To keep your case sealer's tape head running at top operating performance, routine maintenance is required. Breakdowns can be costly. Save money and extend the life cycle of your tape heads by following this daily maintenance checklist and troubleshooting guide.
Tape Head Maintenance Checklist
Being proactive in your case sealer maintenance schedule allows you to find a solution to problems before they begin to affect production. By routinely checking key parts and components, you’ll be more likely to notice when something doesn’t seem right or is beginning to wear.
Download our 7-Point Tape Head Maintenance Checklist to share with your operators and maintenance team. We recommend checking these areas daily to improve your packaging performance and reduce issues associated with inadequate taping.
Troubleshooting Tape Problems
In manufacturing, the case sealer is instrumental in helping seal the boxes that get your products to market. It's relied on to perform on a day in day out basis by delivering carton sealing tape to each box uniformly and securing it to the carton to ensure that each case is sealed correctly. When this doesn’t happen, you will have cases that open in the warehouse exposing the product inside or even worse, before they reach the customer. This creates more work, returns, and unnecessary expenses that hurt the bottom line.
These common tape issues can typically be resolved by some minor adjustments to the tape head components:
Stretched tape – When the tape is applied too tightly on a box, it will stretch and the adhesive will not be secure on the overlap. If tape seems to be stretching excessively, first verify that the tape is properly threaded. Then adjust the tape tension knob counter-clockwise enough to decrease tension. You may also need to check the rollers that are coming in contact with the tape to make sure they are rolling freely.
Wrinkled tape – When the tape is applied too loosely on a box, it will wrinkle and the blade may not be able to make the right cut. Again, verify that the tape is being properly threaded first. Then adjust the tape tension knob clockwise to increase tension and check the rollers’ tension as well. If the issue persists, check to see if there is a buildup of adhesive on the rollers that is restricting motion. You may also need to clean or replace the knife blades if the tape is not being cut cleanly.
Off center tape – This occurs when the tape head is applying the tape to one side or the other of the seam due to improper alignment. Check the machine’s alignment first before making any adjustments to the tape head. If the machine’s alignment is centered and checks out fine, you will need the adjust the tape roll hub, moving it slightly left or right as needed to remedy the problem.
Short tape tails – This happens when a limited amount of tape is being applied to the leading or tail end of the box. This can usually be remedied by adjusting an incorrectly set roller or loosening the tape tension. There could also be an issue with the knife blade settings. Check your equipment manual on how to safely and properly adjust the blade height.
*Always beware of the tape applicator’s sharp blade edges and power down before servicing the machine to prevent injury.
*If you are continually facing these problems with your machine, there may be an underlying issues that will require a trained service technician to diagnose and fix.