Tension in the Line!
I received a call from a customer in Brooklyn NY asking “why does the liner keep breaking?” He has had his EPI Flex-Pac Labeler for almost four years and has had no issues. He asked “is it the labels or the equipment?” I asked him to check to make sure all of the rollers were spinning free and that the supply spool was releasing properly. He said “everything looked good, but they had made some adjustments to the supply spool.” I could tell he was getting frustrated and I knew that they had orders to fill so the issue needed to be resolved fast.
So, I suggested that I come up at the same time as the label supplier so that we could get the problem solved. Let’s just say I didn’t have to ask twice and I was on my way to Brooklyn.
I arrived at the bakery in the morning, the operator threaded the labeler and ran it for me, it ran two labels and the liner broke. We repeated the process and the liner broke again. The operator asked if I wanted to run it again, I told him that I needed to look over the labeler to see what was happening.
At this point the label supplier showed up, he appeared to be ready for me to blame the labels. I shook his hand and told him it looks like it is a tension problem, I saw nothing wrong with the labels. He stood there in shock for a few minutes and then offered to help if I needed anything.
I wound up rebuilding the supply spool and returning everything back to factory settings. Then I checked to make sure all of the rollers were spinning free. After making one adjustment on the supply spool the labeler was off and running. We ran without issue until the entire product was packaged.
Before I left I tested the labeler without product and saw no issues with the liner tearing. Through all of this I also noticed that the drive drum was in need of some attention, I removed the drum and restored factory settings. The customer was happy and the label supplier made sure he had my card because he wanted to be able to contact me when he gets asked about equipment.
In the end the one thing that I can’t convey enough is that over time parts wear and small adjustments to the equipment are made, which is perfectly normal. However, if you get into a situation where the adjustments that are being made don’t help it’s best to restore everything back to the original settings when built at EPI. In most cases this will get the labeler up and running. If by chance it does not, call tech support.