Corrugated boxes are easy to seal. All it takes is the right packaging tape and a quality hand held tape dispenser and you’re good to go. But what about product bags that hold nuts and bolts or delicious things like candy? For that, you’ll want something a little better than tape. And for that, there’s something called an impulse sealer. What is an impulse sealer, you ask? So glad you did.
Let’s dive into this interesting piece of equipment and see how it’s beneficial for you.
What is an Impulse Sealer?
An impulse sealer is a powered tool used to seal different types of plastic packaging—most often poly bags containing groups of parts or components. It uses an impulse of electricity to heat up a metal wire that melts one layer of plastic to the other. This creates a permanent seal that can only be broken by cutting it open later (or ripping it open, for the impatient among us).
One of the advantages of using impulse sealers over heat sealers is that there’s no warm-up time needed—and no need for a cool-down time, either. As a result, they’re a bit safer to use (though, of course, anyone who uses one needed to be properly trained on how to use it).
What are the types of Impulse Sealer?
There are five types, depending on your project needs: tabletop, foot-operated, double impulse, attached cutter and automatic. The tabletop version is hand-operated and looks a fair bit like a stapler, with a lever or “jaw” that is pressed down. The foot-operated version is mounted on a stand that can be moved around and is designed for use in higher volume projects.
Double impulse sealers have two sealing bars that can bond thick plastic together and are used in heavy duty operations (such as automotive parts or components for machinery). Impulse sealers with an attached cutter will cut the plastic once it’s been sealed. This is ideal when using plastic tubing, which requires both ends of the packaging to be closed to create a sealed bag.
Finally, automatic sealers are designed to continuously seal materials without a person operating the machine. They’re able to be programmed for different materials, temperatures and sealing times.
And when sealing materials, timing is everything. Too short of a sealing time can result in a weak or incomplete seal, while too long can result in burnt packaging. Not a good look (or a good smell!).
There are also two types of wire used in impulse sealers. A flat wire sealer creates a thick, visible seal that needs to be manually cut, while a round wire sealer creates a thin seal as it cuts the material.
What accessories do you need for an Impulse Sealer?
First, you need materials to seal. And impulse sealers can be used with open ended poly bags, poly tubing, plastic sheeting, foil and metalized material, and even poly-coated kraft paper bags.
Eventually, the components used in the sealing bar will need to be replaced. Impulse sealer service kits include replacement heating wires, tape to attach them, and a silicone strip to cover it. You just need to make sure you’re buying the right wire length and shape for your equipment.
As a safety precaution (or to satisfy possible legal requirements), health warnings may be necessary on your sealed packaging. Some bags come pre-printed with suffocation warnings, and if not, you can buy labels to be placed after sealing and cutting. Some retailers, like Amazon, will not accept bagged products without them.
What businesses use an Impulse Sealer?
- Hardware stores and component suppliers
- Automotive stores and part manufacturers
- Electronic stores and component suppliers
- Candy stores, tea retailers, food manufacturers
- Any industry that creates physical products or components
What gadgets pair well with an Impulse Sealer?
Depending on what you’re packaging, bag openers and label dispensers can be helpful gadgets.
Bag openers are designed to hold and inflate bags so they can be quickly loaded with products. This cuts down packing times and reduces the repetitive motion stress on your team. That loaded bag can then be sealed, and it’s onto the next packaging gadget.
Label dispensers are designed to be used with roll labels, separating them from their backing material and prepping them for use. This makes labels easier to peel, cutting down on application times and possible frustration, while also saving everyone’s nails. Manual label dispensers work well for small or short-run projects, while powered label dispensers can keep the labels coming during a long and extended packaging session.
Impulse sealers are valuable additions to any product line that uses poly bags or packaging in need to permanent sealing. Arguably a necessity, they reduce packing times and are a safer alternative to heat sealers. As part of a line of packaging gadgets, they can help streamline your processes and improve your bottom line. Be sure to visit our bags category for the supplies and sealers best suited for your business. And stop by our gadgets category to discover some interesting and unexpected machinery.