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Vertical Form Fill & Seal Machines

Form Fill Seal Packaging theory:

Form fill seal machines is the most revolutionary packaging equipment initially made in the mid 1930's. On a typical form fill seal machine , it starts with a roll of printed or clear film webbed on a paper core of either 3 inch or 6 inch. Form fill seal equipment could either be

  1. Vertical form fill seal
  2. Horizontal form fill seal
  1. Applications of Vertical form fill seal machines: Food, Powders, Chemicals, Liquids, & Hardware.

    Vertical form fill seal machines are mostly used for packaging objects which are not fragile and under 4" or less in diameter or linear length. For example Vertical form fill seal machines are used for packaging solids like grains, lentils, rice, chips, popcorns, cheese , coffee beans, cereals, dry fruits, snack food, extruded food products.

  2. Applications of Horizontal form fill seal machines: donuts, biscuits, fruits, vegetables, chocolate bars, phone cards and disposable cutlery

    Horizontal form fill seal machines are mostly used for packaging objects which are larger than 4" in diameter or linear length ; or they are too fragile to be weighed and packaged on a vertical form fill seal machine

  3. Types of Vertical form fill seal machines
    1. Intermittent motion Vertical form fill seal machines: In this type of machine the motion of the machine stops for a fraction of a second to allow for the drop of the product and also the horizontal sealing and cutting of the bag.
    2. Continuous motion Vertical form fill seal machine : In this type of machine the motion of the machine does not stop instead the vertical side of the bag is sealed by a rotary continuous sealer and the horizontal side of the bag is sealed and cut by vertically moving horizontal sealing jaws.
  4. Vertical form fill seal equipment Mechanism :
    1. Important components of a Vertical form fill seal machine depends whether the machine is Intermittent or Continuous motion Vertical form fill seal machine.

      First we will discuss the important components of Intermittent motion form fill seal machines:

      Intermittent Vertical form fill seal machines:

      Typical packaging speed of an intermittent packaging machine is between 50-80 packages per minute. Most intermittent machines are pneumatic meaning the motion of the moving components of the machine is controlled by pneumatic air cylinders. Some intermittent machines are hydraulic and the motion of the main moving components is controlled by hydraulic cylinders.

      1.  Film Pulling Mechanism

        There are two types of pulling mechanisms. First being friction pulling belts often made by rubber or Kevlar reinforced by pneumatic pressure on to a round tube which is machine flat on the sides so the packaging film can be sandwiched in between the belt and tube and can be pulled down by friction.

        Second type of intermittent Vertical form fill seal machines utilizes draw bar pulling mechanism. This includes a hydraulic draw bar which moves vertically up and down and pull the film with in the jaws. Most older machines are equipped with this technology . Often this type of vertical form fill seal machines work well but repair is very costly due to hydraulic systems.

      2. Servo motors or A/C motor

        Good intermittent motion Vertical form fill seal machines use servo motors for quick and accurate pulling of the packaging film. Most older machines use A/C motors for pulling the packaging film which results in inaccurate pulling lengths and less speed. APPE only utilizes high quality Panasonic servo motors to pull the packaging film with friction belts.

      3. Forming collar and tube

        Forming collar of an intermittent vertical form fill seal machine is at the heart of the packaging process. Good quality forming collar not only assures the film gets pulled down smoothly with as less friction as possible but it also assures the film comes down straight otherwise one side can be pulled more than the other and the film will get jammed in the forming collar and the Vertical form fill seal machine would have to be stopped. APPE offer very high quality forming collars and tube for its VertoBagger series Vertical form fill seal machines. We allow 2-3 mm gap between the collar and the tube which allows for most packaging films to be pulled down with ease and comfort. For each bag width to be formed on the Vertical form fill seal machine and new forming collar and tube is required. A good forming collar assembly is such that it can be replaced with in minutes to ensure less down time during product change over. APPE makes easy slide out assembly which includes the change over of forming collar and tube to be changed by only releasing two nuts and it can performed with in 5 minutes to ensure minimum down time. Each time a forming collar assembly is changed there is no need to reconfigure the alignment of the collar and the tube. Some Vertical form fill seal machines do require alignment of the forming collar and tube as they do not have one assembly for change over instead each part has to be replaced one by one. A badly machined forming collar looses alignment of the film pulling and an inaccurately machined tube causes the film to jam on the tube at a particular point causing down time . APPE ensure all forming tubes are machined to perfection to avoid down time. APPE uses only high quality food grade stainless steel to make the forming collars and tube and all other components of the machine which are in contact with the film.

      4. Film release mechanism

        A good Vertical form fill seal machine does not rely on only the pulling belts to pull the film but instead it utilizes several mechanical solutions to ensure the film slag is provided to the pulling belts for easy pull down the forming tube. APPE understands the importance of relieving stress on the friction pulling belts hence we have designed the perfect solution for ensuring an accurate and stress free release of film from the packaging roll stock. APPE has designed a special mandrel on which the core of the packaging film roll stock is installed like a sleeve. The core is normally 3" in diameter. Once the core of the packaging film sits on the mandrel pneumatic pressure is applied from within the mandrel and grippers and inflated to lock the core of the packaging film on the mandrel. This mandrel of the Vertical form fill seal machine is controlled by an A/C motor which is controlled by PLC of the Vertical form fill seal machine. Just before the belts are ready to pull the film the PLC signals the A/C motor to turn the mandrel and release an appropriate quantity of the packaging film from the packaging roll stock.

