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Versatile powder packaging of very small quantities

08 November 20214 min reading

Technology group GEA is launching a new packaging line for dairy and food powders or granules. The new GEA SmartFil M1 has been developed to provide a wide range of filling configurations to meet the diverse necessities of the food, dairy and pet food industry for low-capacity applications.

Companies operating in emerging markets, low volume producers and pilot plants need such a system, which offers a compact and flexible low rate packing process to meet their special needs. Likewise, with their diverse portfolios, raw material producers need to be able to adapt their packaging solution in a versatile way.

MODULAR SYSTEM OFFERS MAXIMUM FLEXIBILITY

With more than 100 possible variants, the GEA SmartFil M1 can be configured to suit almost any application from dry, fine powders through to coarse granular products. The new machine offers a nominal filling capacity of 120 bags per hour or three tons per hour at 25 kg product size. Depending on the product being packaged, the packaging system features configurable product metering options, including vertical auger and horizontal vibratory feeder. An optional deaeration probe may be added for improved consolidation of the product if required.

Customers can choose to pack into open-mouth bags, boxes or drums of varying sizes. Closing is configurable dependent on packaging type. Continuous heat sealing with glue reactivation or with sewing is available for open-mouth bags, whilst impulse sealing is offered for hermetic sealing of plastic packaging. The built-in height adjustable conveyor system makes packaging changes fast and simple, whilst allowing the operator to work at an ergonomic height. The integrated control panel makes it easy to reconfigure the process to activate the new functions as needed.

FOOD INGREDIENTS

Powdered food ingredients that require a carefully controlled auger metering system will benefit from this option on the GEA SmartFil M1. The vertical auger design with integrated shutoff is well proven technology that is adapted from other filling systems in the GEA range. With an optional integrated deaeration probe, this filling system will enable food ingredients manufacturers to safely and reliably fill powdered products into bags, boxes or drums. With a continuous heat-sealing configuration, the SmartFil M1 can consistently produce finished products into 25kg open-mouth bags with either glued closure or sewn closure if required. Alternatively, the impulse sealing option is ideally matched with plastic bags that are commonly used with boxes or cartons.

COFFEE & FREEZE-DRIED PRODUCTS

Coffee and freeze-dried products tend to be fragile or friable and therefore demand a gentler approach to filling. For these applications a vibratory feeding solution can be employed to finely meter the product for high accuracy filling. This type of feeding solution eliminates rotating or close contact parts from the product stream, thereby reducing the risk of product breakdown.

To ensure the integrity of the finished product, these types of products are typically filled into flexible plastic bags inserted into carboard boxes. For this application, a dust free bag clamping system was chosen. Once filled, the neck of the plastic box liner can be easily inserted into an impulse type sealer for hermetic sealing. The integrated height adjustable conveyor enables simple and quick adjustment to suit the selected box/drum size, allowing the operator to work at an ergonomic height. A pivoting conveyor can be added to compensate for height adjustment when the GEA SmartFil M1 is connected to an optional integrated downline.

DAIRY INGREDIENTS

Small scale dairy plants requiring a hygienic powder filling solution in a compact form can select the GEA SmartFil M1 with auger feed, deaeration (option) and continuous heatsealer with integrated fold-over. This is a cost effective, high quality solution for their powder packing operation. When integrated with a downline bag handling system, this cost-effective semiautomatic solution provides high quality, accurate filling and closing of open-mouth, multi-wall bags. For aluminum foil bags, the sealing system can be changed to an impulse type sealer as required.

PET FOOD

The GEA SmartFil M1 can be configured to pack granular products, such as dried pet food, into laminated paper/polypropylene sacks that require a sewn closure. The vibratory feeder provides a gentle metering option, which can be coupled with the sealer/sewing system for effective closure.

SAFETY FIRST

Product safety is important to all food/pet food processing companies. The GEA SmartFil M1 is certified according to current hygiene standards. GEA integrated technology elements, which secure product safety focused on special areas of the process.

Being a semi-automatic operation, it is important that the filling system is easily accessible for cleaning. This was part of the design concept. Low height, accessible components make maintenance and cleaning operations easier, thereby minimizing potential machine downtime and lost production.

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