Vacuum Packaging Machine
I. General Description
What is Vacuum Packaging Machine?
Vacuum packing machines seal a wide range of products quickly and flexibly, including food products, industrial and consumer goods, medical supplies and pharmaceutical products. These systems are ideal for the production of vacuum pouch packaging, MAP packaging and vacuum shrink bags.
Intuitive controls make these powerful machines very easy to operate. Different sealing systems, chamber and lid heights, vacuum pumps and Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) equipment can be used, depending on the products being packaged and the pouches selected. A wide range of accessories is also available for the large chamber machines.
What is a Vacuum?
A vacuum is simply the absence of air. We can create a vacuum in a plastic bag or container by sucking out all of the air and then sealing it to prevent air from leaking back in. The single most important reason for creating a vacuum is to remove oxygen from around the thing that we are going to store. This is because:
1. Air is made up of about 21% oxygen. Most bacteria associated with food spoilage need oxygen to grow. The less oxygen that is available, the slower bacteria will grow and the longer food will last before spoiling.
2. Oxygen is a highly reactive element and many of the organic compounds that give food its flavour will react with it and make the food taste stale. How is a Vacuum Measured?
Vacuum strength is important because the stronger the vacuum the more oxygen is removed. There are many different ways to measure a vacuum but the simplest is to use the ‘Bar’ unit.
In simple terms:
0 Bar equals normal air pressure.
-1.0 Bar represents a perfect vacuum.
Whilst it is not practically possible to create a perfect vacuum, a good quality vacuum packing machine should be capable of creating a vacuum of at least -0.8 Bar.
One important point to note is that it gets much more difficult to create a vacuum the nearer you get to -1.0 Bar. So a machine that will produce -0.8 Bar is very much more powerful than one that produces only -0.7 Bar.
This has a practical effect too. Food stored at -0.8 Bar will last a LOT longer than food stored at -0.7 Bar. In fact, this is one of the main differences between high quality vacuum packing machines and ‘Discount Store’ ones. Even though the cheap machines may appear to remove the air, they don’t really create much of a vacuum.
II. General Facility
Vacuum Packing Machine Checklist
There are a few things that you should consider when deciding which machine to buy and where to buy it as these factors will affect its usefulness and working life.
All good quality vacuum packing machines will specify the strength of vacuum that they will produce. This should be at least -0.8 Bar. If a machine does not quote a vacuum pressure then don’t buy it because it won’t work properly. It may look like it is removing the air, but you could actually do that much yourself simply by squeezing the air out of the bag by hand.
All machines will specify the amount of power that they use. This will be quoted in Watts and the higher the figure the better. Avoid anything less than 300 Watts.
The electric pump inside the machine which removes the air and creates the vacuum is an air pump; it is not a liquid pump. If liquid finds its way into the pump it will cause the pump to breakdown. This does not usually happen straightaway but it will reduce the life of the machine very considerably. Make sure the machine you buy has a liquid trap to prevent liquid from accidentally getting into the pump.
Wide, Double or Triple Sealing
The width of the sealing strip plays an important part in the bag sealing process. A machine with a wide sealing strip will make a wide seal on the vacuum bag. This is important because small particles of food can end up in the path of the sealing wire. If...
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