Packaging machines are necessary for maintaining a productive warehouse when distributing products like chips, fruit snacks, beef jerky or other bagged food. As a manufacturer that distributes packaged food to numerous locations, you must ensure the machines used in your facilities are in prime condition. This way, they can serve quality products to their customers.
It’s helpful to know the possible errors that could occur in your packaging machine. An area of your machine to take note of is your bagging knife. This part of your machine is essential for sealing and cutting bags in the manufacturing process, so failure can cause numerous issues.
Follow this informational guide to learn about bagging knives, why they might cause issues for your packaging machine and how you can solve these problems.
Bagging Knife Uses
Bagging knives are a vital tool for manufacturers worldwide. A bagging knife, along with a sealing jaw and other parts of a packaging machine, separates the packaged bags after they’re sealed closed and gives the bag a particular look or style along the edge. A bagging knife is a necessity for putting food into bags.
Bagging knives reduce the stress on the cutting machine, which makes cuts cleaner and more efficient. Packaging machines can use a few different bagging knives. The type of bagging knife you use in the machine depends on your company’s packaging style and requirements.
Here are a few bagging knife options you can use for packaging:
- Guillotine knives: A guillotine knife uses a swing-style or guillotine motion to slice material. These knives can have various edge profiles to create the exact style of bag cut and seal a company needs. A quality guillotine knife can cut and handle delicate materials like film and foil. The industries that commonly use this type of blade include food, paper, tire, rubber and plastic.
- Cutoff knives: Cuttoff knives are a high-quality blade option for OEMs and end-users looking for a replacement blade for their packaging machine. These knives offer a swing-style cut or chop cutoff for packaging applications.
- Perforating machine knives: This type of knife cuts verticle slits into packaging materials at a certain length while still keeping the material sealed. Perforating knife cuts are what allow consumers to easily open up certain food packages. This cut will help take away user frustration about opening up a package.
One of the most common tooth profiles for a bagging knife is a scalloped edge or V-shaped teeth. Manufacturers can select any tooth profile or teeth-depth that fits their product production needs. Bagging knives and packaging machines can also cut your plastics, foil or other bagging materials in different bagging styles.
You can find various bagging styles, including:
- Tape sealing
- Vacuum packaging
- Form fill
- Seal verticle bagging
- Pouch equipment
Bagging knives are a necessity for some OEMs and warehouses. If your warehouse has machinery that needs a bagging knife, it’s helpful to know different packaging machinery problems and why bagging knives fail. This information will help you in your next purchasing decision for high-quality bagging and packaging knives.
Why Bagging Knives Break and What to Do When They Fail
Of course, every warehouse operations manager wants all processes to run smoothly at all times. While that’s the goal, it doesn’t always happen. Machines break or throw error codes for numerous reasons. Whether those reasons are human error, warehouse conditions, irregular preventative maintenance or other factors, warehouse employees should be aware of machine malfunctions.
The packaging or bagging knives in a packaging machine may run into some problems. Being knowledgeable in packaging machine failure solutions can help get your production back on track sooner than you thought.
Check out the various bagging knife failures your facility may experience and learn how to fix the issue:
If you notice your packaging machine is producing bags with damaged, weak or uneven seals, you may have an issue with some of the end sealer functions. Part of the knife section of the machine is the end sealer. This function of a packaging machine can affect the operation of the bagging knife and the outcome of the final product.
Check out the following causes of a poor seal on a packaging machine so you can keep your facility in top shape.
1. Improper Sealer Temperatures
Incorrect heat levels can impact the seals of a package. If the temperature is too low, the seals will be weak. If the temperature is too high, the seals will blister or be off in color. The bag may also stick to the jaws and the seal may possibly separate.
The solution to improper sealer temperatures is to check the sealer’s current temperature and make the proper adjustments. If you’ve made adjustments and there still isn’t a change in temperature, you can have a technician check the controls, heating elements and wiring.
2. Temperature Difference
An excessive temperature variation between the lower and upper sealers can cause the packaging to stick to one side of the jaw. This problem can also lead to a weak or separated seal. The solution to fixing a temperature difference in the jaw is adjusting the temperature and ensuring the difference between the upper and lower jaw is 10 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
3. Wrong Down Pressure on Upper Jaw
Incorrect down pressure on the upper jaw can lead to weak seals and a faint seal pattern. Too much pressure may cause a broken or damaged seal. The solution to the wrong down pressure on the upper jaw of the packaging machine is to adjust the screws typically located on the ends of the upper jaw.
4. Unbalanced Pressure on Upper Jaw
If the upper jaw is experiencing uneven pressure, the seals may end up weak on one side and fine or damaged on the other side of the package. The fix for uneven pressure is to adjust the screw on the upper jaw to balance the pressure.
5. Anvil is Set Too High
When the anvil is set high, this may prevent the correct jaw pressure from occurring on the seals.
The solution to fixing the anvil setting is to loosen the screws on the knife while the jaws are functioning at operating temperature. Check to ensure the knife is completely situated and balanced in the slot. Secure the knife and untighten the anvil locking. Adjust the screws and make sure the jaws are ready for cutting. Then, tighten the screws until you can’t see any light between the anvil and the knife. Tighten all of the screws to make sure they’re secure, then test the cut the machine makes. Adjust slightly until it makes an even and clear cut with the bagging knife.
