Re-engineering Sealing Jaws to Provide a Robust Sealing Solution
AMP have worked closely with Fuji specialists Paramount Packaging to engineer a solution for excessive wear on sealing jaws used on a high speed flow wrapping line.
Paramount Packaging are exclusive suppliers of Fuji Machinery Co flow wrapping and tray wrapping systems across the UK and Ireland, proving premium horizontal and vertical Fuji packaging solutions for the food, non-food, pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
On a flow wrapping line used to package nutritional cereal bars, operational issues became apparent when the sealing jaws demonstrated excessive wear after just a couple of months. These components would usually be expected to yield a service life in excess of two years.
The application involved a paper film with a lining. Usually, an easy material to melt as part of the sealing process, this particular example was proving tough to compress when running through the machine. With the equipment also operating at high speeds, which intensified the problem, this was the first time Paramount had experienced a film creating abrasion levels high enough to erode the jaws.
Paramount Packaging has worked closely with Advanced Mechanical Projects for over a decade, incorporating sealing jaws manufactured by AMP into high-performance flow wrapping lines for customers around the UK and Ireland. The two companies have often collaborated with end-users and third parties to develop innovative solutions for production machinery, so AMP’s technical division set out to find a solution capable of delivering the performance and longevity required for this application.
AMP consulted with Wallwork Cambridge UK, part of the Wallwork Group of companies specialising in hard coatings, heat treatment and vacuum brazing. Wallwork Cambridge is the specialist coatings division of the Group; AMP has worked closely with Wallwork on many occasions for heat treatment projects to optimise performance for sealing jaws.
Tough Materials for Tough Operating Conditions
Wallwork assessed the issue and made a number of technical recommendations based on this application. They suggested using a harder material that could still be machined easily, completing 75% of the machining then solution treating to take the material up to high temperature and soften back any work hardening the initial machining had caused.
Final machining and heat treating to H900 condition would give the required high hardness and provide an ideal platform for the coating. Together, improved hardness and coating would help to improve the service life of the components.
The work was completed and the new sealing jaws were installed in February 2021. Since then, production has continued uninterrupted, without any repetition of the excessive wear conditions experienced prior to the work.
This is believed to be a new treatment for sealing jaws, designed to give added longevity to the sealing process on a flow wrapping line.