Seal quality and integrity is important across pouches, VFFS, HFFS and tray sealing, especially in retort applications. Besides the obvious benefits of employing excellent sealing technology; a high quality, safe product, seal inspection technology can also play a significant role in increasing your production output while maintaining product quality.
‘Packaging technologists and film suppliers spend a lot of time and effort to source the correct film structures with the appropriate barrier properties to ensure the freshness and shelf life requirements for their product are met. We have found not as much attention is spent on the integrity of the seal, the very thing that can impact upon the product.’ said John Whitfield, National Sales Manager for Perfect Automation.
Perfect Automation offer a huge range of sealing machines and seal inspection innovation to help food producers ensure the quality of their seals. This technology can achieve a false rejection rate of 0, guaranteeing the safety of their product and ensuring it maintains the quality and freshness for the entirety of its shelf life.
Getting the seal right at the start
Ultrasonic bag sealer technology from Herrmann Ultrasonics, seals through contamination, including pouches going through the retort process. The ultrasonic bag sealing machine makes it possible to safely remove product residue from the seal area whilst maintaining high process speeds and tighter packaging. Pre-set criteria can verify every package seal meets your standards and quickly identifies and rejects packaging with damaged seals before they are delivered to your customer.
The melt formation begins with vibration energy focused through the tools for the film and other flexible packaging materials. The customised tool profile focus’ the energy input to the seal only. The heat to seal is only generated inside the thermoplastic sealing layer – energy savings can be seen through the shorter sealing time and tools remain cold during the weld process.
Ultrasonic sealing can be used across many food packaging application groups including capsules, pouches, spouts, valves, zippers, film packaging, drink packaging, blister packs and trays.
Industry where ultrasonic sealing technology works well
In the ready meal and sauce category where sealing is critical, and food is cooked or sterilised in the pouch, ultrasonic sealing technology has shown improved sealing quality better than packaging with cans. Ultrasonic sealing technology allows the safe integration of zippered pouches to be used in re-sealable pouches and the welding of these zipper ends.
Seal inspection and monitoring technology
During production, sealing faults can significantly impact on production speeds and contamination of food and packaging. Seal inspection and monitoring technology can help food manufacturers set parameters and quickly identify sealing problems and contaminants such as –
SealScope™ Seal inspection – not only inspects packaging seals but also
determines the root causes of issues and improves processes.
SealScope™ seal monitoring technology measures the vibration pattern during the closing of the sealing jaws. This measurement is then compared to the fingerprint vibration of a good seal. Compromised packages due to wrinkles, product in seal and other inclusions, can easily be detected and rejected. The system checks every individual package, independent of the production rate.
By monitoring the process variance SealScope™ can identify process drifts and warn the operator to do preventive maintenance in order to keep everything running smoothly. Using the detection and monitoring tools of SealScope™ you can cut the number of incidental open packages by over 90% and packaging speed can be increased while monitoring the sealing quality (may vary depending on the inspection product and operating environment).
System Square X-Ray and optical camera seal inspection machines – two technologies working together for higher inspection sensitivities.
This machine uses two types of inspection – an X-ray generator plus an optical camera (some models have 2 optical cameras) – at the same time to achieve merits that are not available conventionally. These two technologies in conjunction allows higher sensitivities with clearer images to see faults and can inspect up to 700 pcs./min (may vary depending on the inspection product and operating environment).
This machine detects sealing problems such as product caught in the packaging seal and seal fault in the packaging. At the same time, it can detect – foreign objects, such as metal, bone, glass, and stone, incorrect weight of package, a product that is chipped or cracked, has a hole, or not the correct size or quantity, or packaging that is empty, doubled or the incorrect size.
The inspection range can be set easily by following the system displays.
Talk to Perfect Automation about the options open to you to protect your product and brand and prevent food spoilage. Share your seal inspection challenges with us and we will help you achieve your production and quality goals.
Originally published at AUSPACK2019