Sealing is one of the most important process steps in industrial packaging, because the sealed seam is the most sensitive section of a package in terms of quality. For this reason, a major focus in flexible packaging is the sealing process, and among this, heat sealing is the most frequently used technology. In detail, applications of heat sealing processes are confronted with four conflicting objectives: increasing seam quality, reducing dwell time, reducing sealing temperature, and increasing process robustness towards varying conditions. Typical problems, such as identification of the optimum process parameters or selection of the most appropriate packaging film, are subject to these conflicting objectives. This paper presents a recently published design of experiments for characterizing and comparing heat sealing properties of packaging films based on a multi-objective optimization algorithm. The approach provides easy-to-read charts showing all optimum sealing parameters with regard to the four essential objectives of heat sealing: seam quality, dwell time, sealing temperature, and process robustness. Three case studies show exemplary applica- tions of the new approach: 1) analyzing transport damages of beverage powder packages; 2) identifying and comparing optimum sealing parameter of a standard, mono-material, and fiber based packaging film regarding tightness and visual properties of the produced sachets; and 3) analyzing the effect of additional aluminum layers on sealing characteristics regarding hot-tack. The new design of experiments may provide the basis of a standard test method for the identification of optimal sealing parameters in the heat sealing processes.
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2023|