Flour Packaging Machine
For over 100 years mill products such as wheat flour have been conventionally packaged in paper bags and sent for further processing. The future vision would be that the products are welded in the absence of air in plastic bags.
To investigate the process of packing in vacuum and to gain experience, a prototype was designed and built as part of this project. The machine is completely automated and involves the preparation of the film bag, the generation of the negative pressure as well as the filling and sealing of the product.
The Novel packaging technology offers numerous advantages with respect to the classical method. The plastic film is cost effective and the product is isolated completely from the outside world. The bags are sealed at prevailing vacuum and get thanks to the ambient pressure their compact form. The so obtained packages are space-saving and suitable for automated machine handling.
In the present system, different approaches regarding optimal functionality and flexibility were combined. The machine is driven by electric and pneumatic actuators. Numerous sensors collect relevant data and thus ensure process safety. The entire system is supervised and operated by a memory-programmable controller. To produce the plastic bag a tubular bag machine from FAWEMA has been integrated into the design.
The machine is able to automatically pack bags from 8 to 15 kg. In the system an absolute pressure of 0.2 bar is reached. Two pneumatically operated pressing plates bring the bag after filling in a rectangular shape and maintain this until the vacuum chamber is ventilated. The thickness can be varied from 100 to 180 mm, which determines bag lengths of 380-850 mm. Once the atmospheric pressure of 1 bar acts on the package, it will be further compressed and retains its shape over time.