Form Fill and Seal Machinery – Vertical & Horizontal Form fill seal machinery (FFS) forms a bag from flat film engineered and indexed to specific needs of product to be filled. These FFS machines are automated assembly line packaging systems used in packaging liquids and solids. VFFS or Horizontal FFS machines can be intermittent or continuous motion.
- Intermittent motion machines operate on the principle that vertical bag seals are made when the film is moving and horizontal seals occur when the film stops. Intermittent motion machines offer a suitable solution for applications where speed is not absolutely paramount.
- Continuous motion machines the vertical and horizontal bag seals are applied without stopping the film and therefore higher production rates can be achieved.
Vertical Form, Fill and Seal Machines
Vertical Form, Fill, and Seal (VFFS) machines are used in the consumer products industry for a wide variety of packaging applications. Fully automatic VFFS machines require limited operator intervention. The operator need only replenish product by loading supply hoppers or changing packaging film drums. For machines that are semiautomatic, operators are required to perform part of the packaging operation. VFFS machines can be intermittent or continuous motion. Intermittent motion machines operate on the principle that vertical bag seals are made when the film is moving and horizontal seals occur when the film stops. Intermittent motion machines offer a suitable solution for applications where speed is not absolutely paramount. Continuous motion machines operate on the principle that both vertical and horizontal bag seals are made when the film is in motion. These machines operate at the highest attainable speeds and require a reciprocating sealing . Common Machines: General, ACMA, Hayssen, Viking, Matrix.
Horizontal Form, Fill and Seal Machines
Horizontal FFS machines operate on the same principal but generally are formatted for C fold style of film sealing – i.e. stand up pouches, cocoa pouches. These are generally for used for better seal quality,or for stand up type (delta seal, Doyen) style bags. The common machinery : Bartelt, KHS, Bossar, Bodolay and many more.
The product(s) can be powder, granules, solid pieces, liquid or paste. There is usually a filler head mounted above the machine which can be an auger, scale, piston, volumetric cup or one of many types of fillers. The versatility of the vertical form fill seal makes it a very popular machine. The fact that it forms its own package out of a sheet of film makes it more economical than other types of packaging and, therefore, it has been given more and more uses over the years. It has replaced boxes, cartons, cans and bottles. In some countries, even milk is commonly packaged in pouches formed on vertical form fill seal machines.
How it works
Film is pulled off a roll, wrapped around a forming tube and heat sealed into a continuous tube that moves downward. There is a horizontal sealing bar that closes the tube at intervals and seals it, forming the bottom of a package. The product falls into this topless package as the machine pulls the film farther down. The sealing bar closes again forming the top of one package and the bottom of the next.
Common Form Fill and Seal Pouches
Bottles/Vials: Blow fill seal
Cartons: Vertical carton board form fill seal
Pots Trays and Blisters: Cold form fill seal; thermoform fill seal; blister form fill seal
Sachets and Envelopes: Edge seal machine; horizontal form fill seal; vertical sachet form fill seal
Sacks and Bags: Tubular sack form fill seal and vertical form fill seal
Things to look for in buying machinery
Though straightforward in operation , these machines are subject to continuous upgrades and new machinery and formats are continually being developed. We caution clients to make sure that they are looking at either a modern (less than 10 years old), or machines with mature operational design and format (Bartelt horizontal), and are supportable by the manufacturer or after-market parts and service suppliers. The electrical upgrades to PLC or DeviceNet style systems can be expensive and in many cases overcomplicate the operation of machinery. Simpler and newer are the watch-words in looking for used machinery of this type, avoid poorly constructed and supported Chinese machinery in most cases.
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