Modulo Bagger For Pet Food & Powder

Modulo Auto bagger the ‘Master of Flexibility’

Modulo Bagger For Pet Foods & Powders

Webster Griffin have added the Modulo Auto Bagger to our range of Bag and Sack filling machines. It is a fully automatic machine with high speed operation making it ideal for short, special batch runs.

It has been built to meet the specific requirements of the pet food industry, for example the Modulo Bagger makes it ’quick & easy’ to switch from one bag format to another and it has been designed with fewer moving parts for a hygienic and clean operating experience.

The machine is highly flexible so that it can keep up which current market trends in packaging design, size and shape within the pet food sector.

Webster Griffin’s Demo AGV Arrives In Brooklands Park

Webster Griffin's Demo AGV Arrives On-Site

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Webster Griffin take stock of their first Demo AGV so that custumers can see just how easy they are to implement and operate in your factory.

Driverless pallet trucks are self-sufficient and suitable for performing a multitude of complex repetitive tasks, like connecting production lines with your warehouse, cold store, loading bay and ideal for collating and marshaling pallets for quarantine or dispatch.

Our AGVs link your factory together – but cost less to operate than your existing manually driven fork trucks. An AGV solution from Webster Griffin can be operational within 5-6 weeks.

Webster Griffin Donate Dog Food To Local Dog Rescue Charity

Webster Griffin Donate Dog Food To Local Dog Rescue Charity

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During an Installation with Inspired Pet Nutrition (IPN). We were supplied with sacks of dog food for testing. Wagg Foods were unable to take the product back into their supply chain so we decided to give it to the people who need it more!

We contacted a local charity - Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, who were delighted to get the call and sent one of their drivers to come and collect the dog food from us.

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What Factors Should I Consider When Buying A Form Fill Seal Bag Packing Machine?

What Factors Should I Consider When Buying A Form Fill Seal Bag Packing Machine?

Your business needs packaging equipment and has decided on a Form Fill Seal (FFS) machine. By now, you’ve established that it can help you package more products in fewer shifts and can cut costs. It’s also more affordable than using pre-made bags and suits what you’re trying to package. 

Now that you know what you want, it’s time to narrow down exactly what you're looking for in your machine. While price is the most obvious deciding factor, it shouldn’t be the only one. No two FFS machines are the same, so here's what you need to consider before making this investment.

Client Considerations: Vertical Or Tubular?

While each machine will boast different features, there are two FFS machine types. Depending on your client’s needs, you'll need to choose between Vertical FFS (VFFS) machine — where bags are made from a flat sheet of film as it’s unwound from the reel;  or a Tubular FFS (TFFS) machine — where bags are made/formed from a tube of film as it’s unwound from the reel. 

VFFS machines can fill and seal solid and liquid products on an automated assembly line. It offers faster production and bagging times, lower running costs and less maintenance. It's suited to packaging lightweight, loose, or challenging to handle products.

FFS Velocity 1000 at a glance
Vertical FFS

TFFS machines can package bulk products weighing up to 45 kgs into open mouth plastic or paper bags. As it uses tubular film it doesn’t need side seams so each package can get formed, filled and sealed at once. It uses less film, requires minimal sealing and as it can handle width and size variations, it has better turnaround and changeover times compared to VFFS machines.

VFFS machines can packaging products from a variety of industries, but as TFFS machines eliminate seams, they’re popular for packaging fine, powdery or sticky products where contamination is a concern.

How Much Will It Cost?

Vertical vs Tubular FFS

Machine Space & Safety 

The amount of space available to you and the safety of the operating machine you choose are related. Pick a machine that’s too big or small and you'll create the right environment for a disaster. 

You need enough space to operate your machine, for employees to work around it and for technicians to maintain it. The machine’s layout matters. For example, inline machines need more floor space as they operate linearly. Rotary machines operate in a circle so they take up less space and maximise ergonomics and efficiency. Some machines might need extra assembly and installation space too.

