Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines: The Ultimate Guide

 

Are you interested in Vertical Form Fill Seal(VFFS) machines and how you can incorporate them into your production line to enhance your manufacturing efficiency?

In this post, we discuss the types, benefits, drawbacks, and working principles of Vertical Form Fill seal packaging machines. 

We also explore applications of Vertical Form Fill Seal machines in different industries, and factors you must consider before making a purchase decision.

What Are Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines? 

Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines, also called vertical baggers, are packaging machines that vertically fill specified quantities of material into suitable plastic bags and automatically seal them. With the vertical bagger, you can package products such as powder, granules, or solid materials such as small hardware accessories.

The Working Principle of Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines

So, how do the  VFFS machines Work? The machine has a roll of film that you must feed into it before it begins the packaging operation. 

You can have the brand name of your product or other necessary details such as the registration mark printed by having the roll pass through a special printing unit if desired.

This flexible packaging film material then takes a tube form shape with a sealed bottom and is often made of either polyethylene terephthalate(PET) or Polyethylene(PE). These materials are durable and protect your materials from damaging elements like moisture, light, and high temperatures.

So, when the bagging process begins, the required quantity of material flows into the vertically positioned tube film. 

After the right material quantities are filled, the plastic tubes are horizontally sealed and cut. The positioning of the film for both sealing and cutting is controlled by registration photo-eye sensors.

Filled and sealed bags drop on the conveyor belt. 

The filling tube then moves downward to be filled and the process continues. The filling of material can be any suitable filler such as a powder auger filler if you are handling powder or granule materials.

Filled bags are discharged on a conveyor belt.

VPM-V1 Vertical Packing Machine-SaintyCo

Types  And Uses of Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines

The machines are classified based on whether they run intermittently or continuously. You can also categorize them based on their power transmission mechanism.

Intermittent and Continuous Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines

An intermittent VFFS machine stops after material filling to allow for the sealing and cutting before the feeding continues.

This type of VFFS machine is suitable if you are packaging less delicate products, such as sugar or other powder products. As the packed bag drops on the conveyor belt, you should not be worried about any damage caused to the product.

As the name denotes, a continuous vertical fill-form sealing machine operates continuously even during the sealing of the bags. How does this happen? 

The sealed sections of the filled bag move upwards and downwards as the filling and sealing process continues. This technique prevents sealed bags from dropping and causing material damage. So, a continuous VFFS machine ensures that your delicate products are safe.

Pneumatic-Driven & Servo-Driven Vertical Fill Form Seal Machines.

You can also distinguish VFFS machines by how their packaging mechanisms are powered.

Pneumatic-Driven VFFS Equipment: Operation, Benefits,  & Drawbacks

Pneumatic vertical fill-form seal machines rely on compressed air for operation. They are a cost-effective packaging solution if you have a small or medium production line. They are also easy to operate and are highly durable.

However, for pneumatic VFFS machines to operate, you require a constant supply of compressed air. So, this will increase your production cost because of power requirements.

Further, the machine operates at a lower speed compared to a servo-driven VFFS machine. What this means is low production capacity. Pneumatic-driven VFFS machines are only suitable for packaging certain materials as they are less adaptable.

Servo-Driven VFFS Equipment: Operation, Benefits, & Drawbacks

Servo-driven VFFS machines or servos as they are called, are driven by servo motors. 

Compared to pneumatic-driven equipment, servo-driven VFF machines are highly energy-efficient. It also boasts high packaging speed, superior precision, and advanced software control capabilities. All these contribute to high production efficiency.

On the downside, because of their complex design and advanced features, servo-driven VFFS machines, by their complex features, are costly. You will also have to incur more operation and maintenance costs. 

Packaging Materials and Styles That VFFS Machines Support

VFFS machines package a wide range of materials that include 

Benefits of Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines

Easy to Use and Cost-effective

In terms of design, most VFFS machines are simple and easy to operate, as they do not require a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). So, you do not have to worry about the cost of training your machine operator. 

Because of its simplicity and reasonable operation speed, VFFS machines are cost-effective investments worth considering for your production line. 

Packaging Versatility and Efficiency

With VFFS machines, you can package a wide range of materials. The machine also works with different filling machines, such as Powder Auger Machines, or liquid fillers.

Further, VFFS machines also allow you to use different packaging materials and provide you with the versatility you need for high production efficiency.

Enhanced Protection of Products

With VFFS machines, your products are safely sealed in plastic bags as they will be free from external elements or possible contamination.

Purchasing Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines: What To Consider

Initial and Running costs 

VFFS machines come with different capacities and costs. So, as you search for a suitable option, compare prices from different manufacturers.

