Adaptive Ultrasonic Sealing

Development of an inline quality control system based on process data and a methodology for the automatic determination of process parame-ter for ultrasonic sealing of recyclable packaging films

Workgroup: Filling and packaging processes

Scientific Partners and Guidance:

  1. Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung IVV, Sebastian Rhein

IGFn: 21198 BR
Financing: BMWi
Duration: 2020 – 2022

Amongst other things, Packaging industry is challenged by increasing recycling rates and the usage of monomaterial-like packaging foils, due to increasing social and legal requirements regarding to ecologically beneficial packaging. This will result to the abandonment of the conventional separation into carrier and sealing layer in packaging films and is accompanied by a decreasing efficiency in packaging processes based on heat-sealing technology.

Therefore, other techniques are receiving more attention, like ultrasonic sealing. Their market penetration is still low, because of higher process complexity and a generally higher sensibility against process variation. In addition to the advantage of using cold sealing tools, this technique benefits from an electronically process control, which makes a variety of process data available. Currently, these data are not being used sufficiently, but automatic process evaluation can be done by us-ing current methods, like machine-learning algorithm.

Central points of investigation are:

  1. Determination of optimal sets of parameters for ultrasonic sealing of dif-ferent recycling ready packaging films
  2. Determination of the end of sealing through internal/external sensor data to minimize the risk of separation at constant sealed seam quality
  3. Relief of (untrained) operators due to self-identification of optimal process parameter
  4. Adaptive adjustment of sealing parameters to compensate long-term drifts
  5. Adaptive adjustment of sealing parameters with cycle-related evaluation in the event of malfunctions or environmental influences
  6. Improvement of process stability and efficiency and product safety

The IGF project presented here by the Research Association of the Industrial Association for Food Technology and Packaging (IVLV e.V.) is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action via the AiF as part of the program for the promotion of industrial community research (IGF) based on a decision of the German Bundestag.