A Focus on Food Safety and Continuous Improvement

Case Studies

When it comes to food safety, every company along the supply chain takes responsibility. Contamination can happen at any point during the product cycle, oftentimes bringing production to a halt.

That’s why companies like Fabri-Kal® Corporation, a manufacturer of thermoformed plastic cups, lids and trays for the food service, public and custom markets, place a high priority on quality and safety in their manufacturing facilities. Since it was incorporated in 1950, Fabri-Kal has been dedicated to providing its customers with the best packaging solutions to fit their needs.

In 2013, Fabri-Kal identified an opportunity to improve its case sealing operations and increase the integrity of each case. Quality engineer Rich Harth, who is responsible for food safety, compliance and special projects for Fabri-Kal, was tasked with implementing the changeover.

Preventative Measures

Secure seals are a high priority for companies like Fabri-Kal, not only to reduce product damage and theft risks, but also to eliminate potential contamination concerns.

During the case sealing process, packaging tapes, particularly pressure-sensitive tapes, require some type of wipe-down force to create the bond to the carton. This pressure drives the tape’s adhesive into the carton, allowing it to entangle deep within the fibers to create a secure seal.

Without sufficient pressure, seals have a higher risk of failing during storage or transit. Even environmental factors, such as temperature changes between manufacturing facilities and warehouses, can put stress on a carton and contribute to unsecure seals.

No matter the contributing factor, failing tape joints also create a risk for contamination, which could prompt customer returns. “If tape joints fail, the inside of the container could get exposed to the elements within the manufacturing and warehouse facilities,” explained Harth.

Focused on preventing contamination and achieving the highest quality of sealed cases, Harth assisted with the installation of new tape applicators on several of the facility’s production lines. Fabri-Kal chose The ShurSEAL® Solution, a carton sealing system offered by Shurtape®.

“We believed The ShurSEAL Solution would help provide better tape adhesion on our cartons,” suggested Harth, who also said the company needed equipment that could handle both standard and reversed corrugate on various carton sizes.

The ShurSEAL Solution combines Shurtape HP Series packaging tape with a PrimeLoc™ tape applicator to deliver consistent and secure seals, carton after carton. The HP Series packaging tape creates an instant, permanent bond with cartons and offers the highest holding power to fiberboard in the industry. PrimeLoc tape applicators offer unmatched wipe-down force, which results in secure, tamper-evident seals.

The installation process was done rather quickly, with most of the lines being simple “drop-ins” – The ShurSEAL Solution easily retrofits to a variety of popular case-erecting and sealing systems without expensive capital investments. “We did have to make some modifications to accommodate a few of our ‘specialized’ lines, as would be expected,” explained Harth.

A Positive Partnership

Since installing the new carton sealing equipment, Fabri-Kal is achieving superior wipe-down force, allowing for more of the tape’s adhesive to be used to create stronger carton seals. “There has been a marked improvement in tape adhesion on our cases,” said Harth.

In addition to the increased wipe-down pressure applied to cartons, maintenance of the units has been an added benefit. The tape applicators offer an open design, making them easily accessible for cleaning and tape threading. “Our staff commented on the ease of maintenance,” suggested Harth.

Beyond adhesion and maintenance, the collaboration with Shurtape has been an invaluable aspect of the changeover for Fabri-Kal. “We worked hand-in-hand to find the best case sealing system to fit our needs,” explained Harth. “The team at Shurtape evaluated our situation and took the time to understand our challenges, the rigors of our production lines and the expectations of our customers.”

And it didn’t just end with a recommendation. “Shurtape made the recommendation, and then helped us through the installation and testing. The partnership between our companies has allowed us to address potential issues and follow-through with appropriate solutions to keep our lines running,” said Harth. “Communication has been key.”

Want to learn more about how your company can benefit from the ShurSEAL Solution? Contact us today!



*Shurtape® is an authorized distributor of PrimeLoc Packaging, Inc.
**Multiple patents pending by PrimeLoc Packaging, Inc.
***Patented – US 8,393,375
PrimeLoc is a trademark of PrimeLoc Packaging, Inc.

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