How do you secure a label band around a hot dog package or a two-pack of fresh herbs in plastic clamshells? With something sticky, right?

Not with Felins. The Milwaukee company sells automatic banding machines that use an ultrasonic weld to keep paper or plastic labels belted around your products. No heat applied, no adhesives.

Here’s how it works: A clamp presses the ends of the band together. High-pitched sounds (you can’t hear them) create vibrations, causing the ends of the bands to rub together. The friction warms up the band material and voilà—the heat and pressure welds the strap closed.

Ultrasonic banding machines have parts called sonotrodes that focus the vibrations. The machines work with materials in varying strengths, thicknesses and widths up to 4 inches. 

“Ultrasonic banding is a relatively new alternative that offers brand owners and copackers the ability to improve the appearance of their food products while minimizing waste and improving production efficiency without compromising product integrity,” says Lisa Barrieau, food banding sales manager at Felins.

She points out some other benefits:

  • Options to bundle products of different sizes, shapes and materials
  • Easier-to-open, peelable welds or ones that are stronger and tougher to break
  • Recyclable materials; less waste and lower cost than some labeling options
  • No adhesive=no chance for dust and debris to accumulate
  • Options for inline printing to customize barcodes, expiration dates, recipes and nutritional information
  • Banding material choices:
  • Paper: among the most economical; popular to replace chipboard or paperboard sleeves
  • Opaque white plastic: silky smooth, vibrant graphics
  • Transparent film: keeps product visible on store shelves with minimal light refraction

Bands help food companies show more of their product, often with less packaging material, which helps promote clean label and sustainability, Barrieau says. “The food industry today requires sustainable packaging, minimal waste, and attractive and innovative labeling that speaks to the customer,” she says. “Adhesive-free labeling can accommodate just that, as well as provide benefits such as reduced labor costs and an attractive ROI.”

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