How Do Vertical Form Fill Seal Packaging Machines Work

Last updated: December 4, 2023
Writen By : Eric.      
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Curious about how vertical form fill seal (VFFS) packaging machines work?

You're not alone! These efficient machines are the backbone of many production lines, effortlessly packaging a wide range of products into convenient bags.

Let's explore the inner workings of VFFS machines, from the film transport and bag forming to the dosing, filling, and sealing processes.

Discover how these machines streamline packaging, providing convenience and reliability.

Whether you're in the food, pharmaceutical, or consumer goods industry, understanding VFFS machines is essential for optimizing your packaging operations.

So, let's dive in and uncover the fascinating world of VFFS packaging machines and their pivotal role in serving your packaging needs.

Film Transport & Unwind

Vertical packaging machines use a single sheet of film material called rollstock to package goods into bags.

The roll of film is the continuous packaging material used in vertical form fill seal machines.

As the film unwinds, it passes over a dancer arm to maintain tension and ensure proper movement and positioning.

Optional printing units can add information or branding to the packaging as the film travels through them.

Film tracking sensors detect the position of the film during transport, and bag forming begins as the film enters a forming tube assembly.

This tube shapes the bag and creates the seals.

A rotary encoder measures the film length and stops the transport, ensuring precise bag forming.

This brake roller setup process is crucial for the efficient and accurate functioning of vertical form fill seal machines.

Film Tension

Maintain proper film tension by passing the film over a dancer arm located at the rear of the packaging machine.

This is crucial for the sealing process and ensures the film stays in place during packaging.

Here's what you need to know about film tension:

  1. The dancer arm incorporates rollers to keep the film under tension, preventing it from wandering during transport.
  2. Proper film tension is essential for the vertical form, fill, and sealing process, ensuring accurate movement and positioning.
  3. The arm's up-and-down movement as the film transports helps maintain consistent tension, guaranteeing smooth packaging.

The next section will cover film tracking & positioning and optional printing, which are vital components in the packaging technology.

Film Tracking & Positioning and Optional Printing

Now, let's talk about how the film is tracked and positioned within the vertical form fill seal packaging machine, as well as the optional printing process.

This aspect is crucial for ensuring that the film remains in the correct position throughout the packaging process.

Additionally, optional printing features can add essential information or branding to the packaging material.

Tracking & Positioning

As the film travels through the vertical form fill seal packaging machine, it passes through a registration photo-eye that detects the registration mark on the printed film.

Here's how the tracking & positioning process works:

  1. Visual Sensor: A visual sensor ensures the film is in the correct position as it moves through the machine.
  2. Film Alignment: The machine's pull-down belts at the forming tube are controlled to keep the film positioned accurately during the filling process.
  3. Optional Printing: If an optional printing unit is installed, it can add dates/codes, graphics, and logos to the film, enhancing its informational and branding aspects.

Vertical form fill seal machines utilize these features to ensure precise film tracking and positioning, ultimately contributing to the efficient and accurate packaging process.

Optional Printing

To improve the grammar and enhance the informational and branding aspects of the packaging, consider installing an optional printing unit on the vertical form fill seal machine.

This will allow you to add dates/codes, graphics, and logos to the film.

This enhances the packaging process by providing additional information and branding elements.

The optional printing unit, if installed, allows the film to travel through a printing unit where dates/codes, registration marks, graphics, and logos can be placed.

It adds information or branding to the packaging, making it more informative and visually appealing.

Moreover, film tracking sensors ensure that the film is correctly positioned during its travel through the machine.

This optional feature provides an efficient way to incorporate essential details and enhance the overall appearance of the packaging.

Bag Forming

As you explore the process of bag forming in vertical form fill seal (VFFS) machines, you'll encounter various bag style options.

These options include collar-type bag formers and elephant trunk-style bag formers.

These different bag formers allow for flexibility in creating different types of bags to suit your specific packaging needs.

Collar-type bag former

One important component of the bag forming process in vertical form fill seal machines is the collar-type bag former.

This specific bag former plays a crucial role in the packaging operation, ensuring that the packaging requirements are met effectively.

Here's what you need to know about the collar-type bag former:

  1. Efficient Bag Forming: The collar-type bag former precisely shapes the bag, meeting the specific packaging requirements of the product being packaged.
  2. Versatile Application: It's adaptable to a wide range of vertical form fill seal machines, making it suitable for various packaging operations.
  3. Streamlined Packaging Process: The collar-type bag former contributes to a seamless packaging process, ensuring that the vertical form seal is consistently achieved for every bag.

Now, let's delve into the next section about the 'elephant trunk-style bag former'.

Elephant trunk-style bag former

You position the elephant trunk-style bag former at the heart of the bag forming process in vertical form fill seal machines.

This essential component shapes the bag from the roll of film as it enters the filling tube.

As the film travels through the machine, the elephant trunk-style bag former folds it around the tube, creating the bottom seal and forming the vertical seam.

It can create different types of seals, including lap seals and fin seals, depending on the specific requirements.

The speed and precision of the elephant trunk-style bag former contribute significantly to the overall efficiency of the form fill sealing process, allowing for the production of a high number of bags per minute.

Bag style options

Explore the diverse bag style options available for vertical form fill seal packaging machines, including stickpack, sachet, pillow bag, and gusset bag.

  • Stickpack pouches are long and narrow, ideal for single-serve items like sugar or coffee.
  • Sachet bags are small and convenient, perfect for packaging condiments or medicine samples, such as 3 side seal or 4 side seal.
  • Pillow bags are versatile and commonly used for snacks or small items.
  • Gusset bags have expandable sides, great for bulkier items like pet food or rice.

Each bag style offers unique benefits and can be tailored to suit specific product requirements.

