A Step Up in Pouch Filling
Edited by Joan Mantini
Triangle Package Machinery is a U.S. manufacturer of vertical form fill seal (VFFS) bag machines, combination weighers, horizontal cartoning / bag-in-box systems, and tray loading / depositing systems. While vffs baggers comprise the company’s main product line, it recognized the need to also offer a solution that utilized pre-made pouches rather than rollstock.
“As pouches continue to gain popularity in the flexible packaging market, we see a definite need for automated solutions that will enable small- to medium-sized companies in a wide range of markets to keep up with demand,″ said Ralph Hernandez, vice president – sales and marketing, Triangle Package Machinery Company.
According to PMMI’s 2019 Flexible Packaging Market Assessment, pouches account for the majority of package styles in the more than $230-billion global flexible packaging market. They are also the fastest growing category, with Stand-Up Pouches (SUP) predicted to comprise 28 percent of the demand for pouches by 2023 and side-sealed pouches expected to comprise 33 percent.
Triangle Package Machinery chose to partner with JDD Packaging, a Canadian-based manufacturer of JDD Rotary Pouch Machines, and provider of rebuilt Triangle Package Machinery Company baggers and scales.
“Triangle has a long history of working with JDD in the Canadian marketplace and we saw a great opportunity to bring this technology to customers in the U.S. and Mexico. With the strength of Triangle’s service and parts support, we are confident that customers are not only getting a quality machine, but above and beyond service and support,” said Hernandez.
Triangle Package Machinery took some time to answer a few questions from Packaging Technology Today (PTT) about the benefits the Rotary Pouch Machine offers, as well as new technologies being used in packaging automation and more. What follows are the company’s responses.
PTT: What types of products or markets will find the Rotary Pouch Machine most beneficial?
The rotary pouch filler is suitable for a wide variety of markets, including granola, snacks, coffee, pet food, confectionery, nuts and powders, as well as fresh, frozen, or dried produce.
With simple tool-less changeover and the ability to store up to 48 recipes, the system can easily run multiple products or bag sizes. The Rotary Pouch Machine is designed to fill Doy bags, 3-sided seal, flat pouches and Stand-Up Pouches (SUP) at speeds up to 50 pouches per minute (ppm). The rotary pouch filler is available in two models: Model JRPM-8812 and JRPM- 81215. Pouch sizes range from a minimum of 4″ wide to 12″ wide, depending on model, while pouch heights range from 4″ to 15″. Users can also switch between various styles of supported film structures, including foil.
PTT: How can the Rotary Pouch Machine speed up production, create ease of use, and reduce product waste?
Triangle Package Machinery: The Triangle/JDD Rotary Pouch Machine is an ideal solution for businesses looking for the next step in packaging automation or entering new markets. Depending on the type of product being filled, the Pouch Machine is paired with a Triangle InLine Combination Weigher or other scale or auger to fill product into pouches, at speeds up to 50 pouches per minute. The system is extremely easy to operate, thanks to comprehensive, visual instructions built into the HMI.
Users can store up to 48 recipes for various products or bag styles. The pouch machine also includes tool-less changeover capability when switching between bag sizes or styles.
It also reduces product and material waste that is often incurred with other pouch fillers on the market. If for any reason a bag is not opened, sensors on the Triangle/JDD Rotary Pouch Machine will detect that and product will not be dispensed. Bags not filled will bypass through the sealing station without sealing. The unopened bags can then be recirculated into the system, saving product and wasted bags.
PTT: What new technologies are utilized to help this process?
Triangle Package Machinery: One of the primary objectives with the Triangle/JDD Rotary Pouch Machine is to make the system as easy to operate as possible. Thanks to comprehensive, visual instructions on the HMI, the ability to store up to 48 recipes, and the use of non-proprietary controls, we believe we’ve achieved this goal. The system also features a cleaner design and better accessibility than other pouch machine systems on the market. For example, Lexan panels provide visibility of the machine in operation from all sides, as well as the top of the machine. The guard doors open fully to provide maximum machine access. If a door is left ajar, the HMI will immediately show the location of the open guard door and allow an operator to quickly close it and resume production.
PTT: How can the Rotary Pouch Machine improve overall product quality?
Triangle Package Machinery: Applications going from manual loading to automated pouch filling and sealing will certainly see an improvement in overall product quality, as the filled bags will be less likely to have product in the seals.
PTT: Can you describe the eight indexing stations and their significance/importance in pouch filling and sealing?
Triangle Package Machinery: The system includes a series of stations to pick, open, fill, and seal the pre-made pouches. Other stations include a horizontal infeed belt to handle all pouch styles and a pouch outfeed conveyor, where filled and sealed pouches can be conveyed to a case packing area downstream. Standard features also include a pouch shaker to help settle product, as well as an integrated date coder.
Station 1 includes a pouch gripper and vacuum to raise the pouch. If a pouch is not present, this feature will not activate, which saves power, vacuum and air consumption, as well as wear and tear. At Station 2, an integrated date coder will print the programmed information on the pouch. This can easily be adjusted to print in the desired location on the pouch. If a pouch is not picked, the date coder will not activate. Also, if the pouch is picked too high in the gripper arms, a Pouch High Detection sensor prevents opening, filling, and sealing.
Pouches are opened and verified open in Stations 3 and 4. Station 5 is the product filling station, as well as a pouch shaker to help settle product into the bag. Pouches can also be opened and filled from the bottom utilizing a lance, depending on the pouch type.
Station 6 includes gas flush and product plunger. Finally, Stations 7 and 8 consist of dual sealing stations. If a pouch is not filled, it is not sealed, which allows the pouch to be re-used.