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Packaging & Bagging Q&A

  •   We have a process where we manually fill a sleeve with a blend of granular activated carbon and other powdered ingredients. The media is poured from a pitcher and then tamped down within the cylinder. We would like to find a process for filling, such as with a hose or tube to fill from the bottom up.

    The process you describe, filling a cylinder from the bottom up, is similar to a filling process in bagging called bottom-up filling. Of course, the product is put into a paper or poly bag; fed from a vertical screw. It’s a very clean and accurate process, but intended for bags rather than for rigid cylinders. I do not know of a process to fill a cylinder from a hose or tube but I imagine that if it exists, but it’s outside my area of expertise.

  •   Can a bag filling machine be designed for cleaning in between recipes such that food allergens are eliminated? Typically a hot water or chemical cleaning is necessary.

    Many bagging machines can be built to handle a range of sanitary design requirements, from as detailed as clean-in-place to a simple clean design intended to avoid ledges and aid in sweeping or wipe down. Where water or chemical cleaning is required the machine requires a high degree of protection. As a result, the availability and source of equipment suited to that water/chemical cleaning is often more narrow than finding a standard machine; but in most cases they are available.

  •   I have excessive dust emissions from my valve bag packer. Why is this happening?

    Dust emissions are never welcome, especially with explosive dust. Assuming dust collection is adequate at the machine’s dust pick-up points (volume should be recommended by the bagger’s manufacturer), check with your bag maker to make sure that the bag is well suited for your product and your packer type. Dust sometimes comes out of a valve bag during the filling process (sometimes called “channeling”) due to the way the top and bottom of a valve bag are folded/pasted. Often, a top patch or extra glue can be added to reduce or eliminate these dust emissions. With a properly equipped valve bag packer, dust emissions can also be dramatically reduced (i.e., use of  inflatable sealer, tube clean out, filling tube vent, air and delay settings, filling component size, bag-on-spout sensing, and ultrasonic sealing on the  spout.). In addition, not every valve bag packer type is well suited for every product. Check with your equipment supplier to make sure you are using the best packer for your product.