Form-fill-seal machinery is one that I don’t tire of watching in action. The speed and grace of these machines create a fluid assembly as they form the package, fill it and seal it within minutes (or seconds). I got the pleasure to see some of these machines running just last month at PACK EXPO International. The themes running among the machinery (from various suppliers) are speed, flexibility and sanitation, and some even accomplish all three.
For the foodservice industry, Printpack (printpack.com) introduces the Viscopack® System for bulk liquid filling. Flexible packaging is becoming more popular in the food service industry and this new system helps efficiently package liquids in flexible formats.
Cost effective, sanitary and efficient, this bulk liquid packaging system is able to package anything from a 2-ounce serving up to 2 gallons. Partnering with Viking Masek, an experienced leader in the vertical form-fill-seal machine manufacturing arena, Printpack offers a rugged and highly functional machine.
The Viscopack system is easy to operate, easy to maintain and built to withstand the harsh washdown conditions of the food packaging industry. Combined with Printpack PerformX® barrier films the Viscopack system can achieve throughputs up to 50% greater than other systems.
For fast changeover capabilities, OYSTAR USA, whose parent company is OYSTAR Group (oystar-group.com), showcased the M-FS 30 Filling and Sealing Machine last month at PACK EXPO International. Designed for the filling and sealing of pre-formed cups (for the dairy and food industries), the M-FS 30 Filling and Sealing Machine delivers flexibility with easy and fast changeover capabilities.
The machine features a chainless drive concept allowing for automated format changes in less than 20 minutes. How does it work? During the format change, a mobile trolley storage unit is attached to the machine. A handling device then removes a trolley from the machine and places it in the storage unit. Afterwards, a trolley with a new format is fed into the machine. This procedure repeats over and over until all of the trolleys have been replaced.
In addition to fast changeover, another benefit to this system is reduced maintenance costs because there is no need to replace the transport chain or carry out any of the adjustment work needed for chain stretch. The machine can be equipped with up to three dosing systems. When equipped with a single dosing system, the machine is able to transport preformed cups with a fill volume of up to 600ml and a cup height of up to 150mm; in total, it can process up to 30,000 cups per hour across a maximum of 12 lanes. The machine operates without lubricant and may use UV-C disinfection for cups and lids, making it ideal for hygienic production applications.
If flexibility is a must, consider the 8000S, the state-of-the-art thermo form-fill-seal machine for medium to high production environments from Ossid (Ossid.com), powered by Pro Mach (Promach.com). This horizontally oriented machine can produce a variety of different package types, including flexible, foil-foil, semi-rigid, rigid, ambient, vacuum, modified atmosphere and reclosable. In addition to flexibility, the unit delivers speed, up to 20 cycles per minute, and sanitation with stainless steel construction.
Also contributing to its flexibility, the 8000S can run a wide range of packaging materials and can accommodate three and six-inch cores for the dual supply mandrels. Servo control for precise, repeatable motion actuation is featured on the drive chain and forming and sealing presses.
The machine runs smoothly with low operator involvement with a control system based on the Allen-Bradley PLCs. The HMI is loaded with features designed to make changeover fast and accurate, provide management with relevant production information and ensure that maintenance personnel have the information they need for trouble shooting and ongoing support.
To address concerns about downtime when preparing and changing the film roll on packaging machines, tna (www.tnasolutions.com), announces the launch of the new tna robag® auto-splice system. The latest innovation for the company’s tna robag range automatically splices film, increasing packaging efficiency and maximizing product throughput by reducing the need for manual intervention.
The new tna robag auto-splice head, coupled with a robag dual spindle film system, splices film automatically, joining the new pre-prepared film roll with the expiring one for seamless transition. The film preparation is carried out while the machine is still running, with no interruption to the packaging process and no machine downtime.
Michael Green, managing director, tna, comments, “Capable of completing a cycle in approximately fifteen seconds, this great addition allows operators to manage more machines per head, and can result in huge operational cost savings.”
The system is also fully integrated with existing robag software, which assists with the automatic reel change.
Form-fill-seal machinery works hard to deliver precision, speed and flexibility when packaging various food and beverages for market. With more products emerging in different shapes and sizes, and constructed out of various materials, machinery must adhere to fast changeovers to quickly form, fill and seal the package. Today’s advancements do just that and then some, to ensure the highest throughput rate with sanitation and flexibility in mind.