Your machine might need a safety zone where you keep one part of the machine on standby while another operates. Safe zones like this can reduce operating errors and packaging wastage.

Make sure that you’re up to date with your country and industry's occupational health and safety requirements. You’ll also need to keep up to date with any training required for your employees to operate the machine safely. For example, when you purchase a FFS machine from Webster Griffin it will come with a CE Mark, which means that it has been built and operates in accordance with European Union’s product and legal requirements. 

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We recommend working with an equipment supplier to guide your floor planning and training before you buy the machine. Webster Griffin will allocate a dedicated service engineer to your business once you purchase a FFS machine. They will remain on site to train your staff members and will only leave when you’re confident your employees can operate the machines without help.

Look For Relevant Features

Today's FFS machines come with dozens of performance enhancing features. Knowing which ones will benefit you (and what you can do without) will narrow down your selection. Here are a few features you'll encounter often.

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Performance Enhancing Features 

  • Machine frame construction: your machine's construction impacts its performance and longevity. Welded frames are better for packaging food as it has no bolts to attract product spillage and bacteria. Stainless steel frames cost more but won't rust or chip in time, unlike carbon steel epoxy or powder painted ones. 
  • Film tracking: you need to have the correct tension when loading certain types of film rolls. Manual or automatic tracking keeps this film in the correct position so it's easy to fill and seal. Tracking can take place using an automated sensor or manual wheel. Automatic tracking is better if product and packaging waste is a concern, as it detects problems faster than the human eye can. 
  • Acceptable noise levels: Your machine's noisiness ties into the size of your space and its location. If you're close to residential areas you might need to adhere to certain operating times or noise levels. To predict what you will deal with (and if your employees will need protection) ask the machine manufacturer for a demonstration. 
  • Changeover times: switching between bag types or sizes can take time if you need to reconfigure your machine. You'll need to know the average changeover time to expect and if you'll need special tools or training to do it. 
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  • Ease of controls: Some machines have both a programmable logic controller and human machine interface. The former controls the machine's operations while the latter lets you input commands. If you'll be making adjustments during production, pay attention to the human machine interface. 
  • Sealing systems: your machine's jaws seal packages after filling using heat, pressure or both. This jaw should consist of one part and not multiple pieces working together. Fewer moving parts make it harder to consistently apply heat and pressure.
  • Servo driven mechanisms: your machine's servo driver precisely controls its components. This creates a closed loop system that constantly generates feedback, allowing the machine to adjust itself without help. Simple pneumatic mechanisms exist that do this, but a servo driven mechanism will provide more control and accuracy.
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Seeing Is Believing 

Your FFS machine will form an integral part of your product packaging process and should never be rushed. Take your time and never hesitate to ask as many questions as you see fit. If possible, ask to see the machine in action so you can visualise how it will work once you take ownership of it.

Who you choose to buy it from will make all the difference in your experience. Traditionally you’d likely be relying heavily on the machine manufacturer in your first few weeks of using it. You’ll want to choose one who’s willing to work alongside you for this purpose. When you purchase a Machine with Webster Griffin, one of our service engineers will work with your operating team full time until they’re  confident that they can operate and maintain your FFS machine with minimum assistance.

As packaging machinery specialists, Webster Griffin can assist. We have decades of experience in supplying a wide range of businesses with FFS machinery that meets their needs and budget, and you can see some of our successful case studies here. No matter how complex your need might be, we can talk you through the process until you’re happy with what we propose. Contact us today to get started.

To Find Out More About
Form Fill Seal Machines

Form Fill Seal or Pre-made Pouches – Which Is Best For My Business?

Form Fill Seal or Pre-made Bags — 

Which Is Best For My Business?

Form Fill Seal or Pre-made Bags — Which Is Best For My Business?

Product packaging is the final step of your business’s manufacturing process. Executed correctly, it will keep your product intact and preserve its quality as it makes its way to the customer. Pick the wrong processes or machinery and you could blow your budget and get set back days in time and labour.

