This month has been a flurry of packing cardboard boxes with gifts, as all of you prepare to send our excellent Gift Guide selections to loved ones around the world. Even if you had no experience with a tape gun in November, you're probably a pro with it by now; but how do the real pros seal boxes? Surely they don't futz around with tape guns like the rest of us?
Folks in packaging facilities are more likely to use machines like the Better Pack 555eS, an electric water-activated tape dispenser. (To be clear, the tape is what's water-activated, not the dispenser.) The operator punches in the length of the seam to be sealed, and the machine then spits out a slightly longer strip of "water-activated"—i.e. gummed—tape that forms an actual chemical bond with the cardboard.
The benefits versus plastic tape are multi-pronged: The reinforced gummed tape is hardier and you can print on it, as we've all seen with Amazon packages; not having to use a tape gun supposedly cuts down on repetitive stress injuries; and the tape itself is recyclable. Here's Better Packages, Inc.'s pitch video:
And here's a video from a customer that's switched over and found the Better Pack machine superior to the old method:
Plastic packing tape, however, is still more convenient for restraining captured intruders that you need to bind to a chair until the authorities arrive.