How to properly clean your vertical form fill seal machine
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To achieve the best performance from your vertical form fill seal (VFFS) machine, proper cleaning and preventive maintenance are key.
If you’re unsure about how often to clean your VFFS machine, start by thoroughly cleaning the equipment once per shift. Evaluate the effectiveness of this schedule and then adjust accordingly.
VFFS machine cleaning instructions
The cleaning methods, products used, and cleaning schedule must be defined by the packaging machine owner and depends on the type of product being processed as well as ambient environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, dust levels, vibrations, etc).
**These instructions are provided as a guideline only. Consult your owner's manual for specific cleaning instructions for your packing machine.**
CAUTION: Before cleaning, turn off and disconnect the power. Prior to starting any preventive maintenance activity, the energy sources to the machine must be isolated and locked-out.
1. Using an air nozzle with low pressure, blow off any loose product that has accumulated on the packaging machine.
SAFETY FIRST: Use a pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris.
2. Remove the forming tube and clean. It is always best to clean this component after being removed from the vertical form fill seal machine rather than when it is still attached to the equipment.
3. Check to see if the heat sealing jaws are dirty. If they are, remove the knife first and then clean the front faces of both jaws with water and a light cloth.
SAFETY FIRST: Sealing jaws and knife are hot! Wear heat resistant gloves and proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
4. Wipe down all stainless steel guards with hot soapy water and then wipe dry.
5. Wipe down all film rollers and dry.
6. Wipe down all guide bars, connecting rods, air cylinder rods, etc.
7. Refit the forming tube and load the film roll.
8. Rethread the film roll through the vertical form fill seal machine, referring to the threading diagram.
9. Wipe down all guides and slides with mineral oil. Use only FDA approved lubricants!
More VFFS machine preventive maintenance & cleaning tips
Cleaning your vertical form fill seal machine is just the start! Preventive maintenance tasks are just as important to optimal performance and longevity of your equipment. Download our free VFFS machine preventive Maintenance Checklist and Planner to get started: