Many users find air cushion machines and air column machines a little confusing. They often wonder whether they have the same function or are different from each other.
As you know both machines are used in air packaging, then where does the difference lie? Maybe in their structure or working mechanism?
Yes, you’re right at guessing. Both air packaging machines work with different working principles. With the assistance of this article, you will be able to make a clear comparison between both machines.
Moreover, this post will help you in deciding which packaging machine you should prefer according to your requirements. So, let’s not waste our time, and dive straight into the article.
Differences Between Air Cushion Machine Vs Air Column Machine
For a better understanding of the concept of air cushion machines and air column machines, let’s have a look at the below-mentioned points of differentiation;
- The air column machine is responsible for manufacturing air column bags.
- On the other hand, the air cushion machine is responsible for making air cushion bags.
When talking about the working mechanism of both the air packaging machines, we will see that they are far different from each other.
- In the case of an air column machine, it inflates the air column film without sealing it with heat. While in an air cushion machine the ironing wheel is heated during the process of inflation to heat seal the air inlet of the film coil.
- Furthermore, in an air cushion machine, the air is blown into the film roll. However, in an air column machine, the air can’t be inflated itself. There is an air compressor in it for supplying the air.
The material composition of Films
Both these machines use film rolls which are then filled with air. The composition of the film roll consumed in an air cushion machine differs from the one used in an air column machine.
The air cushion film roll comprises HDPE high polyethylene. Typically, the thickness of the film is about 1530um. On the other side, the air column film roll comprises PA (nylon) and the thickness of the film is about 3080um.
Now, let’s see the suitability of air cushion and air column machines for different situations.
Air Column Machine
You should prefer an air column machine for the following situations;
- packing large and heavy products.
- If you need to export the products at a long distance and a long time is needed for the dispersal
- In case the products are expensive.
- When you need to store the packaged item in a warehouse for a long period.
Air Cushion Machine
You may go for an air cushion machine if you have to deal with the following conditions;
- Packing lightweight items.
- A short period is needed for transporting the product.
- The packaged products are not very valuable.
- If you have to deliver the product urgently.
5. Cost of the machines
There is not much difference in price between an air cushion machine and an air column machine. However, the cost of the consumables may differ.
The prices of air column consumables are comparatively much higher than air cushion ones. You will find that the air bubble film of the air cushion machine is much cheaper. Additionally, it is pretty relatable to the air column bags for the case of protection.
Types of air films
The shapes of air films differ for both types of air packaging machines. Therefore, let’s have an account for various film rolls used in the air cushion machine and air column machine.
Types of air column Films
Below are some types of air column bags or films;
Custom Q Shaped Air Column Bags or Films
Q-shaped air column bags are ideal for packing fragile products, electronics, chemical products, motors, light bulbs, cosmetics, etc. They have multiple column designs that protect your items even if one of the columns gets punctured.
Moreover, the air column films can protect the products weighing 60 to 120 kgs once they are inflated. You may customize the size of the film.
Custom U shaped Air Column Films or bags
These air films consist of U-shaped caps. You may use them for placing broad-sized items in them such as televisions, hard discs, motors, etc.
This multi-layer extrusion film provides perfect protection to your valuables. The single-layer thickness of these airbags ranges from 38 to 100um.
Custom L shaped Air Column Films or Bags
L-shaped air column films are specially designed for placing the standard baby-formula bottle. Make sure you cannot fit all sizes of bottles in it, especially larger ones.
Despite this, you may pack other products in it like small equipment, proteins, vitamins, and so on.
Types of Air Cushion Films
The following are some types of Air cushion bags;
Air pillow films are filled with air by air cushion machines. They act as perfect shock absorbers for the items. Thus providing better protection to the items. There are various sizes of air pillows. You may choose the one you need.
Quilt films come in the category of bubble wrap packaging. The air transfer technology makes them ideal for mould-able wrapping in addition to void fill packaging. These save much of the space in the carton.
Supertube consists of two connected tubes within a film. These are used in lining the boxes and wrapping corners for the protection of products.
Double Cushion Film
Double cushion films are perfect for fitting the pillows into tight-fitting spaces. Therefore, better support is provided to the items for the sake of security and protection. Mainly, these are ideal for top, side, and corner fill.
To conclude, we can say that air cushion and air column machines are somehow similar in their function. This is because both contribute to the air packaging of the products.
However, air column machines manufacture airbags for larger and heavy products while air cushion bags are suitable for packing lightweight items.
On the contrary, air column bags are a bit more expensive than air cushion bags. So, if you have some budget issues, you should prefer an air cushion machine.