JTE Machines Pivots to Help Automate U.S. based PPE Production

At the end of 2019, start of 2020, an odd silence emerged amongst the traditional industrial fabric industries served by JTE Machines. It seemed like decision makers were in a “wait and see” mode, with the economy experiencing a slight downturn. As it turns out, these companies knew that a fast-spreading virus, the Coronavirus, COVID-19 was in full outbreak in China, and a pandemic was headed our way. Over the course of first and second quarters 2020, many of these clients were forced to reduce their operations as non-essential businesses and to keep their employees safe. During the crisis, however, many pivoted to PPE related product production to include hospital barriers, facemask and surgical gown production, along with body bag production.

As in the past, manufacturers in our industry have been leading indicators for the economic outlook. Even before investors react, our clients drive the manufacturing sector forward and invest in capital equipment accordingly. Those clients who were able to pivot are now leading the way, along with an entirely different set of manufacturers who reached out to JTE, in search of automated machines. They needed a way to lower the barrier to entry into unchartered territories and to increase potential profits. Many companies who normally made tents, clothing, or industrial equipment quickly recognized linkages between their knowledge of fabric, patterns, barrier materials and PPE production. They also realized that if the United States is going to succeed in supplying essential products to healthcare workers and beyond, we have to set up smarter, more efficient ways to produce product in large quantities.

In response to these requests, and as our way of doing our part to increase the domestic supply of PPE products, JTE has introduced a new line PPE automation equipment. All solutions are approved and supported by our team of automation engineers and technicians.

Surgical Mask Machine– 100% Made in U.S. with top quality ultrasonic components

N95 Mask Machine– Low cost, quick delivery, supported by U.S. ultrasonic experts

Body Bag Machine– 100% RF welded, including zippers, designed and built in U.S., accommodates a high variety of different sizes and materials

Surgical Gown Machine– RF Welded Isolation Gowns, for high efficiency continuous production

Contact us today to discuss your specific needs, and be Safe! sales@jtemachines.com

Innovative Advances in RF Welding Medical Products

What is RF Welding? RF Welding refers to the process of bonding materials together through the use of electromagnetic energy. While RF does involve the heating up of molecules within materials, there is no external heat source applied topically to the material. Materials that are commonly RF welded include PET, PETG, PVC, Thermoplastic Polyurethanes, Open Celled Polyurethanes, and LDPE/EVA. Today there are only a handful of manufacturers based in the U.S., with JTE leading the way in providing advanced controls for all of its RF machines, with a specialization in automation and integrated cutting operations.

Many industries such as the medical industry are searching for more efficient ways to produce their products very quickly and precisely. With the built in PLC and HMI systems, JTE Machines are able to provide their customers with a more advanced system that continuously monitors the inputs and outputs of the operation. The PLC system keeps a memory of the weld cycles, settings and an errors that may occur during the welding process. With these features, the PLC is capable of detecting errors sooner rather than later, saving time and material waste while providing manufacturers with a way to validate the overall process. With the unique HMI system that JTE Machines provides, the HMI monitor is easily operated with its advanced color touch screen system, and accessible USB port.  JTE Machines provides the most advanced PLC and HMI controlled machines to the industry, as well as the most customized and innovative tools for perimeter, tube, chamber and two-stage welding.

These high tech features of the JTE Machines have recently been implemented into their most recent project. The newest machine is designed to enable multiple types of products with minimal change overtime; this minimizes the downtime on the machine. With the addition of a robotic off loader, the number of operators needed is reduced. This automated machine produces higher quality end products that are welded with high accuracy. Some additional components of the JTE Machines include

auto-tuning, pneumatic sliding tool holder, servo driven clamp index system, programmable index length, and two position automatic  mandrel loading system. JTE Machines takes the needs of the customer into consideration before designing the most efficient machine that will work best for their RF welding requirements.

Not only is JTE Machines adopting the most updated technologies in the industry, JTE Machines provides a very strong support system that is always ready to help with any needs. JTE is one of the few companies in the industry that offers dedicated 24/7 expert technical support. This support system specifically benefits its high volume automation solution customers. JTE offers a comprehensive Preventative Maintenance program that entails one visit per year for a full inspection, cleaning, and calibration of the system for optimized production. Also, there is a complimentary 24/7 over the phone service with extended warranty. JTE Machines is constantly looking to enforce the most updated technologies into their machines as well as providing their customers with the most reliable support system possible. To learn more about what JTE can do to improve your production, email sales@jtemachines.com

What is RF Welding?

