What FFS bagging machines require
These machine components must be cleaned and checked regularly
FFS (Form-Fill-Seal) machines have several built-in components, which should be subjected to regular cleaning measures. In particular, the filling area of the bagging machine should be the focus of cleaning.
The FFS machine types SYSTEM-T and SYSTEM-F operate with a pre-produced tube or form a tube from a flat film, which is turned into a bag through the bottom and top seams. As far as the SYSTEM-T is concerned, rubber suction cups or opening suction cups are important components, whereas these specific machine parts cannot be found in the SYSTEM-F, since the tubular bag is pushed over the opening of the filling spout. Similar to open-mouth bagging machines, machine components of FFS systems also come into contact with the product. Although the extent of this contact is much smaller when compared to open-mouth bagging machines, whereas this again depends on the respective design of the FFS machine, these parts need particular attention and thus, should be checked and cleaned on a regular basis.
Regular servicing and maintenance of the sealing beams, non-stick coatings, and cutting blades are essential in order to ensure the long-term smooth running of FFS-machines. Moreover, products with hygroscopic properties are also often bagged with FFS-machines. For this reason, the bag must be tightly sealed. However, to ensure that the bags are in the right shape for palletizing, an additional air extraction system during filling is installed. The vacuum pump for the air extraction and the associated filters should therefore have a high priority as far as cleaning is concerned. Cleaning and replacing the filters regularly maintains a constant performance of the components and does not require a large amount of time. “Cleaning and replacing the filters of the vacuum pumps should generally be carried out regularly as part of the maintenance measures taken for all of the packaging machines. For FFS machines with air extraction or evacuation, however, cleaning should be carried out more often”, says Stefan Hibler, service engineer at STATEC BINDER.