Filling the Product and Sealing the bag

Once the bag is formed, the next step is filling it with your product.

The bagging machine is synced with a filling machine to automatically drop the product into the bag.

Once filled, the top of the bag is sealed to complete the packaging process.

Filling the product

Now, let's talk about how the VFFS machine integrates with various filling machines to efficiently fill the bags with your product.

The bagging machine electronically syncs with a multi-head scale or other filling machines to automatically drop the product into the bag.

This process primarily relies on the form of the material being packaged, whether it's solid, granular, powdered, or a viscous sauce in liquid form.

Integrated with various filling machines

You can integrate vertical form fill seal packaging machines with a variety of filling machines for efficient product filling and bag sealing.

The filling sequence is electronically synced for precise filling.

  • Multihead weigher is a high-speed weighing device commonly used in the food packaging industry. It is designed to accurately and efficiently weigh a variety of products, such as snacks, grains, nuts, candies, frozen foods, and more.
  • Lineary weigher, also known as a linear scale or linear feeder, It consists of a conveyor belt with multiple weighing hoppers positioned along its length. This allows for precise and consistent weighing of various products, such as granules, powders, and small solid items, ensuring that the correct amount is dispensed into each package.
  • Auger filler, is a type of packaging machine commonly used in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. It is designed to accurately dispense and fill dry or semi-solid products into containers, such as bags, bottles, or jars. Tthey can handle a wide range of products, including powders, granules, spices, coffee, and even non-food items like detergents or cosmetics.
  • Cup fillers are designed to accurately dispense a predetermined volume of product into each cup, ensuring consistency and efficiency in the production process. It is commonly used in various industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
  • Piston pump filler is a type of liquid filling machine that is commonly used in industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. It is designed to efficiently and accurately fill containers with various types of liquids, including thin or thick liquids, liquids with particulates, and even corrosive substances.

These machines offer registration capabilities to ensure accurate positioning of the product within the bag.

This integration allows seamless coordination between the vertical packing and filling processes, enhancing overall production efficiency.

Moving on to the subsequent section about 'sealing and cutting'...

Sealing and Cutting

To seal and cut the bag on a Vertical Form Fill Seal machine, the filled bag is automatically guided to the sealing station where the top of the bag is sealed and then cut, completing the packaging process.

The sealing station is a critical part of the machine, ensuring that the product is securely enclosed.

Different types of seals, such as lap seals and fin seals, are used to join the edges of the film, providing options for customization based on the specific packaging needs.

Once the bag is sealed, it's then efficiently cut to separate it from the continuous film material.

This process is seamlessly integrated into the VFFS machines, offering a reliable and efficient way to seal and cut bags for various products.

Bag add-ons features

When considering bag add-ons for your vertical form fill seal packaging machine, you can customize the bag to meet your specific needs.

Common bag add-ons include tear notches for easy opening, hole punches for hanging, and different types of seals such as lap seals or fin seals.

By selecting the appropriate bag add-ons, you can optimize the packaging process and provide a user-friendly experience for your customers.

  1. Tear notches for easy opening
  2. Hole punches for hanging
  3. Types of seals such as lap seals or fin seals
  4. Linked-bag
  5. Various sealing patterns
  6. Round corner

Also, the Modified atmoshphere packaging(MAP)is available for the VFFS machine. For instance, the nitrogen flushing system can be integrated to displace oxygen inside the bag, extending the shelf life of the product.

These features enhance the functionality and convenience of the bags, ensuring that they're well-suited for the type of product being packaged.

Bag discharge and Out put

The bag discharge and output from vertical form fill seal packaging machines occur through an automated process.

Once the filling stops, the accurate filling of the product ensures that the bags are consistently filled to meet your needs.

The vertical bagging process is designed for efficiency and speed, with some machines capable of producing hundreds of bags per minute.

The product filler ensures that each bag is filled precisely, maintaining the quality of your packaged goods. Here is a table that illustrates the bag discharge and output process:

Filling StopsAccurate filling of the product ensures consistency.
Bagging SpeedMachines can produce a high number of bags per minute.
Product FillerEnsures precise filling to maintain product quality.

Vertical form fill seal machines are optimized for seamless bag production, keeping your packaging process efficient and reliable.


Now you understand how vertical form fill seal (VFFS) packaging machines work.

Imagine a snack food company using VFFS machines to efficiently package their chips, ensuring freshness and quality for customers.

With the knowledge gained from this article, you can appreciate the intricate process behind the perfect bag of chips and recognize the vital role VFFS machines play in the production of everyday products.

Keep exploring to uncover even more fascinating applications of these machines!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Common Maintenance and Troubleshooting Issues Faced With VFFS Machines?

Common maintenance and troubleshooting issues with VFFS machines include film tracking problems, sealing issues, and mechanical malfunctions. Regular cleaning, inspection, and calibration are essential to prevent downtime and ensure smooth operation.

How Does the Film Material Affect the Performance and Efficiency of VFFS Machines?

Your VFFS machine operates like a skilled artist using a canvas. The film material directly impacts its performance and efficiency, affecting everything from bag formation to product preservation. Choose wisely for seamless operation.

How Do VFFS Machines Handle Different Bag Sizes and Styles, and What Customization Options Are Available?

To handle different bag sizes and styles, VFFS machines adjust forming tubes and sealing methods. Customization options include zippers, gas release valves, and date/batch codes. They accommodate various bag requirements, syncing with filling machines for automatic product filling.

Are There Specific Safety Considerations or Regulations Related to Operating VFFS Machines in a Production Facility?

When operating VFFS machines in a production facility, specific safety considerations and regulations must be followed. These may include proper training for machine operation, regular maintenance checks, and adherence to industry safety standards for packaging equipment.

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