Making sure your products are well packaged goes beyond picking the right packaging material and branding. Your chosen packaging process must also align with your budget, capabilities and needs.

Product manufacturers have two packaging process options: form fill seal machines (which create packages from a material roll before filling and sealing it) or pre-made bag packaging machines (which fills and seal products in pre-made pouches). Here’s what factors you need to consider before making your final decision.

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How Much Time & Flexibility Do You Have?

Form fill seal machines are faster than pre-made bag packaging machines and can process up to 100 bags an hour. As it's automated it processes higher volumes at higher speeds. It works best with simple packaged products as increased speeds can sacrifice its flexibility. Flexibility is important in today’s market as customers want to choose between single-serve, multi-pack and family options as well as different fitment types and placements.

Form fill seal machines might not save you time if you undertake short production runs with one bag size or often scale your production up or down. If you fill different shapes and styles of bags every day, a pre-made bag packaging machine would be more suitable. You'll need to balance your need for different pack sizes with your time requirements.

When it comes to flexibility, don't forget how easy the machine is to navigate and work with. For example, vertical form-fill-seal machines take up less space, so are preferable when operating space is tight. You could also invest in more than one machine if space allows it.

What Are Your Cost & Size Requirements?

Form fill seal machines are costlier to invest in than pre-made bag/sack packaging machines. It makes up for its cost by eliminating ongoing labour costs and packaging more products in a single run. 

For this investment to make sense for your business, you’ll need to package thousands of bags a day.

By using a single roll stock of film to create more than one type of bag, you won’t need to order different bag types. You can also stop the production of one bag if needed, without getting left with bags you can't use. It’s estimated you can save up to 50% on material costs this way. Form fill seal machines will need some form of labour, as you’ll need an operator to change each roll once it’s depleted. 

The smaller your business is, the more important costing will be to your bottom line. You might want to start with pre-made pouches and graduate to form fill seal packaging as your production grows. You also won't need to undertake packaging quality checks as instead of manufacturing your own, you’ll use pre-made pouches from a supplier who’ll do these checks for you.

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Vertical FFS - Bags made from roll of flat sheet film

Vertical FFS

Horizontal FFS - Bags made from roll of tubular film

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What Are Your Cost & Size Requirements?

While form fill sealing machines package most products and work with most materials, there are exceptions. It can't work with multilayered materials or paper, hessian, jute and woven polypropylene. It also isn’t suited to packaging low density, fine and aerated powders or products requiring 100% airtight packaging. These products will need more packaging time, making their production costs unfeasible.

If you're working with products that sweat, develop mould or swell, you might prefer pre-made bags. These tend to come in a wider range of options including zippered, stand-up or sealed form and foil, metal or clear material finishes.

As you can calibrate both machines to minimise waste, you won't end up with wasted packaging materials with either option.

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What Kind Of Product Will You Be Dealing With?

While form fill sealing machines package most products and work with most materials, there are exceptions. It can't work with multilayered materials or paper, hessian, jute and woven polypropylene. It also isn’t suited to packaging low density, fine and aerated powders or products requiring 100% airtight packaging. These products will need more packaging time, making their production costs unfeasible.

If you're working with products that sweat, develop mould or swell, you might prefer pre-made pouches. These tend to come in a wider range of options including zippered, stand-up or sealed form and foil, metal or clear material finishes.

As you can calibrate both machines to minimise waste, you won't end up with wasted packaging materials with either option.

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Before You Make Your Final Choice

As with many business decisions, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to the best packaging machinery for your needs. You'll need to consider the above factors, as well as the below elements - which will be unique to your proposed packaging project:

  • Your marketing requirements. Based on your branding, you might need to select a bag in a specific style or with a specific amount of advertising space.
  • Your consumer base requirements. You’ll need to consider what your current and future consumer base wants and needs. Consider aspects such as portability, convenience, and whether an option is resealable or easy to open.
  • Your logistical requirements. The weight and shape of your packaged products will impact your transport and shipping costs. It will also impact how easy and efficient it will be to pack and palletize your products. 
  • Your staffing requirements. Are you looking for a machine to complement your current staff’s technical abilities? Alternately, will you invest in new machinery and new and higher-paid staff to operate it? Make sure that the experience of your machine operators, production staff and maintenance crew grows with your budget.