Many people may be familiar with the phrase “RF Welding” but are unsure as to what it really means. RF (radio frequency) welding, also known as HF or high-frequency welding, refers to the process of bonding materials together through the use of electromagnetic energy. This process creates an oscillating electric field that shifts and moves polar molecules within the materials between a tool and the platen. When these molecules move, they release energy in the form of heat. When enough of this energy is applied, the molecules begin to melt and bond to one another. The weld is completed by applying pressure to the bonded area, ensuring a successful seal without any external heat.

What Factors Influence a Good Weld?

There are many factors that affect the strength and quality of a seal in RF welding. Some of the most important factors in creating a good seal include tooling layout, weld thickness, and machine control. All RF welds require adjustments in the power level, pressure level, and time for both weld and cooling settings. The best RF weld results from machines that control the power, pressure, and time precisely throughout the welding cycle. The appeal of RF welding lies in the completeness of the weld that it provides. When you choose RF welding as your method, you can create very robust hermetic seals. These seals are airtight, as many welds are subject to peel tests, leak tests, and optical tests to determine whether or not the correct conditions have been achieved.

What Materials Can Be Welded?

Here is a list of the most common materials the RF welding is performed on:

  • PET
  • PETG
  • PVC
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethanes
  • Open Celled Polyurethanes
  • LDPE/EVA

Is RF the same as Heat Sealing?

While many people, including some RF machine manufacturers, refer to their RF machines as “Heat Sealers”, the term is inaccurate when explaining RF technology. Heat sealing is the process of sealing one thermoplastic to another similar thermoplastic using heat and pressure. The direct contact method of heat sealing utilizes a constantly heated die or sealing bar to apply heat to a specific contact area or path to seal or weld the thermoplastics together. While RF does involve the heating up of molecules within materials, there is no external heat source applied topically to the material. In fact, the RF tool is usually regulated to maintain the same temperature as the ambient temperature or just slightly warmer to produce the most efficient RF weld.

History of RF Welding for Plastic Materials

RF (HF) welding can also be referred to as dielectric welding, and is a relatively mature technology with regard to welding plastics. It has been around for over 50 years, starting in Europe, as a result of theoretical knowledge of the first radar systems and post-war experience accrued in the field of inductive and capacitive heating of materials. Today there are only a handful of manufacturers based in the U.S., with JTE leading the way in providing advanced controls for all of its RF machines, with a specialization in automation and conversion of existing sewing operations.

If your machine is not as efficient as you would like, your welder may not be the right machine for the job. Our eBook 5 Signs That You May Be Using the Wrong Fabric Welder can help you figure out the answer to this question, and help you find the machine that fits your welding needs. 

Download our FREE ebooks!

5 Signs That You May Be
Using the WRONG Fabric Welder

The Top 20 Products Made
with RF WELDERS

Have a question? Contact us!

JTE Ushers In a New Era of Innovation with their Latest Automated Line

JTE Machines is bringing innovation to the fabric welding industry with their new product line of automated cutting solutions. As with fabric welding, this new line features cutters/plotters, unwind units, slitters and integrated material storage carousel systems. JTE is one of the few companies that offers items like a fully integrated, material roll storage and delivery system, together with multi-function static and conveyor systems.

Dynamic Cutting Solutions

One of the first machines to showcase the marriage of automation and fabric welding is the multifunction cutter. The multifunction cutter is an automatic flatbed or conveyor cutting machine that is specially designed for cutting and marking flexible materials, and can be used by the awnings, inflatable, industrial door, and tensile structures industries, just to name a few. Some of its technical features include:

  • Modular and compact design, accommodating roll widths up to 21 feet
  • Motorized High speed and versatile cutting tools that offer high cutting quality
  • Vacuum and Reverse Vacuum Systems
  • Laser, Punching, Crush Cut, and Marking Std. Tools
  • Emergency Safety Devices
  • Easy to use interface with advanced application software

