Manufacturers that specialize in food packaging often u […]
Manufacturers that specialize in food packaging often use hot melt equipment in their production. Hot melt technology has revolutionized over the past decade, becoming one of the most efficient methods used in food packaging.
One of the most popular types of hot melt food packaging equipment are hot melt labelers. These machines use an automatic rotary function for applying plastic pre-cut hot glue labels that completely wrap around glass, plastic and metal containers.
Labelers are most commonly used for cans and bottles. In fact, almost ALL cans (99%) are labeled with hot melt glue labelers. A can without a label has no aesthetic appeal; in order to be marketed and sold, cans have full wrap labels applied to their surface. At full production, can labeler machines apply labels at speeds up to 1400 cans per minute. In order to produce this fast, manufacturers use a labeler called a rotary labeler.
In the past few years, a new type of labeling started being utilized. A new low-temperature melting glue has come onto the market, saving on energy expenditures. The new low-temp glue machines have quick changing parts, making them easier for workers to switch out parts without as much waste.
How do these glue labelers work?
To use a hot melt labeler, first the packaging labels are loaded into the labeler machine's magazine. Then, as the can or bottle rotates in the labeler machine, a thin strip of glue is applied to the specific label attachment area on the container. When can or bottle with the glue contacts the label, the label attaches to the glue and wraps around the container. At the end of the label, another tiny strip of glue is applied to the edge of the label. This second glued area overlaps the first applied glue area and creates a full wrap around the container.
If the machines are specified as "neck ring machines", they eliminate the need for switching out parts if both large and small bottles are being labeled. The bottles are fitted into the machine so to be supported by the neck (rather than the base), so there's no need to swap out different fittings.
In the food packaging industry, speed and efficiency are key. Manufacturers select equipment that will maximize production with the least amount of time and material waste. Finding machines and technology that can work for various sizes and types of packages saves significantly on production costs.