Header labels applied automatically

Three years in the making, a machine that automatically applies header labels to pouches produced on vertical form/fill/seal machines is ready for the packaging marketplace.

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Candy maker Sathers, Inc., based in Round Lake, MN, is now producing header-bags for its markets on the prototype version of the newly developed machine and will get the first 20 truly "commercial" machines as well. After that, machinery builder Hayssen (Duncan, SC) will offer its HL-6 header labeler to any packager that wants it. "The key issue is savings in labor costs," says Dave Cosgrove, director of operations at Sathers. According to Cosgrove, Sathers' labels had been applied semi-automatically. He figures each of the new machines will perform the work of two operators, which is why Sathers expects a payback on its 20-machine investment in one year. Hayssen's intermittent-motion machine picks paper headers from a magazine, folds them in half over the top of a bag of candy, and then heat seals the paper to the plastic film. Heat and pressure accomplish the seal of the paper to the acrylic coating on the outside of the bag material. The rest of the ASBX film from Mobil (Pittsford, NY) is oriented polypropylene with a coating of polyvinylidene chloride. Total film thickness is either 150- or 170-ga, depending on how big a bag Sathers is packaging. Sathers, which designs and manufactures its own labels, will use the new machines to label bags holding as little as 1 oz of candy or as much as 8 oz.

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