Advantages of Automation

When it comes to the introduction of automation into the fabric welding industry, the advantages are endless. Not only does automation increase overall efficiency in the workplace, but the sturdy design and durability of the frame and bridge of the multifunction cutter ensures that there is square-ness to the cut and no flexing, which increases the life of the machine. This, in turn, decreases the cost of ownership, as repairs and machine upgrades are not as common. The machine also comes with a precision-driven rotary cutting tool, which reduces the wear of the cutting surface, while increasing accuracy and optimizing joints. All JTE machines come with cutting edge software that is application specific to further increase overall efficiency.  

Advantages of One Partner

When you are considering the implementation of automation within your industrial fabrics manufacturing, you no longer have to seek out multiple companies. With JTE, you gain an applications diverse and experienced partner with whom to collaborate on for the correct process, technology choice and format, and interface to achieve the most efficient yet versatile system for your needs. From rolled goods to finished product, JTE has the equipment and know-how to get your company to the next level.

If you would like to learn more about RF Welders and their wide range of uses, click on the link below to download our eBook The Top 20 Products Made With RF Welders.

Download our FREE ebooks!

5 Signs That You May Be
Using the WRONG Fabric Welder

The Top 20 Products Made
with RF WELDERS

 

How Does RF Welding Work?

Radio Frequency (RF) welding is a process that uses electromagnetic energy to bond materials. Also known as High Frequency (HF) welding, this process creates an oscillating electric field that shifts and moves polar molecules within the materials between a tool and the platen. The movement of these molecules releases energy in heat form. When enough energy is applied, the molecules begin to melt and bond. Pressure is then applied to the bonded area completing the weld.

One of the most important aspects of RF welding is creating a seal that is strong and of consistent quality. The most important factors when creating a seal include:

  • Tooling Design
  • Weld Thickness
  • Machine Control

To ensure you have the best RF welds, use machines that control the power, pressure and time throughout the welding cycle. It is important to note that all RF welds require some adjustment, usually in the pressure level, power level, or in the time needed for the weld and cooling settings.

The History of RF Welding

In addition to HF welding, RF welding can also be referred to as dielectric welding and has been around for over 50 years. RF welding began in Europe as a result of theoretical knowledge of the first radar systems and post-war experience of heating materials. Today there are only a handful of U.S. based manufacturers like JTE leading the way in providing advanced controls for all of its RF machines, specializing in automation and the conversion of existing sewing operations.

Why Use RF Welding?

The appeal of RF welding lies in the complete weld that it provides. RF welding also yields robust hermetic seals that are very airtight and pass peel, leak, and optical tests. RF welding can also be performed on most  common materials, such as:

  • PET
  • PETG
  • PVC
  • Polyurethane

RF welding and heat sealing are often used interchangeably, with some RF machine manufacturers going so far as to refer to some of their machines as “heat sealers.” In reality, this is incorrect, as heat sealing is the process of sealing one thermoplastic to another similar thermoplastic using a combination of external heat, and pressure. Although both involve heating up molecules within materials, RF welding doesn’t require an external heat source. Thus allowing the material to be more evenly heated and allowing better consistency in addition to being able to weld thicker materials together.

If you would like to learn more about the types of products that can be made using RF Welders, click on the link below to download our eBook The Top 20 Products Made With RF Welders.

Download our FREE ebooks!

5 Signs That You May Be
Using the WRONG Fabric Welder

The Top 20 Products Made
with RF WELDERS

 

How to Maintain Your Welder and Prevent Downtime

In order to preserve the longevity of your machines, maintenance is key. When a machine goes down, there can be serious ramifications such as halts in production leading to a loss in profit. This is why JTE has created a checklist that outlines the preventative measures you can take on a daily to a yearly basis to ensure that your machine is running smoothly. As a disclaimer, before any maintenance is carried out ensure that it is in a safe condition and that services are switched off and isolated. Always short capacitors and components to earth before touching. Never use wet or oil rags when cleaning machine parts, instead use denatured alcohol. Below you will find a tried and true outline for machine maintenance:

