Vertical form fill sealing machine


Vertical form fill sealing machine

This is a type of automated assembly-line product packaging system, commonly used to in the packaging industry for food, and a wide variety of other products. The machine constructs plastic bags out of a flat roll of plastic film, while simultaneously filling the bags with product and sealing the filled bags. Both solids and liquids can be bagged using this packaging system.

The typical machine is loaded with a continuous flat roll of plastic film, which has had labeling and artwork applied to the exterior of the film. Note that while plastic is the most commonly used packaging material in the food industry, the technology can also be used to form continuous paper and fabric product containers by changing the edge sealing/seaming methods.

After unrolling, the film may first be fed through a sterilizing chemical bath and dryer prior to use in the packaging system.

The film approaches the back of a long hollow conical tube, and when the center of the plastic is near the tube, the outer edges of the film form flaps that wrap around the conical tube. The film is pulled downward around the outside of the tube and a vertical heat-sealing bar clamps onto the edges of the film, bonding the film by melting the seam edges together.

To start the bagging process, a horizontal sealing bar clamps across the bottom edge of the tube, bonding the film together, and cutting off any film below. The sealed tube end is then lowered onto a precision weighing table and the product to be bagged is dispensed through the long conical tube in the center of the bag.

When the tare weight of the product-filled bag is reached, filling stops, and the horizontal sealing bar seals the top of the bag, and simulatenously forms the bottom of the next bag above. This bag is then cut off from the tube and is now a sealed package, ready to advance onward into the product boxing and shipping processes.

During the final sealing process, the bag may be filled with air from a blower or from an inert gas supply. Inflating the bag helps reduce the crushing of fragile products such as potato chips, while inflating with an inert gas helps drive out oxygen and retards the growth of bacteria that would spoil the product.

Dual web systems are also available for four side sealed pouches, as well as pouches requiring different materials for each side. Dual web systems use two rolls of material instead of one, which are fed in from opposite sides of the machine. The bottom and sides are heat sealed together to form the pouch, and the product is loaded from the top. The pouch with loaded product then advances downwards and the top is sealed and pouch is cut off. The sealing of the top of the pouch forms the bottom of the next pouch. During this process a tear notch may be added.

The feeding of material and cutting of the pouch can be determined either by pouch length, or indexing to an eyespot, which is detected by a visual sensor.

While single web systems are popular for food applications, the dual web four side seal system is often popular for IVD and Medical device products.

Closely related is the horizontal form-fill-seal machine, which is generally less space effective than a Vertical system.

References

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZZ0F4Tz5X0 Matrix Pro201830P video] (Youtube video of form/fill/seal machine in operation)
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3609671346516646831 Ocean Machines - Vertical Form Fill & Seal with Multihead] (Youtube video of form/fill/seal machine in operation)
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otgdFEH7Uvo QuickPouch Vertical Form Fill Seal Machine in Operation] (Youtube video of form/fill/seal machine in operation)
* [http://www.quickpouch.com/vertical_form_fill_seal.html QuickPouch Vertical Form Fill Seal Machine] (Webpage for Popular Form Fill Seal Machine)


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