Capping and Sealing for Tamper Evidence

Capping and Sealing for Tamper Evidence

Many products today will use tamper evident packaging as a way to protect their products and companies as well as the consumer or end user.  Protection against package tampering can be achieved in a number of different ways, depending on the product and the package that are being used.  While tamper evident packaging may be seen across all industries involved in packaging, it is probably the most common in the Pharmaceutical Industy and the Food and Beverage Industry.

Sealing a product to include tamper evidence will normally begin with a standard capping machine.  Once the bottles or other containers have been filled with product, they will move through a spindle capper, chuck capper or other capping machine.  While the bottle capping machinery will create a consistent, secure seal on the bottle, an end user will not always be able to tell from the cap alone if the seal has remained unbroken from the capping machine to the users hands.  Some caps by do, however, provide some tamper evident packaging by themselves - think of a gallon of milk and the tamper evident ring around the cap.  More often than not, the tamper proof sealing will occur immediately after running through the capping equipment.

A popular method of creating tamper evident sealing comes from using an induction sealer.  Though there may be variations on how an induction sealer works, typically a cap for the bottle or other container is supplied with a foil liner included.  Once the bottle and foil lined cap move through the capping machine, they will pass under an induction coil.  The induction coil creates an electromagnetic field, which heats the aluminum foil.  The heating of the foil also melts a wax which allows the foil to release from the inside of the cap.  At the same time, a polymer film heats and covers the rim of the container. This polymer will bond with the container as it cools, thus creating the seal and providing tamper evident packaging.  

As an alternative to using an induction sealer, many products may use a neck banding machine, taking advantage of shrink sleeves or bands.  Typically, the neck bander will also immediately follow the capping machine on a packaging line.  The neck bander works by simply applying a band or sleeve of film around portions of the cap and neck on a bottle.  The film and container then pass through a heat tunnel and the film shrinks to fit tightly around the neck and/or cap.  This process again creates tamper evident packaging - if the neck band is intact, the product has not been tampered with prior to reaching the end user.  As an added advantage, neck bands can also be used for simple aesthetic value, applying decorative labels or bands around a bottle.  

As noted above, these and other methods for creating tamper-proof packaging lines are most often seen in the Pharmaceutical and Food and Beverage Industries.  Of course, these two industries make up consumables, in the digested sense of the word.  Pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages are ingested by the end user and have a direct effect on the person ingesting the product.  For this reason, many packagers of these products take extra precautions to ensure the product will not be tampered with prior to reaching the customer.  In some cases, these precautions are required by laws, regulations and other rules.  

If you would like more information on tamper proof packaging, capping machines or any other packaging equipment, call Liquid Packaging Solutions toll free at 1-888-393-3693.