Daily Maintenance

  • Wipe the table down every morning
  • Keep the area around the machine clean from debris
  • Inspect the tooling for damage
    • (repair according to procedure)
  • Inspect buffer for damage
    • Repair/Replace buffer and table if damaged
  • Inspect ground shield and fingers
  • Drain the Water Tap

Monthly Maintenance

  • Replace air filter
  • Inspect feed strips and ground fingers
    • Replace if cracked/broken
  • Inspect Digital air pressure regulator for leaks
  • Inspect water bowl for cracks or damaged seals
  • Check inside air control cabinet for air leaks

Periodic Maintenance

  • Level tool holder
  • Parallel tool holder and Platen
  • Ensure all ground fingers are in good shape
  • Check for cracks or discoloration

Yearly Maintenance

  • Remove all panels and clean inside of the machine
  • Inspect feed strips and ground fingers (Replace if damaged)
  • Inspect bar or platen air pressure regulator for leaks
  • Inspect water bowl for cracks or damaged seals
  • Clean interior of generator cabinet
  • Remove and clean Oscillator valve

JTE also offers a comprehensive preventative maintenance program that includes adjustments to the machine, cleaning of surfaces, enhanced training on specific applications and a customized manual for ongoing maintenance. If you have any questions about our maintenance programs, you can visit our site to learn more.

An increase in machine downtime can also be a sign that your welder might not be the right machine for the job. Our eBook 5 Signs That You May Be Using the Wrong Fabric Welder can help you figure out the answer to this question, and help you find the machine that fits your welding needs. Download your free copy below!

Download our FREE ebooks!

5 Signs That You May Be
Using the WRONG Fabric Welder

The Top 20 Products Made
with RF WELDERS


What to Do When You Can’t Find Skilled Industrial Sewing Machine Operators

Finding industrial sewing machine operators that are skilled and available can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. In recent years, welding has become a viable option when seaming industrial materials. If you have been thinking of making the switch from Industrial Sewers to an alternative option, now is the time. Finding the machine that best fits your sewing needs can be tricky, which is why we took four major industrial sewing applications and matched them with the welder that is best suited for the job

If You Are Looking for a Machine to Sew Flags, Banners, and Signs, We Suggest:

The Rotary Sew-n-Cut

This machine is a dual wheel ultrasonic sewing system that is ideal for welding and trimming polyester flags, banners, and signs, It is an extremely easy machine to operate, and requires no seaming tape. As it welds, it trims the excess material, simultaneously allowing for a professional look and eliminating any fraying potential. It is also great for hems on window screen graphics and tradeshow graphics. It also can weld block out material and Tyvek.

The machine boasts an efficient design, featuring a top-mounted horn and side by side welding and cutting anvils that are adjustable increasing seal integrity and reducing puckering. This also allows for versatility and two different pressures for welding and cutting.

The Rotary Sew-n-Cut has a 1200 watt, 20k, 120V single phase generator at the heart of its system, and has advanced Energy Control for consistent welding. It has a carbide interchangeable tip on the horn and comes complete with

  • integrated standard or custom table 
  • foot-pedal control
  • Customizable Patterned Wheels
  • Custom Cooling System
  • User- friendly interface
  • Option to add our Preventative Maintenance program

If You Are Sewing PVC Coated Signs, Banners, and Billboards We Suggest:

The FIAB 900 Traveling Head RF Welder

The FIAB 900 Traveling Head RF Welder is the correct alternative for high-efficiency finishing of these products. It is a versatile welding machine that can have up to 2000 mm in tool length. It combines high-speed production with high welding precision. It is very customer friendly and can be adjusted to fit any type of manufacture. There are supplements available including keder solutions, hem and tube welding systems, and a tape application device.

Other Applications include:

  • Tarps/Truck Covers
  • Structures/Tent
  • Covers
  • Pool Liners
  • Inflatables
  • Signs and Banners
  • Screens/ Shelters
  • Water and Gas Tanks
  • Oil Booms
  • Industrial Doors

 

If You Are Looking for a Machine to Sew Straps, Tabs, and Close Pocket Ends We Suggest:

The Sonic Hand Held Welder with Hand Press

The sonic hand held welder and hand press is a lightweight ultrasonic welder that can tack, repair, and permanently weld almost any thermoplastic material including nonwovens, Tyvek, polyesters, and PVC. Convenient and easy to use, this welder can be taken anywhere there is 110V power and a hard surface.

