Triangle Package Machinery Company, Chicago, recently introduced its Delta vertical form fill seal (vffs) bagging machine as a smart and simple solution to help packagers increase production and OEE. In this interview with Mike Wolf, Triangle’s Product Line Manager, he explains exactly how the Delta Bagger can help packaging lines solve today’s challenges.
Q. How does this bagging machine differ from typical vffs baggers? What companies would benefit from this solution?
The Delta bagger is rugged, easy to use, and flexible. It can form and fill bags from 2.5 to 15 inches wide and up to 20 inches long, with common features such as gussets and different sealing patterns available as options. It has an open design with a pivoting control box, which enables 360-degree access for setup, cleaning, and maintenance. The frame can also support a Triangle combination weigher, simplifying installation and allowing for the scale and bagger to be controlled from the same screen.
Additionally, the machine uses IO-Link sensors and Rockwell controls, which are easy to integrate into plant systems to monitor machine performance and achieve higher OEE. The IO-link devices reduce the need for operator training and expertise; for example, a sensor is used to monitor the film roll size and notify the operator when to prepare for a film change.
Q. We know sanitary machine design is an important consideration in today’s world. Can you describe the Delta’s sanitation and construction? How does this benefit CPGs?
Like all Triangle products, the Delta bagger is designed to be rugged, easy to use, and sanitary. It features a solid stainless-steel frame that is constructed of round bar and fully welded at every joint.
This means that if any debris or water falls onto the frame, it’s going to slide off to the side, and is also good for washing in any direction. Second, the top plate is pitched front to back, so any debris that comes from above will go on the top plate and off the back machine. The top plate also features a smooth stainless-steel bottom, which means there are no areas where a fastener or other equipment would contribute to debris that can fall onto the film.
On the inside the machine, most of the components are made with stainless steel as a default. We also use Rockwell drives and motors, which have been proven throughout the industry to be reliable year after year. For washdown applications, we use a NEMA 4X control box, and sensors and motors that are rated for washdown IP67 or better.
Another design feature that’s very important when taking care of equipment for the long term is machine access. Inside the Delta bagger, there is a lot of space to reach what you need to reach. Everything that operators or maintenance staff need to access can be reached, from one side of the machine or the other. For instance, the valve stack fully visible while the machine is running, with labels on the front and back to make troubleshooting and connecting accessories clear and simple.
Finally, we’ve included our standard pivoting control box. This allows easy access on all sides the machine, making it easier to clean, service, and inspect.
Q. How user friendly is the machine? Does it offer fast and simple changeovers?
The Delta offers quick and easy changeovers for components such as the back seal, the forming tube, and the sealing jaws. One of the nice details is that when you open the back seal arm, there’s a magnet that keeps it open. That keeps operators safe when they’re going to be accessing the forming tube. To take the forming tube off of the machine, the operator simply toggles the two latches and slides the assembly right off. This allows them to change from one bag format to another in a matter of minutes. In some cases, they might need to change the sealing jaws, for instance to change from a hole punch to a non-hole punch bag, or for structured or unstructured film. On Triangle machines, we have the sealing jaws mounted on top of ball bearing blocks, so we are able to disconnect the entire jaw assembly and replace it with another without tools in a matter of minutes.
Using IO link technology, Triangle has made it possible to bring more of the features into the PLC and into the recipes. For instance, with the film registration sensor, I can go to the HMI screen and access each individual sensor by pressing the IO link masters, which show where the sensors are. While I’m on that page, I can teach the film registration, the background color, and the color of the registration. I can then save those parameters into the recipe, so that the machine will be able to automatically select the correct registration parameters for the film. Again, this is something that we are enabling with IO link to make the bagger as simple to run as possible. By keeping the settings with the recipe, users can consistently run the machine the same way, day and night.