Ulma Packaging, a company specializing in the design and production of packaging equipment and services, has developed a vertical form fill sealing (VFFS) Air Extraction System (Tight Bag) to tackle excess air in the bag, which often leads to bigger boxes
and thus fewer packs per pallet. To overcome this challenge, many manufacturers make holes or micro perforations in the bag, but when the product is stored for long periods it can result contamination of the food inside.
Cereal manufacturers have for many years experienced a problem in mixed products where the heavier ingredient falls to the bottom of the box (bag in box) during transport. Ulma’s new ‘tight bag’ jaws make the pack tighter by removing air via a patented jaw design that will prevent damages to the product as per conventional options such as bag deflators. A tighter bag means mixed products are held in place during transportation. To meet the market needs to remove as much air as possible from the packs of frozen products, without affecting the integrity of the packaging, Ulma’s patented new system creates a controlled
vacuum before sealing the bag—an innovative method which does not compromise packaging speeds and also reduces logistics costs.
The ‘Tight Bag’ system is incorporated in the horizontal cross seal area allowing the machine to reach pack speeds of up to 90 per minute, whilst controlling how much air is withdrawn from the bag. Smaller boxes mean an increase in the number of packs that
can be stored on pallets, saving fuel miles, while preventing the risk of external contamination of the product due to punched holes or perforations. According to Ulma, on some products this can mean up to an extra 20% more product per pallet/boxes.
VFFS business manager at ULMA, Steve Brooks says, “Our patented air extraction system is perfect for the food sector; the bag is automatically sealed and is not pierced which means you get full seal integrity whilst maintaining a tight bag. The amount of air that remains in the bag can be controlled directly from the HMI panel and can be adjusted during production to suit a variety of products. During trials we achieved at least 10-20% more packs per pallet, meaning logistics costs can be reduced while at the same time speeding up delivery of products to customers.”