In recent years, packaging machine design has become more sophisticated. by incorporating more built-in functions and value-added components than ever before.
Vertical fill and seal packing machines (VFFS) have been use throughout. the food industry for more than fifty years to pack a large number of products quickly and easily.
Changing consumer demands has been a key driver and driver of developments in . the VFFS category, leading to the creation of new equipment designs and. innovative solutions that are changing the food manufacturing industry.
Ultimately, as with any product development, packaging machine design is the drive. by consumer demand. As people become more health-conscious and develop a drive for convenience, . consumers have to start looking for smaller, . healthier bags of cookies that can be eaten on the go.
Many of them have chosen part control as . the method to reduce weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle, . and small, individual bags are a convenient way to achieve this. As a consequence, the global flexible packaging market is in full expansion and is expect to . reach a value of USD 125.66 billion by the year 2021.1
The largest percentage of this growth is expect to come from. Asia and in particular from countries such . as India and China and their expanding food and beverage industries.
The consumer shift towards take-out snacks and . healthy eating had a considerable impact on . the design of packaging machinery as manufacturers need to pack . the same amount of products in more bags to maintain the same production volume levels. Thus, maintaining ambitious performance targets and optimal productivity is critical.
However, while operating at this high speed, it is important to achieve not only a large capacity in a faster way . but also to achieve quality in the product. If this issue had not been take into account, it could have led to costly consequences, . especially waste and customer loyalty.
Therefore, achieving a balance between packaging speeds and. product quality is no longer something to be achieve. but has become a necessity for food manufacturers . who want to survive in a competitive market.
With VFFS technology at the center of various food manufacturing lines, . recent developments in the design of this innovative. technology can help manufacturers strike the right balance.
Smooth operations in packaging machines
Increasing emphasis on automation and system integration throughout the . production line optimizes throughput rates, eliminates human error, and reduces costs. By integrating smart control systems, manufacturers can enjoy a single point of control, . increase production transparency, boost line efficiency, and improve performance.
The latest technological advances in this area have enabled the . development of intuitively designed systems based on a self-learning program, . allowing VFFS machines to find a balance between advanced packaging speed settings,. reduced amounts of waste and quality. of product.
Also, food processors can record information about . their processes, which allows them to rectify aspects . and have the documentation available to follow the new record-keeping requirements.
Example of Production
This not only streamlines production but also creates a higher level of . transparency and accountability within the manufacturing process. For example, an independent supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) are . appropriate for this purpose, because . they can extract data from the existing programmable logic controller (PLC) system.
Once collect, any relevant information is record in a central database for . the creation of configurable reports that are specific to the plant in question. Because this system is a separate piece of machinery and is not part of a current plant control system, . it does not interrupt or interfere with existing production control and operation.
The effectiveness of the control system is indisputable and as a consequence,. several equipment manufacturers are now . offering control technology as part of their comprehensive packaging solutions. But , it’s not the controls systems that are part of the mix.
Today, a growing number of OEMs will offer a wide range of built-in innovations that . support flexibility and speed during the packaging process. From precision balances to high-speed metal detectors to automatic film splicers, . the shift from specifying a single product to a comprehensive. packaging system can be seen throughout the food industry.
These comprehensive systems, often call “turnkey” solutions, offer manufacturers many advantages. For example, the latest in film splicing technology allows a new roll of . film to start after the previous roll has run out, . reducing downtime and keeping the packaging process running at high speeds.
Sensors that detect when the film has move out of . its predetermine range and activate a motor to re-align. it can also be equip and help reduce product and film waste.
When considering the cost of packaging film as a significant financial investment . when bagging snacks or confectionery, any step towards reducing film waste is a . vital factor for food manufacturers seeking to maximize efficiency on the line. production lines and reduce costs on the manufacturing line.
As a consequence, film feeding and locating systems now form an important part of several major VFFS packaging systems.
Full system integration
Turnkey systems also help improve system integration. Several manufacturers underestimate the importance of taking a few steps . back and looking at the entire line. While it’s easy to budget a full budget for the latest cutting-edge technology. , there is not always a guarantee that . that combination will deliver the best results. After all, the speed of other components that make up the line can affect the speed . at which the packer can operate.
For example, a bagger can pack bags of potato chips at the rate of 150 bags per minute, . but if the scale can only weigh 80 bags per minute, then production will be reduce. Manufacturers must ensure that all elements of the . production line can achieve similar levels of power to drive efficiency. By specifying a supplier’s turnkey systems, manufacturers can ensure that . each component works in complete synergy with the . other and delivers the best possible results.
Most flexibility in equipment
Performance is not about pocketing speeds, it is also relate to equipment flexibility. Driven by consumer demand for greater variety and choice, . today’s packaging machines need to handle a wider selection of bags. It is no longer enough to offer a tasty product.
Snack makers who really want to stand out must also take . into account the visual preferences and values of consumers, . whether this means using sustainable packaging materials, . an attractive design, or an innovative shape. By adapting the packaging design and appearance of the product, . manufacturers can easily update their product catalog. to ensure that they maintain a visible and relevant position in the . market without having to reformulate the particular product.
Often for food manufacturers, this proliferation of products on the shelves and the. the constant need to reinvent themselves translates into the need to process a . variety of different bag formats, sizes, and materials in one place and within the same amount of time. production, to keep abreast of changing consumer tastes. This can affect production speeds as different bag sizes and . weights mean various changes and adjustments between series. But, every minute the manufacturing line is stop . can result in the loss of opportunity and potential returns, .
Importance with example
so it is important that downtime for changes, setups, repairs, and cleaning are keep to a smallest.
With improving operational efficiency as a top priority, . several food manufacturers are looking for equipment . that not only offers higher levels of performance. but also offers flexibility when it comes to handling new materials, . container sizes, and varying speeds in processing. line.
For example, today’s packaging equipment must be able to handle triangular,. fix-bottom, canoe, and . four-seal formats on the same line and offer ease of use when switching from one to the other. The more flexible the packaging machine, the less time it takes to change . the production runs to accommodate different package sizes, . resulting in minimal disruption to the production flow.
As a result, the latest generation of VFFS packaging systems has been designing. to meet these flexibility requirements. and now allow for quick changes and any combination of jaw size or . configuration (single, double, triple, or horizontal jaw rotation ) .which gives complete . flexibility to the size and format of the bag and the type and application of film in a single system. Also, important factors are quick access to system components and hygienic design as . they allow food manufacturers to clean, . repair or exchange defective parts and reduce maintenance and plant downtime.
The packaging machine design has evolve over the past decades. Driven by continual changes in consumer behaviors and . preferences, food manufacturers need machines that can adapt. to changes in the industry . while offering the speeds they need to maintain a profitable operation