Ishida Europe delivers latest vertical form, fill and seal machinery

A significant equipment breakthrough has been confirmed by Ishida Europe, with the release of its latest vertical form fill seal (VFFS) bagmaker, targeting the growing global snacks market, writes Neill Barston.

The company’s latest Inspira Boxmotion line has a reported 30% upturn in speed over previous models, and is targeting food manufacturers that want to reduce costs and ensure an error-free production whilst maintaining a flexible operation to meet a broad range of customer demands across the sector.

As Ishida noted, acccording to Euromonitor International, value sales of snacks are expected to show higher growth rates during 2022 to 2026 than in 2020 and 2021, and healthy snacks are projected to see the highest CAGR. Innovation will continue to drive the sector with emerging trends including the introduction of sustainable packaging, diverse world food flavours, functional foods, on-the-go snacks and a greater range of packaging sizes and formats to satisfy consumer demands.

Rising energy costs, skilled labour shortages, and supply chain issues are just some of the challenges facing our snacks customers today, so to meet these challenges, snacks manufacturers are seeking exceptional levels of adaptability and future proofing from their packaging equipment.

According to the company, its latest offering can operate in both continuous and intermittent motion modes. This enables it to handle the widest variety of both product and pack formats, including the introduction of recyclable film and paper packs, while maintaining excellent seal quality and integrity.

Box motion technology enables the sealing jaw motion to operate in both vertical and in/out horizontal planes. This means more uniform pressure is applied over the entire area of the jaws, whereas rotary jaws can only make a single point of contact as they rotate together. As well as ensuring a more consistent and reliable seal, box motion technology can handle all the latest pack formats which, in addition to pillow packs, include side gusset, block bottom, chain packs and flat bottom.

The Inspira Box Motion features a new splice table light-bar for easier and faster automatic film splicing overcoming the challenges associated with manual intervention. Capable of completing a film splice cycle in just 20 seconds, this great addition allows operators to manage more machines per head and can result in huge operational cost savings.

With increasing consumer demand to enhance and expand flavours and portion choice, production runs for many snacks can be shorter, making changeover time a bigger factor in maximising throughput.

Switching between continuous and intermittent motion can be carried out through pre-settings on the machine with no change parts or operator intervention required. Similarly intelligent, automated features for centring film, managing air fills and adjusting tensions ensures faster changeovers with minimal operator intervention reducing human error, film and product waste and increasing production consistency and profitability.

As the business concluded, with an energy saving design, its new line reportedly uses 17% less energy when in operation and 25% less energy on standby than previous models. The bagmaker’s open structure also allows easy access to key components such as the forming tube, film spindle and tension roller. A large menu-driven Human Machine Interface (HMI) screen provides performance data and diagnostics, with multi-level password access to ensure data integrity.

“The snacks market is being driven by ongoing product and packaging developments, and remains fiercely competitive,” said Andrew Green, Snacks Business Unit Manager, Ishida Europe. “Our new Inspira Box Motion has been designed to allow manufacturers to continually adapt to the latest market trends while offering a new level of automation and efficiency. This minimises the chance of human error and helps to consistently produce quality bags while cutting costs and increasing profitability.”

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