Before we take a closer look at Viking Masek’s VFFS system, let’s first take a look at Viking Masek itself.
Founded in the early 2000s (as Leonhard Packaging Solutions), Viking Masek is an industry-leading manufacturer of packaging machinery. It particularly specialises in the production of premade pouch packing machines, economical VFFS baggers, high-speed continuous motion vertical baggers, and multi-lane stick packaging machines.
At the heart of Viking Masek is a philosophy that its machines are innovative, easy to use, and deliver an excellent return on investment – after all, packaging machinery represents a substantial investment for most businesses.
As you’ll see with Viking Masek’s VFFS system, it’s very much a company that’s pushing the boundaries of packaging technology…
What is a VFFS packaging machine?
If you’re relatively new to the world of packaging machinery, you may be wondering what a VFFS system actually is. Well, wonder no longer.
VFFS stands for ‘Vertical Form Fill Seal’. As the name suggests, a Vertical Form Fill Seal machine is a type of automated assembly-line packaging system that simultaneously creates plastic bags (or stand-up pouches), whilst also filling those bags with a product and then sealing them.
The idea of a VFFS machine was borne in the mind of Walter Zwoyer, who patented his idea for the VFFS concept in 1936.
It’s a piece of machinery that’s become indispensable across multiple industries including food and beverage, health and pharmaceuticals and non-food industries such as cosmetics manufacturing.
The evolution of VFFS machines
Like any piece of assembly line equipment, VFFS machines have been subject to a form of ‘evolutionary pressure’ as manufacturers continually try to find ways to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their assembly lines, reduce associated labour costs and ultimately improve their bottom line.
It’s these factors and more that led Viking Masek to develop the world’s fastest VFFS system.
So, how fast is it? And, how did they do it? Let’s take a look.
The development of the fastest VFFS machine in the world
Viking Masek, being an industry-leader, was approached by a coffee contract packager that required a fast and flexible way to package fractional packs of coffee. They had been struggling with a mix of old and new machinery, as well as machines that were failing to properly seal the packs of coffee.
As a result, the coffee contract packager was really struggling with speed and quality.
They turned to Viking Masek for a solution…
Viking Masek’s answer was their VFFS Velocity continuous motion bagmaker. With a unique centre-mounted filling tube and a naturally counterbalanced sealing profile, the VFFS Velocity was able to provide the vibration-free, smooth operation that the coffee contract packager required.
And, here’s the real killer point.
The VFFS Velocity is capable of production speeds up to 300 bpm. Combine that with industry-leading ease of use, high reliability and the ability to be able to handle package sizes up to 300mm (12”) wide and you can see how the VFFS Velocity was able to transform the fortunes of the coffee contract packager.
Refining the VFFS Velocity
The VFFS Velocity machine, on its own, forms a highly effective part of a production line. However, Viking Masek refined it further for the coffee contract packager.
The enhance the VFFS Velocity, Viking Masek also:
- Added an improved Teflon back seal design (which has since been patented).
- Included their patented continuous motion rotary heat seal jaws. These allow the machine to reach super-fast production speeds (essentially removing lost cycle time).
So successful was this ‘enhanced’ VFFS Velocity, that the coffee contract packager asked Viking Masek if it would be possible to develop a dual VFFS system that would double production speeds (whilst maintaining a small footprint).
The creation of a dual VFFS system
Viking Masek rose to the task and developed a dual VFFS system that combines two VFFS Velocity machines into one small footprint.
However, creating this dual VFFS system wasn’t merely a case of combining two VFFS Velocity machines. Viking Masek took the opportunity to further innovate and introduce several new technological improvements.
These improvements included:
- The introduction of high-speed augers. These augers ensure that dusty products (such as croutons, for example) can be filled cleanly at high speeds without particulates interfering with the sealing system.
- Twin patented continuous-motion heat seal jaws.
- Precision web tracking and anti-static discharge.
- Allen Bradley machine controls so that it’s easy to control bag length, sealing and web handling.
- High-speed checkweighers. These continually check weights and pass information to the auger filler, ensuring that package weights are kept within very tight tolerances (0 – 2% of desired weight).
Viking Masek’s dual VFFS system also incorporated the now-patented Teflon vertical back seal design, which ensures constant, even contact with the packaging film.
Thanks to these technological developments, Viking Masek has been able to develop the fastest VFFS machine in the world, reaching true production speeds of up to 310 bags per minute (155 bpm per side)
The result, for the coffee contract packager, was the ability to double output with half the labour expense.
The enhanced features of the dual VFFS Velocity, such as the real-time checkweighting system, eliminated the need for manual inspection, whilst the high-speed counting heads on the casepackers meant that the cartoning process could be automated.
In short, Viking Masek and its dual VFFS Velocity system really did deliver the speed, accuracy and performance goals that the coffee contract packager was desperately trying to attain.
Improve your VFFS machinery with MRMK
If, having read this, you feel the need to improve the performance of your VFFS machines (and we don’t blame you if you do!), then consider upgrading to higher quality seal knives.
The knives used in a VFFS machine play an important role in its effectiveness. Select high-quality blades of the correct steel grade, and you’ll ensure that your VFFS machine is able to operate consistently and smoothly over hundreds of thousands of cycles.
At MRMK we are working hard to create a new standard in machine knife manufacturing. Our focus is on creating machine blades that offer a consistent balance of quality and value.
When you buy an MRMK blade, you’re not just getting a high-quality blade, but the support of our after-sales team, to ensure your VFFS machinery is operating at the highest possible level.
For further information on the vertical form fill seal knives we offer, contact our team for all the details or browse our website to learn more.
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