It comes with a “Weld by Energy” feature and can be operated with only one hand! It can be mounted in the JTE Hand Press for repeatable and consistent welds. Together these devices are the best way to close pocket ends, weld straps, tabs and hook loop. Other applications include:

  • Tent and Structure Repair
  • Tack Welding
  • Hem Closing on Shades and Banners
  • Lanyards, Straps, and Handles
  • Packaging and Labeling
  • Small Apparel
  • Military Products

If you are Sewing Based on a Pattern, We Suggest:

The Ultrasonic Automatic Weld and Cut

Using Ultrasonic technology to cut and weld the edges of a variety of materials, the JTE Ultrasonic X/Y Cutting System is the only system of its kind to take a pattern cut file, automatically upload it into the cutting software to achieve a weld and cut simultaneously- including curved edges. This machine is ideal for the manufacturing of sleeping bags, valances and awning products, inset screens, solar coverings, and digitally printed polyesters.

This machine includes a specially designed bridge and tooling which ensures a reliable, consistent and efficiently produced welded edge at the same time a pattern is required to be cut. It is also great for straight line cutting. With this solution, it is possible to eliminate entire processes of surging, sealing or hemming within the current production system, saving time, and improving the product quality.

 

Seats and Mattress Covers

If you are sewing three-dimensional seat or mattress covers, you may want to consider RF Welding as a very efficient way to weld the envelope, corners and even closing seams for volumes of seats and covers.

 

 

If your machine is not as efficient as you would like, your welder may not be the right machine for the job. Our eBook 5 Signs That You May Be Using the Wrong Fabric Welder can help you figure out the answer to this question, and help you find the machine that fits your welding needs. Download your free copy below:

Download our FREE ebooks!

5 Signs That You May Be
Using the WRONG Fabric Welder

The Top 20 Products Made
with RF WELDERS

JTE and Big Top Fabric Structures

We have been supplying Big Top Fabric Structures in Perry FL with traveling RF Welders for over 15 years, helping them to grow to become one of the most innovative fabric building manufacturers in the U.S. At the end of 2017, we completed the installation of one of our largest traveling FIAB RF welders in the country!

 

Below are two images of the machine, which is made up of a 6ft plus “throat” (the space behind the welding tool), and an almost 6ft length welding tool with an integrated material pulling system for the world’s most efficient way to RF weld large panels of PVC or PU coated material.

 

For more information, contact Traci Evling at tevling@jtemachines.com

 

 

Which Thermoplastic Materials Can Be Welded?

Thermoplastic materials refer to the plastic materials that become pliable when heated above a specific temperature and then harden upon cooling. Thermoplastic welding is the process of joining pieces of thermoplastic material using a combination of heating, pressure, and cooling. The surface of the thermoplastic material is first heated to its melting point, where it enters its thermoplastic state. Each material has its own thermoplastic state, and they usually range between 220F (105C) and 380F (193C). Then the material is pressed together until it cools, with the pressure allowing the molecules in the material to bond with the molecules of the other part. 

Why Use Thermoplastic Materials?

Using Thermoplastic materials is very popular in manufacturing industries because there are so many applications for it. Some of the most common are consumer goods, machine parts, medical equipment, packaging material, and storage material. There are also many benefits to using thermoplastic materials. These benefits include:

  • The materials are lightweight
  • They possess high strength
  • They allow for Design Flexibility
  • There are low processing costs and the materials are more cost efficient
  • Thermoplastic materials have better fatigue properties than metals and are less corrosive

However, not all thermoplastic materials can be welded. Here are some of the most commonly welded thermoplastics, and their applications:

– Polypropylene (PP): Polypropylene coated fabrics are commonly used for a variety of applications in the ducting and packaging industries. It is used in a variety of products ranging from reusable plastic containers to car batteries. It also has medicinal uses, as a way to repair hernias and make heat-resistant medical equipment.