In Summary

No two businesses are alike, and a packaging option that suits one might not suit another. Whether you’ll enjoy a form fill seal machine or a pre-made bag packaging machine will depend on your needs.

For pure cost-saving and increased production speeds, form fill machines come out on top. If you produce specific products or need specialised packaging materials, pre-made pouch packaging machines might be more suitable.

Make sure that you know what your product requires and what customers need from your packaging before you decide. Whatever you go with, Webster Griffin can assist. We’re specialists in advising businesses to the right type of packaging machinery for their needs. We manufacture and supply both form fill sealing machines and pre-made pouch packaging machines in sectors ranging from food and beverages to fast-moving consumer goods. With close to half a century of experience in the field, few businesses are as well equipped to assist you as we are. Contact us today to get started.

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To Find Out More
About Form Fill Seal Machines

Packed With Know How | Looking Back 10 Years

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Founded in 1975, Webster Griffin has established itself as a renowned supplier of machinery and robotics to the packaging industry. In this article, we turn back the time to contemplate the various technological advances Webster Griffin have made in the packaging industry.

Robot Pallet Trucks - Webster Griffin

AGV’s Help Make More ‘Dough’ For Unibake.

AGV’s Help Make More ‘Dough’ For Unibake.


International Bakery Supplier Automates Production With AGVs.


 

International Bakery Supplier Automates Production With AGVs.

International Bakery Supplier Automates

Production With AGVs.

The Danish company Lantmännen Unibake has instantaneously streamlined its production process after implementing an AGV solution. The company’s trialling period of using the driverless forklift truck means that the bread producer can be confident in knowing our AGVs can deliver consistent results on a daily basis.

Lantmännen Unibake were looking for a way to automate repetitive processes around the factory whilst reducing labour costs to consequently save money and streamline it’s production area.

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The company had been unable to find the right solution until the Plant Manager - Søren Kristensen, was presented with our proposal: “We had seen many solutions over the past few years, but never such a simple solution as this, which we’ve now decided on. And it is definitely preferable in a production process like ours.”

Lantmännen heard about our demo-concept, which enables companies to try out one of our Self-Driving Forklift Trucks over a three-month period to see the various ways it can help streamline your business. According to Søren Kristensen, this valuable concept gave them the confidence to try out our AGV solution in its own production environment to clarify whether it would meet their needs before purchasing. The Plant Manager says that Implementing the AGV was an easy process. “AGVs are very easy to install and set in motion, which is very advantageous for us".

To Find Out More About How Our AGVs Can Help Automate Your Business.

Webster Griffin’s Packing Solutions For Fish Feed

Fish Farmer Article

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We are based in Crowborough in East Sussex, and have been manufacturing equipment for packing fish feed and Salmon food into all types of bags for over 20 years. If you think that our packing solutions could benefit your business, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us, we would be happy to help.

The Palomat Removes Work Injury Hazards At Tulip

Palomat Greenline

Tulip Removes Work Injury Hazards Using The Palomat®

The manual lifting of pallets has been eliminated at the Shipping Department of the Tulip retail packing centre in Herning (DK). Pallet handling is now automated with a PALOMAT® Greenline. This has created better workflow, which has also ended related work injuries.

The employees at Tulip’s Shipping Department were sceptical at first when Factory Manager Dennis Harder Sørensen introduced a new Greenline pallet magazine from PALOMAT®. However, after a short period of time, the employees were very happy with the automated pallet stacker/ de-stacker.

The department handles up to six tonnes of pallets a day, which previously had to be lifted manually and it was taking a physical toll on employees.

Previously the pallets had to be tipped manually from a stack of 12–13 pallets, which was physically strenuous for our employees. Fortunately, that’s now a thing of the past, because now have a fully automated palletising system that has removed the heavy lifting."