      5. Film dancing bar

        APPE has designed a high quality dancing bar to ensure the start/stop of the A/C motor for turning the mandrel for film release. The dual purpose dancing bar also works as providing slag to the packaging film enough that it does not allow the packaging film to be loose any where between the roll stock and the forming collar. The dancing bar is often linked with three type of proximity sensors. The first sensor ensures the release of the film and starts the A/C motor, which allows the dancing bar to travel up vertically to be in contact with the second proximity sensor of the Vertical form fill seal machine which stops the A/C motor and the film release is stopped. The position of the proximity sensors is adjustable depending on the bag length and the packaging speed. The third sensor on the vertical form fill seal machine is often a back up sensor, as the film runs out on the core of the film roll stock , the dancing bar falls at the bottom of its moving channel , that is where this third proximity sensor is placed to inform the machine the film has run out and its time to put a new roll of packaging material.

      6. PLC & Touch Screen

        APPE offers only high quality packaging machines which for which we use PLC (programmable logic controllers) to ensure the functions of the machine are performed with high accuracy and speed with minimum down time and malfunctions. PLC are the brains of the Vertical form fill seal machine and it controls all the functions of the machine. APPE uses OMRON PLC and a User Interface Touch Screen to control the parameter settings of its VertoBagger type Vertical form fill seal machines.

      7. Encoder & Photo eye

        Encoder of a Vertical form fill seal machine measures the amount of film that passes around it. The encoder instructs the machine to stop the puling mechanism once the desired bag length is achieved. Its mostly used in application where the packaging film is non printed. For printed film to be packaged on a Vertical form fill seal machine , the photo eye used to instruct the machine the starting and ending point of a printed bag. APPE uses high quality OMRON photo eye to read the bags as they come out of the packaging roll stock. 

      Continuous Motion Vertical form fill seal machines:

      Most continuous motion Vertical form fill seal machines operate at a packaging speed of 120 – 200 bags / min. These machines are mostly installed in high volume packaging facilities with daily production of in excess of 40,000 packages /8 hr shift/machine.

    2. Modified Atmosphere packaging with Vertical form fill seal machine

      The life of a food product in a bag varies greatly with the nature of the product being packed in the bag. Food products packed in bags, boxes or other containers stale and loose freshness when the get in contact with oxygen. As the food products are being packed on a Vertical form fill seal machine, it is possible to deflate the oxygen from the bag before sealing the horizontal side of the bag. APPE utilizes spring loaded compression mechanism which comes in contact with the bag prior to the sealing jaws. The springs are mounted on Vertical form fill seal machine in a pyramid form which ensures to start the deflation from the lowest unfilled part of the bag to the top to deflate maximum oxygen from the bag. The less oxygen the longer the shelf life. Another mechanism to prolong the shelf life of a food product packed in a bag is the use of Nitrogen. APPE designs forming tubes on which a thin pipe is welded. This stainless steel pipe goes all the way to the bag and just before sealing a little amount of nitrogen is injected in the bag which replaces oxygen in the bag. Nitrogen is less heavier than oxygen and protects food from getting stale over a period of time. This injection of Nitrogen and deflation of oxygen is referred to as Modified Atmosphere Packaging or MAP. If nitrogen is injected in the bag , then the spring loaded deflators are not used, otherwise it would be counter productive. 

    3. Wash down Vertical form fill seal machine

      Some food packaging applications involve wet products like packaging of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, frozen foods including chicken and beef, fresh cheese and liquid packaging. The packaging environment of the these products is wet and often the temperatures of these facilities range between 5 degrees celcius to 10 degrees celcius. This requires for the Vertical form fill seal machines to be weather proofed against this type of environment. APPE utilizes Stainless steel motors and Nema IV control cabinets and water proof mechanical and electrical components for the machines to be operated in wash down environments. The machines are also available to washed with water for disinfection.

  5. Bag Shapes made by Vertical form fill seal Machines:

    Various different bag shapes made by Vertical form fill seal machines are under:

    1. Pillow bag
    2. Side gusseted bag
    3. Flat bottom bag
    4. Tetrahedron bag
    5. Stick Pack
    6. Sachet
    7. 4 Side sealed bag
    8. Vacuum Brick Pack
VertoBagger Quad Seal

VertoBagger Quad Seal

  • Bag Style: Quad seal bag, Pillow Bag, Gussted Bag & Stand Up bag
  • Bag Length:1.9 to 13.4in
  • Bag Width: 3.1 to 7.9in
  • Speed: up to 50 bag per min
  • Packaging film maximum width: 540mm
VertoBagger Aqueous

VertoBagger Aqueous

  • Bag Style: Pillow Bag,Pincusion(closed back)
  • Bag Width: 2.55 to 9.84in
  • Bag Length: 4.72 to 19.68in
  • Speed: 4 to 20 bags per minute
  • Filling Capacity: 500 to 7500 gms


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