How to Choose a Medical Impulse Heat Sealer

Medical packaging is required to meet extremely high standards to ensure medical equipment/ medications are kept sterile from being manufactured to the point of reaching the end user and actually coming into use.

This naturally means that it is of utmost importance to select the right kind of medical vacuum sealer to do the job. Here are some of the main factors you should consider when determining which sealer to purchase.

SterilizationSterilized/ sterilizing bags often feature film on only one side. With most ordinary sealers, this means operators can easily contaminate contents by fiddling about essentially blind trying to get the film lined up correctly. This may also affect the resulting neatness and strength of the seal. A specifically developed medical vacuum sealer like the Fuji OPL-350-MD NP, for instance, applies the heat required to seal the package from the top, meaning packages can be sealed transparent side up – thereby preventing the above-mentioned issues.

Ease of Use – Operators should be able to quickly and easily enter sealing parameters like temperature, heating duration and cooling time/ temperature. Continuous operation may also necessitate setting of specific interval times. The OPL-350-MD NP features an easy to use touch button control panel, and entered values can be seen on a clear, easy to read LCD display panel.

Operator Safety – A constant heat medical vacuum sealer represents a constant risk of injury to operators. Because impulse heat sealers only apply heat when the unit is in use, there are no continually hot surfaces likely to cause such injuries. Naturally, it is also important to consider other possible accidents, like fingers getting trapped in the unit’s sealing area, for instance.

To cover for all potential risks, the above mentioned model has a series of additional safety features, including:

  • Audible/ visual alerts in the event of anomalies
  • Suspension of crimping process if fingers/ foreign objects are caught within the sealing area
  • Anti-overheating mechanism
  • Abort-Cycle button and more

Efficiency – A medical vacuum sealer needs to be ready for action as and when required to avoid contamination of products, as well as being able to provide high numbers of seals of consistent strength. Impulse heat sealers do not require pre-heating – meaning they are instantly ready for action whenever required – and can on average seal around 3,000 packages per day without seal deterioration.

Cost-effectiveness – Any type of equipment must invariably be cost-effective in order to keep overheads from spiraling out of control. As impulse heat sealers use electricity only when in actual use, the savings on energy costs (both in financial and environmental terms) in comparison to any given constant heat medical vacuum sealer are substantial. The fact that no excess heat is released into the environment means the need to run A/C Systems to full capacity is reduced, further adding to the savings in energy expenses.

Seal Strength – This is perhaps the most important factor among all of these considerations. Seals must be strong enough to ensure bags remain sterile from the moment they are sealed to the moment the content is used. This means they must withstand forces applied to them during transport, storage, and so on – while at the same time still allowing end users to open the package without unreasonable force. What’s more, seal strength must be consistent throughout even prolonged continuous packaging runs.

Impulse heat sealers like the one mentioned above are equipped with the so-called ONPUL system, which allows exact sealing temperatures to be set, as well as continually monitoring and adjusting the heating element’s temperature. This means even after prolonged use – and regardless of environmental temperature changes – seals will remain tidy and strong.

Testing Seal Strength – In order to maintain compliance with industry standards, the seals created by a medical vacuum sealer need to be tested on a regular basis. This is made both easy and cost-effective with the help of peel tensile testing equipment like the Fuji PTT-100. Incorporating only the necessary functions to conduct seal strength testing, this unit is compact and light enough to be portable, as well as being affordable and exceptionally easy to use.

Supplied complete with the relevant data management software, the PTT-100 is in harmony with the standard test seal strength method for flexible barrier materials (ASTM F88-00) and not only tests the seal strength of sterile bags before undergoing autoclave sterilization, but also provides collectible, manageable data in the shape of graphs and/ or tables. Other useful functions include:

  • Display of minimum and mean values
  • Display of standard deviation values
  • Ability to register multiple test patterns
  • Daily check function
  • Automatic determination of measurement completion
  • Test counter
  • Choice of measurement units and more

In short, a medical vacuum sealer needs to be easy to use, safe for operators, cost-effective and efficient, as well as providing strong seals of consistent and testable quality.