Buying a used tamper band/shrink sleeve label applicator offers risks and rewards. Knowing what to look for in a used machine can significantly lower risk and heighten the reward.
Applicators are not interchangeable
The first thing to know when buying a used applicator is that while models are based on standard platforms, each individual unit is custom designed for a particular application and plant environment.
For example, the Axon model EZ-100 applicator has a rated speed as posted on the Internet of 150 units per minute. This should be read as up to 150 units per minute. Units-per-minute throughput depends on the size of the container or application. Tamper bands offer the highest throughput because of their small size, while large containers with full shrink sleeve labels will be going through at a slower rate. Anyone seeing a model EZ-100 on an equipment broker’s sale sheet should not assume 150 units per minute.
Customization goes deeper than bands, labels, and container sizes and shapes. If a customer wants a new machine to perform print registration, for example, Axon incorporates a photo eye. For a perforation on a tamper band, a small motorized system must be added to the standard platform. It is impossible to know what application or plant environment an applicator was designed for or what unique capabilities it has or does not have simply based on its model number. This means the would-be buyer cannot know for sure whether the machine will do what is needed.
Locate the unit’s serial number before buying an applicator...