You must also consider the running costs of the machines by assessing the machine’s maintenance requirements and costs.

After assessing the costs, ensure that the cost of the machine you intend to buy is within your budget limit and capacity to maintain and service.

Product Suitability and Flexibility

A better understanding of your material products is important when choosing VFFS machines. The machine you choose must be suitable for your production line materials.

So, if you produce different products, choose VFFS machines that are flexible and adaptable to different packaging requirements. The more your machine can adapt to packing different products, the better. 

If you are still determining which VFFS  packaging machine to choose, contact a reliable manufacturer for guidance.

Ability to Work With Different Packaging Materials

The products you produce will always require different packaging materials or forms of plastic packaging. 

Therefore, selecting a VFFS machine capable of packaging products in a wide range of materials such as PET, PE, foil, cellophane, and paper laminates is prudent.

Packaging speed and capacity

If you produce products such as stick packs or other products in high volumes, you need to invest in high-speed vertical fill form seal machines like automatic servo-driven VFFs machines. However, for low material volumes investing in a high-speed VFFS machine is not a cost-effective option.

Integration and Automation Capabilities

For a complex automated production line, you cannot ignore the importance of integration in achieving high production flexibility and efficiency. 

Therefore, you must consider only the VFFS machines which you can effectively integrate with your other production line machines such as auger fillers and cartoning machines. 

Maintenance Requirements

Without being aware of the maintenance requirements of your VFFS machine, your production line operations can be adversely affected. 

Your operator, therefore, must have the necessary training and technical know-how to undertake the desired maintenance operations. 

For instance, choosing a VFFS machine with an easy to setup photo eye mark sensor or camera will significantly reduce your production downtime.

The Manufacturer Support Capacity

Before purchasing your VFFS machine, find out if its manufacturer will provide all the necessary after-sales support services you will need. 

In fact, the more flexible the manufacturer is in offering timely after-sale support, the better. Delays in getting support can adversely affect your production rate and efficiency. 

Make sure the support team can be reached through different channels. A manufacturer with the capacity to offer remote technical assistance is worth partnering with.

Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines: Industry Applications

The following industries benefit from the use of Vertical Form Fill Seal machines.

Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Packaging Industry

In the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, the packaging of large bulk packages of drugs or dietary supplements is achieved using Vertical Form Fill Seal machines. 

There are also small VFFS machines such as multi-lane stick packaging machines. These are used to package single-dose drugs or dietary supplements into stick packs or sachets.

Food Processing Industry

Food processing industries use a wide range of VFFS machines such as automatic Double Tube VFFS machines for high-speed packaging of food products. Some of the common products packaged by the machines include coffee beans, seeds, gummies, frozen food, etc. 

Chemicals Production Industry

Chemical industries producing powdered or granular products also depend on vertical baggers for their packaging needs. Some of the most common products that are packaged using the machine are 

Chemicals and Cosmetics Industry

In the chemical industry, VFFS machines are used in the packaging of foot bath powder, lime powder, and fertilizer among other products. When you are in the cosmetics industry, you require VFFS equipment for the packaging of shampoo and other cosmetic samples in sachets.

In the cosmetics industry, VFFS machines are used in sachet packaging of shampoo and other cosmetic samples

Hardware Accessories Production Industry

Hardware manufacturing industries rely on  VFFS machines for the packaging of certain hardware accessories. These components include screws, nuts, washers,  bolts, washers, fasteners, and other tiny machine parts

Vertical Form Fill Seal Machines: What’s The Future Like?

According to the Future Market Insight search report analysis, the demand for VFFS machines will continue to grow as it is the most preferred packaging solution by the end user. 

The report further reveals that by 2032, VFFS machines will constitute about  80% or four-fifths of the form seal machines in the world market. Here are the key factors that shine bright lights on the future of VFFS machines:

  • End-users increasing demand for  products packaged by VFFS machines
  • Continuous advancements in new technologies leading to the production of more efficient VFFS machines
  • Increased awareness, adoption, and promotion of eco-friendly VFFS machine packaging materials
  • Improved production capacity by manufacturers due to automation leading to reduced production costs occasioned by the economies of scale

Conclusion

Vertical Form Fill Seal machines drive the packaging process in several industries and this trend will continue. 

With many types of VFFS machines available, you must take time to assess your requirements while seeking guidance from a reputable manufacturer. If you deal in different products, choose VFFS equipment that can adapt to different packaging.

Before making your purchase decision, be sure that the manufacturer you are purchasing your VFFS equipment from will provide all the technical support.

Are you searching for a reliable packaging solution for your pharmaceutical production or food processing business? Do not hesitate to Contact Us

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