What Are The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Using A Form Fill Seal Bag Machine?
Packaging products for sales and delivery is an important step in getting your goods to customers in good condition. Thankfully, there are many packaging machines you can choose from to get the job done.
Deciding which one best meets your needs involves more than considering what it will cost. You’ll need to balance each machine's pros and cons so that you pick the one most compatible with how you operate.
Form Fill Seal Machines are a popular choice of packaging machinery. Yet, like all machines, they thrive more in certain circumstances than others. Make sure you’re aware of the below advantages and disadvantages of your potential investment before taking the plunge.
There are significant financial benefits to investing in a Form Fill Seal Bagging Machine. It’s versatile, making it ideal for packaging anything from granules and chemicals to grains and powders.
Some machines have weighers to ensure that each packaged product is the right volume and size, down to a ±0.5% accuracy, to ensure consistency. Other machines have built-in coders to add colour logos, product information and barcodes to packages. These elements can be added at the end of the packaging process.
If you package many product sizes, you’ll save on raw material costs by using a single packaging roll, which is cheaper than pre-made bags. You also won’t have to deal with discarding any packaging trimming, as Form Fill Seal Bagging Machines create each bag to fit the exact specified volume of the product in question.
More Time Saving
Form Fill Seal Bag Machines can use high-speed continuous or intermittent motion to shape, fill and seal products — often at once.
Some machines (like the Velocity 2000) can fill up to 2000 bags an hour for bags weighing 2.5 kg, 1500 bags per hour for bags weighing 10kg and 1200 bags per hour for bags weighing 25 kg. It works continuously, with the seal at the top of a filled bag already forming the next bag’s bottom.
The more packages you fill per hour, the lower your capital costs become. This means that if you’re considering short production runs (for example, fewer than 1000 bags weighing 25 kg, per hour), it’s not going to save you money. It works best when you plan on running single bag sizes and weights for at least two hours at a time.
It won’t save you time if you’re packaging products that can’t contain trapped air, such as delicate or perishable items that could perish with oxygen exposure. Most Form Fill Seal Bag Machines cannot remove air from such packages quickly or easily.
More Product Versatility
Form Fill Seal Machines have few limitations with what it can or can’t package. However, it can’t handle liquids and it also has product density limitations. It’s ill-suited and un-economical for packaging fine, aerated and light powders or moist products needing breathing space.
Form Fill Seal Machines aren’t equipped to work with products needing heavy duty packaging or protection. They're also ill-suited to working with multi-ply materials (for example, a package with an inner foil lining and plastic outer layer).
As customers become more concerned with sustainability and their environmental footprint, you’ll need to consider if they’ll accept plastic packaging.
Form Fill Seal Machines work best with plastic film and can't work with paper. With many governments moving to ban single-use plastic packaging, you need to know what materials will and won't be permitted in future.
Reduced Labour Requirements
Form Fill Seal Bagging Machines can operate 24 hours a day, only requiring a simple, 10 minute packaging film change every six hours (this may differ depending on your operating throughput). Apart from this, the entire process is automated and can take place unattended. This frees up staff members you’d typically assign to monitor the process so that they can concentrate on other tasks.
This doesn’t mean that using the machine will require no training or operation. As you’ll make your own bags, your employees will need to be trained to set up and changeover the machine and its film.
Easier Cleaning & Maintenance
In the past, less advanced Form Fill Seal Machines were cumbersome to install and time consuming to operate. These days, models are more compact, made of higher quality materials, have fewer moving parts and only require an annual service.
It means that you can have longer product runs and quickly clean the machine between runs. You won’t have to have separate machines for different bags sizes as one machine can now do the job of many.
Despite the above, Form Fill Seal Machines will require different forming tubes in order to produce different bag widths. However, switching from one forming tube to another is easy and quick, and can take place without equipment or tools. This will ensure your machines work quickly and cost effectively when you need it the most.
Work With The Right Team
No matter how well-equipped your final choice of Form Fill Seal Machine is, it won't meet your needs or save you time and money unless you get to know it as well as the people who have manufactured it.
Having the machine’s manufacturers on site as you install the machine is critical to your success. They’ll ensure that your employees operate it correctly, and that it’s optimised to package your products in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Webster Griffin can offer you this type of support, and much more. We’re experts in matching form fill bag machines to clients in diverse areas of operation. Entrusting us to help you select the best machine for your needs will allow you to hit the ground running. Contact us today to find out how we can help.
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