June 6, 2023

New sealing system for GEA vertical packing machines maximizes productivity and reduces waste

At IFFA in Frankfurt, Germany, GEA introduces a new sealing system for use with its vertical food packaging machines for the frozen food market. The new GEA Smart Sealing System uses special metal tapes in the sealing area and eliminates the need to replace the previously used Teflon tape on the heated sealing jaws after just a few hours. This offers many advantages: Maximizing productivity, reducing downtime, lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) and improving package quality.

Front view of GEA SmartPacker CX400 sanitary with open doors and integrated new Smart Sealing system and SmartControl
Source: GEA

The GEA Smart Sealing System is designed for pillow and gusset bags packed with frozen vegetables, fruits, potato products, meat, meat alternatives, fish, and seafood. Though initially developed for use with PE mono materials, the GEA Smart Sealing System can also be used with all widely used laminates, including recyclable material structures such as BOPE, MDOPE, PP-based laminates and paper laminates.

Seals up to one million bags without stopping

Previously, the heated jaws of the traditional sealing systems on vertical packing machines were commonly protected by Teflon tape to prevent sticking when running PE films. As a precautionary step, the tape would be replaced at the end of every eight-hour shift, which meant that standby sealing jaws would be used during the changeover after around 40,000 bags. The new system uses metallic strips with a non-stick, PFAS-free (Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) coating. This system can continuously seal up to one million bags reliably without changing the sealing strips.

New system increases machine’s profitability

The reduced downtime and skilled labor required by the Smart Sealing System increase the profitability of the machine. It currently takes about 5 minutes to change Teflon tape when standby sealing jaws are used. For most applications, that is the equivalent of about 400 additional packages that are lost over an eighthour shift. The Smart Sealing System allows the packer to run almost continuously, thereby eliminating lost production.

The Smart Sealing System provides more reliable sealing of the bag with the incorporated product in seal detection system. Eliminating the possibility of open packages while also preventing sealing of the bag when food is detected in the seal area. Package leaks and damage to the knife, which cuts the single pouches after closing, are thus avoided, as it does not get in contact with the product which is fouling the seal area. In tests, knives have also handled up to one million bags successfully without having to be replaced. The result: lower costs and improved productivity.

GEA has additionally increased the pressure applied by the Smart Sealing System to each seal and has reduced the cooling time of the produced seal for each cycle. The result is a faster running speed and a 20% increase in machine output. All in all, overall equipment efficiency (OEE), sealing consistency and packaging quality are increased.

GEA at IFFA, Hall 8 Booth G20

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