-Polyethylene (PE): Polyethylene has been welded in the agriculture and geomembrane industries for years, but recently the sign industry has begun to use Polyethylene as well. There are a variety of strains of Polyethylene categorized by their density and molecular structure, and all have different applications. The 4 most prominent are ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), High-density polyethylene (HDPE), Medium-density polyethylene (MDPE), and Low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

-Polyvinylchloride (PVC): Polyvinylchloride laminated fabric has been a staple in the awning, banner, tent, sign, and ducting industries for years due to its tough but lightweight nature and its resistance to acids and bases. It is also very popular in the construction industry, where it is used in vinyl siding, drain pipes, gutters, and roofing sheets. It can be converted to more flexible forms, which is seen in hoses, tubing, electrical insulation, water beds, and upholstery.

-Polystyrene (PS): Just like PVC, Polystyrene is manufactured in various forms. Extruded Polystyrene (PS) can be found in CD and DVD cases, plastic cars and boats, disposable cutlery and smoke detectors. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is most prominent in the foam peanuts that are used to pack fragile materials. Extruded Polystyrene foam (XPS), also known as Styrofoam is used in a variety of ways, from architectural models to beverage cups.

-Acrylic: is the shortened name for the polymer poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA), and is known as Lucite, Perspex, and Plexiglass. It is the most prominent substitute for glass and can be found in aquariums, aircraft windows, submersible viewing ports, and automobile lights. It is also used to make signs, including the lettering and logos. PMMA is also used in the medical field, in bone cement and as a replacement for eye lenses. Acrylic is usually heat resistant and can only be welded using a medium, such as thermoplastic seaming tape.

-Nylon: belongs to a class of polymers called polyamides and has served as a substitute for silk in a wide range of products including parachutes and women’s stockings. When in bulk form nylon can be used for mechanical parts, like gear wheels, machine screws and power tool casings. Nylon fibers are often found in fabrics, rope, carpets, and in strings for musical instruments.

-Teflon: is a polymer called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), but is better known by the brand name “Teflon” which was coined by the DuPont Corporation to describe the coating for non-stick cookware. As a polymer, it is chemically inert and is used to make containers and pipes that come into contact with reactive chemicals. Because of this, it is also used as a lubricant in sliding parts to help reduce wear from friction. Only special type of high heat/cooling systems can be used to weld Teflon.

Furthermore, most of these materials can be used in Ultrasonic or RF welding. Other materials such as PET, PETG, Open Celled Polyurethanes, LDPE/EVA, PEVA and some ABS plastics can also be used.
In addition to a wider variety of weldable materials, there are other benefits associated with RF welding. These benefits include:

  • a shorter set time
  • no toxic adhesives
  • an airtight seal
  • evenly distributed stress
  • A tighter seal on thicker materials

In addition, since the heat is only produced at the weld spot there is no heat-degradation of the piece.
If your machine is not as efficient as you would like, your welder may not be the right machine for the job. Our eBook 5 Signs That You May Be Using the Wrong Fabric Welder can help you figure out the answer to this question, and help you find the machine that fits your welding needs.

Download our FREE ebooks!

5 Signs That You May Be
Using the WRONG Fabric Welder

The Top 20 Products Made
with RF WELDERS

Which Heat Sealer is Best for My Material?

Choosing the right heat sealer can be stressful, but with JTE it doesn’t have to be. We have created this overview of the various types of heat sealers with the hope that it will help to simplify the process of finding which one is best for your material type. When you are in the process of trying to select the best heat sealer for your material, there are a few key things to keep in mind. For example, what is the thickness and type of the material that you plan on sealing? Are you familiar with and have an overview of the types of welds needed to create your end product? If you have the answers to these questions ahead of time, it will make the selection process run so much smoother. To start, it is important to know what a heat sealer is, so for those who are unsure, a heat sealer is a machine that is used to seal plastic material using heat. Many people also use the term “heat sealer” for an RF welder or high-frequency welder. In this case, the “heat” is created by the spinning plastic molecules reacting to the electromagnetic wave generated by the RF machine. Because of the molecular nature of the weld, this is often the most reliable and efficient way to “heat seal” plastic materials.

