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What to Look for in a Case Sealer Part 2 – Semi-Automatic vs Automatic Flap Folding

Depending on your requirements of your packaging line, you will need to decide to either go with a semi-automatic or fully automatic case sealer. First of all what’s the difference? ┬áThe main advantage of an automatic case sealer is that it will fold automatically fold the top flaps of the case, which allows the cases to be fed automatically to the sealer. While a semi-automatic machine requires an operator to manually fold the flaps and feed the cubed case into the sealer. There are some other factors involved but usually the main deciding factor for which way to go is speed.

So how fast does my packaging line need to be going until I need to upgrade to a fully automatic case sealer?

There’s no exact science to it and you should talk with you equipment provider but we usually recommend if you are going faster than 10 cases per minute, that you go with a fully automatic case sealer. One thing many people forget to think about is it’s not just about how fast you are going now, but also about how fast you will be going in the future. If you estimate that you’ll have the machine for 5 or even more years, then it should be able to handle some amount of growth in that time frame. You don’t want to buy a machine that barely meets your current capacity and when you grow next year, you will either need to buy another one or replace a perfectly fine machine with a faster one.

Other Factors

Besides speed, there are a few factors that may often restrict or direct you to choose one over the other. The first is price. Fully automatic machines can be relatively expensive and are often more than double the price of a semi-automatic machine.

Another factor to consider is the case size range. Semi-Automatic machines are more flexible in the case size they can handle so if you have a very long or very large box, you may need to go with a semi-automatic solution.

Last but not least is floor space. If you (like many people) don’t have an ample amount of floor space, it may be hard to fit in an automatic case sealer. Fully automatic case sealers are often heavily guarded and therefore require a significant amount of floor space. However, Wexxar/BEL case sealers, have extremely compact case sealers to the use of Wexxar Packaging’s exclusive Snap Folder technology. With the Snap Folders, Wexxar/BEL automatic case sealers are extremely safe to use and require minimal amounts of guarding. For more information, visit http://www.wexxar.com/products/case-sealing-systems/

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