The factory manager says that the new palletising system has of course changed the employees’ workflow but we have retained the same volume as before. The Greenline pallet magazine is actually a cheap solution, and it is a valuable investment for our employees, who now have a better working environment, where they are exposed to fewer work injuries.

 

No more work injuries

Greenline is a fully automated pallet magazine that handles all pallets at floor level. All employees need to do is insert or remove the empty pallets using a forklift truck or hand pallet truck, and the palletising system does the stacking and destacking.

The employees in Tulip’s Shipping Department had previously experienced back injuries. This included production employee Jonas Christensen, who was forced to stay at home at the beginning of 2018 because of an injured back. He is already back working in the department, where he is benefiting from the new pallet magazine:

Before I would get tired after a long working day but this here – it just works. I don’t have a sore back anymore and I don’t even feel any discomfort after my accident. I’m really satisfied with the new pallet magazine here on the site. It‘s not very often you see a new machine being well received, but this one was". Says Jonas Christensen.

 Dennis Harder Sørensen thinks the automated palletising system has eliminated the risk of back injuries at Tulip’s Shipping Department and has resulted in employees who are more satisfied.

The pallet magazine minimises inconvenience and prevents potential injuries among our employees, who also tell us that they are less tired when they return home from work. So overall, the automation of pallet handling has created a better working environment at our factory and given us happier employees", says Dennis Harder Sørensen.

 

Solution: PALOMAT® Greenline

  • Space for 15 EUR-pallets
  • All stacking/de-stacking takes place at floor level
  • 100 % electric – 230 W plug and play solution

PALOMAT® Greenline benefits at Tulip:

  • An improved working environment
  • Employees who are more satisfied
  • Reduced number of work injuries
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Reliance Industries: Jumbo Bag Filling System

Reliance Industries: Jumbo Bag Filling System

Reliance Industries: Mobile Jumbo Big Bag Filling Machine for J3 Expansion

Reliance Industries, probably the world's largest manufacturer of plastics and petrochemicals choose Webster Griffin to engineer and manufacture a mobile jumbo bag filling system for their J3 expansion project, Jamnagar, Gujarat.

Reliance Industries owns businesses across India engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications.

Webster Griffin manufactures specialised bag-filling machinery, designed for packaging and transporting commodities such as plastics, chemicals and food on an industrial scale.

Its largest market is India, thanks to its repeat business with Reliance Industries, India’s largest publicly listed company.

In 2016, UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, provided Reliance with a £300m line of credit to help fund construction work on its refinery in Jamnagar.

Crucially, UKEF financing was provided on the condition that Reliance sourced goods and work on the project from the UK. This resulted in more than 100 additional opportunities for UK companies, including Webster Griffin, which received a £700,000 export contract supplying the UKEF-backed Jamnagar project.

This represented significant revenue for Webster Griffin. However, each of its machines are custom-designed and take over a year to make; the delay between winning, delivering and getting paid for a contract can put pressure on the company’s cashflow.

Reliance offered an advance payment to help finance the cost of staff and supplies, but requested advance payment and performance guarantees in return. Such guarantees provide security for overseas buyers and are a common requirement for securing export contracts.

While Webster Griffin’s bank, HSBC, was willing to issue the guarantees, the deposits required in return would have tied up the company’s cashflow, which it needed to fulfil the contracts.

Fortunately, UKEF was able to help with this as well. Under its Bond Support Scheme, UKEF guaranteed 80% of the value of the advance payment and performance guarantees, allowing HSBC to issue the bonds with reduced deposits.

Mark Wilson, Director of Webster Griffin, commented: “Working with UKEF has been incredibly easy and has helped us secure millions of pounds’ worth of export contracts. Its support is so valuable to UK companies with a strong international focus like ours.”

Thanks to UKEF, Webster Griffin was able to hold onto vital cash, which it could use to pay its staff and suppliers prior to completion, securing hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of revenue and supporting around 50 jobs in the South East and around the UK.