There are many other types of heat sealers, but the two main types are impulse sealers and direct heat sealers. In this blog post we will cover which sealer is best for common material types starting with:

Impulse Sealers

This type of sealer requires no warm-up time and seals by applying pulses of energy, under pressure, and the pressure is continued until the material cools down enough. Impulse sealers are best used on thermoplastic materials that are thin and lightweight. This includes polyethylene and polypropylene materials like Pilofilm, Saran, and Nylon. They can also be used on bubble packs, padded mailers, foil, coated bags, Kel-F, Polyflex, Mylar, and Tyvek.

There are different types of impulse sealers, and the following will help to break down which sealer is best for your material, according to thickness:

  • Hand Sealers: can seal poly material up to 10mil in thickness
  • Foot Sealers (or Pedestal Type): can seal poly material up to 15mil in thickness
  • Auto Sealers: can also seal poly material up to 15mil in thickness
  • Double Impulse sealers: come with automatic and foot options, and are recommended for heavy duty applications as they can seal poly material up to 20mil in thickness.
  • Sealers with Cutters: used to trim and seal excess material, like that found in tubing, in order to make customized bags

Overall, Impulse sealers are easy to use because they have no warm-up time. They are also extremely safe, as no component of the machine stays hot throughout the duration of the weld. Furthermore, electricity is only used during the sealing process, making these welders an economical option. The downside of an impulse sealer as compared to RF sealing, are the long cycle times for both sealing and cooling, no easy way to change the width, length, or shape of the weld, and no reliable way to weld through more than two layers. In addition, the downtime required to change out the nichrome wires that warp quite quickly far exceeds maintenance needs of an RF welder.

Direct or Constant Heat Sealers  

Direct Sealers, which are also known as Constant Heat Sealers, maintain constant heat in the tool and use power as long as the machine is turned on. Because of this, direct heat sealers are often faster than impulse sealers, with no cool time under pressure required. Direct sealers are best used on materials such as coated aluminum foil, gusset bags, coated Kraft papers, poly cello films, waxed paper, cellophane, mylar, coated PP, and other materials that are thicker laminated.

Types of Heat Sealing Processes:

  • Vacuum Sealing– this process removes air from the product before sealing it into an airtight package. Vacuum sealing is used to prevent oxidation, spoilage or corrosion. This process can be used with RF, impulse and direct heat sealing methods.
  • Clam Shell Sealing– just as the name suggests, this process is for welding clam-shell packaging. RF welding is usually used and is more reliable for PVC or PLA materials used in packaging.
  • Portable Impulse Sealers– lightweight and versatile, but sizing is limited.
  • Hand Impulse Sealers– the most simple and economic sealer available. The sealing bar is lowered manually and approximately 6-20 packages can be sealed per minute. A variety of sizes are available, starting at 4” all the way up to 40”.
  • Foot Sealers– This sealer is controlled by a pedestal sealing bar leaving your hands free, and it provides a faster seal than a hand sealer. This type of process can be used with both RF and Impulse Sealers.
  • Automatic Sealers– these sealers are ideal for high production jobs. Because of the high production atmosphere, automatic sealers are needed for high volumes of standardized products. The press is activated automatically and often features a pre-set time cycle that allows for a fully continuous operation. Automatic systems mostly employ RF technology for optimum consistency.
  • Continuous Band Sealers- Provide the fastest sealing operation and have no length limitations. Instead, bags are simply fed into the sealer while resting on a conveyor belt. There are several types of continuous band sealers available, with features including horizontal seal heads, vertical seal heads, tilting seal heads, left or right feeds, coding, imprinting, and gas purging. Band sealers used direct heat in many packaging applications.

When considering which sealer to use, it is important to factor in the size type and weld size of the material that you want to seal, as the size and type of the welder is dependent on this. It is recommended that you add one inch to the width of the material to be sealed as it makes it easier to handle. While impulse and direct heat sealing can be a good choice for thin materials and non-RF weldable materials such as PE and PP, slower cycle times, higher maintenance, and low versatility are important factors when considering the purchase of a heat sealer, and should be factored into the ongoing costs of ownership.

If you have questions or would like more information on any of the heat sealers mentioned, you can visit our website or email Traci at tevling@jtemachines.com.

Download our FREE ebooks!

5 Signs That You May Be
Using the WRONG Fabric Welder

The Top 20 Products Made
with RF WELDERS