize more efficiently somewhere else in the production line. Case sealers do as they say, they seal boxes and one machine can seal up to 30 boxes of varying sizes in under a minute.
However, too many businesses make the decision to buy based on the price or potential output alone instead of the factors that truly matter. Here are four important questions you should ask before buying a case sealer.
What Is Its Capability Relative to My Needs?
Don’t buy a case sealer based on throughput speed if it isn’t capable of handling your boxes. For example, can it handle the range of sizes your cases come in? You may have trouble finding a machine that will handle six-inch or twenty-inch boxes, for example.
Furthermore, does it have the box style capabilities you want? The most common box styles are RSC, HSC and AFM.
Consider what your packaging style is and what it may be, before choosing the machine that can handle both scenarios. You may want to pay a little more upfront for a system that focuses on speed and case sizes since this can save you the hassle of replacing the equipment later when your needs change.
What Is Its Throughput, and How Does That Compare to Our Operation?
Don’t waste money on a machine that can handle twenty times more than you’ve ever going to need. On the other hand, you want to buy a case sealer that has more capacity i.e. greater throughput than your current operation.
Your output will grow so your machine will need to manage the increase in volume as well as the need for speed of your production line. You can typically slow down a fast case sealer, but you can’t make a slower model run quicker. Conversely, a larger size of the machine will cost you less than a smaller machine capable of greater output.
What Are the Support Requirements?
Do your research regarding the business support for the case sealer machine. How often does it jam? How often does the model break down? You also want to know how the supplier will help you when there’s a problem with it. The last situation you want is your team attempting to troubleshoot an error message all the while the production line is dormant. Remember time is money, and you’ll want your machines operational for 99.9% of the time.
Another factor to consider is the work required to make changes. For example, what is required to switch between case sizes? How much work is required to change the speed of the case sealer?
Can It Handle Our Corrugated Material?
Corrugated material ranges from thin to rugged layers. You may want to choose a case sealer with an opposing cup design if you’re dealing with thin corrugated material because it may not open with a pin and dome system. And don’t forget to consider the potential impact on going with thicker, more rugged corrugated material if your boxes are already at the edge of the size range the machine can handle.
Case sealers are a valuable piece of packaging automation. They can speed up production and reduce labor costs. However, this is only true if you take the right factors into account and buy the right machine for your firm’s needs today and tomorrow.