5. Treat Surface of Web is Reversed
If the treated surface of the web is reversed, then the seals can be weak, opening up or adhering to the jaws of the machine. To fix this issue, check the release coating’s position, rolling it so the treated web side connects with the machine’s jaws.
6. Jaws Are Misaligned
If the jaws on your machine are misaligned, you may have some damaged or cut seals. The solution to misaligned jaws is to adjust the jaws so the serrations connect and meet up the right way.
Poor Package Cut Off
You might notice that your packaging machine is producing poorly cut bags. Whether they’re uneven or damaged, it’s essential to know what the causes may be and the steps you can take to fix the problem.
Learn the best solutions for fixing your packaging machine if a problem is causing poor package cut off:
1. Anvil or Knife Isn’t Adjusted Properly
If your anvil or knife isn’t adjusted properly, you may also notice that the bag seal is off. This issue can contribute to both the cut and the seal of the package being damaged or misshapen.
The solution for the knife or anvil not being adjusted properly is similar to what you’d do if the anvil was set too high. Loosen the lock screws on the knife to make sure it’s secure and in the slot correctly before you lock it into place. Then, adjust the screws on the anvil and test the cut and seal until it’s exactly how you want it. These steps will ensure both the bagging knife and the sealer are both operating properly.
2. Differences in Jaw Temperature
If there’s a significant variation in the jaw’s temperature, then the cut of the bag may be off or incomplete. This problem can lead to weak seals or no seals at all. The solution to this problem is looking at the current temperature of the jaw and adjusting it to meet operation requirements. If you accomplish this step and the bag cut is still off, you should adjust the bagging knife and anvil.
3. Dull or Damaged Knife
If your bagging knife is damaged or dull, the cut you’ll need to make won’t be clean or precise. The solution to a dull or damaged bagging knife is tp replace the knife. You can also sharpen the knife, but this step may warp the height of the knife, which can affect the operation of the packaging machine. You can always buy high-quality bagging knives from trusted manufacturers when you need to replace your machine’s knife.
Packaging Machine Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Operation Running
One of the best ways to prevent bagging knife failures is with maintenance. Scheduling routine maintenance on your packaging machine will help catch significant problems before they occur. This process can help save your facility time, money and resources and make your operations process smoother.
Are you looking for more ways to make packaging machine maintenance more beneficial for your company? Check out these five tips on machine maintenance:
1. Have a Periodic Maintenance Plan
Scheduling periodic maintenance on your packaging machine can help increase its lifetime and reduce downtime in your warehouse. Periodic maintenance can help ensure your machine is receiving the proper care it needs to continue functioning at its maximum performance. This strategy is one of the best ways to catch small problems so you can order new parts when you need them.
Periodic maintenance may include:
- Inspecting your machine.
- Making sure to stock high-wear machine parts.
- Looking carefully at high-wear parts, changing them out when necessary.
- Lubricating the packaging machine.
2. Order Quality Bagging Knives and Parts
The parts you order for your machine are essential to its lifespan and overall performance. While it might seem smart to choose cheaper parts for financial reasons, that decision may lead to more machine downtime and error codes. Investing in quality machine parts, like a bagging knife, can make a huge difference in your machine’s supply chain functionality.
Do your best to complete research before you stock new parts for your machine. Consider the manufacturer, material and your industry to ensure you’re buying parts that will enhance your operation.
3. Train Employees on Daily Maintenance Tasks
While periodic maintenance is essential to your machine’s operation, it’s beneficial to train your team to perform small daily maintenance tasks to ensure your machine is operating properly.
Create a checklist of maintenance tasks that employees can complete during the day. It’s also helpful to ensure all employees are familiar with the machine’s operations and become familiar with common packaging machinery problems and the solutions they can perform to help keep operations flowing.
4. Create a Spare Parts Checklist
Keep a checklist of machine parts you’ll need to restock for your packaging machine. You can organize the list by the part’s lifecycle, which can help with knowing what parts to always keep in stock and which ones are OK to order when you need them.
You can always contact your machine’s manufacturer for a spare parts list to keep you organized and on top of your machine’s maintenance. It’s also wise to set aside a portion of your budget for potential replacements and emergencies so you can get back to business as soon as possible.
5. Make an Upgrade Plan
Always keep an eye out for upgrades you can make to your machine and how you can speed up your operation process. Technology is constantly evolving, and it’s important to make a plan for machine or technology upgrades in your facility.
This upgrade plan can include different machines, new parts or different software to help boost productivity.
How York Saw & Knife Can Help With Your Industrial Knife Needs
Choosing the right bagging or industrial knife for your warehouse machinery is a considerable purchasing decision. It’s crucial to have all the information on your machine, industry and application to ensure you’re purchasing quality industrial knives.
Teaching yourself about the different types of industrial and bagging knives is helpful, but it’s OK if you need to ask an expert for advice. If you need some extra help finding the perfect bagging knife for your operation, contact the professionals at York Saw & Knife.
We pride ourselves on providing high-quality products to our customers. For your next bagging knife purchase or for any of your industrial knife needs, request a free quote today for more information.