A new, resealable package for J&J Snack Foods' SuperPretzel(R) products uses pressure-sensitive tape that is easy to open and reseal and provides tamper-evidence. Supplied by Sealstrip Corp. (www.sealstrip.com) and run on a Model VPK vertical form/fill/seal machine from Rovema Packaging Machines (www.rovema.com), the tape is used on most packages of J&J SuperPretzels producys. To open the package, the consumer tears away the perforated top and separates the grip area, allowing easy access to the frozen pretzels inside. To reseal, just press the two sides back together, and the p-s Sealtape seals the package closed.
The Sealstrip applicator is a standalone unit that is located at the back of the Rovema machine. The roll of film was moved from its normal location on the back of the bag machine to the back of the Sealstrip applicator for this application.
The film is pulled through the applicator and into the VPK bag machine by a combination of friction drive belts and vacuum assist on the front of the bag machine. As the film travels through the applicator, it applies the Sealtape to the film in the direction of the film flow, creating a package that opens and reseals from end-seal to end-seal.
To form the Sealstrip feature into the packaging film, the film is pulled across the top of the applicator where it is perforated by a rotating wheel. The film then passes beneath a stationary blade that cuts a 1/4-in.-wide slot. Over this slot, the applicator automatically applies the 3/4-in.-wide p-s Sealtape. This leaves a 1/4-in.-wide strip of tape to stick to the film on each side of the slot. The Sealstrip applicator then folds a pleat into the packaging film, forming the Sealstrip feature.
The film travels from the tension-controlled film unwind, through the Sealstrip applicator module and then into the Rovema as flat film. The easy-open and resealable functions are applied and formed in film-flow direction.
The Sealtape, which is provided on long rolls, is comprised of a thermoplastic substrate coated with a proprietary, FDA-compliant, p-s adhesive that is resistant to moisture, functions well in the freezer and is compatible with the packaging film. The Sealtape can be printed as the customer wishes, and J&J took advantage of this opportunity to print the tape with the SuperPretzel brand logo and colors. Adding this colorful branding message onto the clear bag helps J&J build brand awareness every time the bag is used.
The startup, implementation and ongoing efficiency of the installed Sealstrip systems were important factors in determining the overall cost of the package. The quick and easy integration of the Sealstrip system with the new Rovema vf/f/s bagger, allowed J&J to provide consistent packaging. This addition of Sealstrip systems to new and existing wrapping equipment minimized new capital equipment purchases, installation costs and downtime for integration. An added incentive to install this equipment was that Sealstrip Corp. guaranteed that the system would maintain current line speeds, while producing a high-quality package.
"The tape runs through the machines with no problems, and it holds up very well to freezing," says director of engineering Phil Heffelfinger. "The Sealtape closures cost a fraction of a typical resealable zipper per package and are very user-friendly."