In theory, the case sealing process is simple: cartons go in, tape is applied, and sealed cartons are palletized for transport or storage.

But in reality, application of packaging tape isn’t necessarily an exact science. It’s a delicate balance in which the packaging machine, tape applicator and packaging tape must work together in harmony to ensure cartons are closed securely to keep products inside safe.

There are many factors that can impact the tape’s ability to remain adhered to the carton. Environmental conditions such as dust, dirt, humidity and cold temperatures can play a role in the performance of packaging tape, as can characteristics of the surface to which it’s being applied.

Other factors that can impact the reliability of the seal include tension from a misadjusted tape applicator, stress from a high-speed operation or even poor unwind characteristics of the packaging tape. These issues can lead to tape stretch or breakage, negatively impacting the quality and reliability of the seal, as well as the uptime of the line.