How to choose the right coffee packaging equipment for your business

Robb Leonhard Robb Leonhard January 11, 2018

Coffee_collage-1.jpgIf you've been considering moving from manual coffee packaging to automation, you're in the right place! We've seen many businesses transformed by the efficiency increases and throughput gains that result from automating their packaging process. But how do you know which equipment fits your particular situation? When we talk to coffee roasters and producers, their inquiries usually fall into one of 5 main scenarios, for which we recommend 5 main types of packaging equipment.  

Ready to start planning for coffee packaging automation? Download our free coffee production planning tool to get started. >>

1. “I want to package fractional packs of coffee, and fast.”

If speed is your top priority and your bag style does not deviate from a simple fractional pack (pillow bag), you can’t go wrong with a continuous motion VFFS machine. Continuous motion machinery offers incredible packaging speeds...think multiple bags per second.

Most continuous motion machines have a single seal jaw, which is the standard. However, if you really want to ramp up your speeds, you can opt for a VFFS machine like the Velocity that has two sealing jaws that move in tandem, creating the top seal with one jaw and the bottom seal with another in a circular motion. This virtually eliminates lost cycle time that would otherwise be spent on a single jaw moving up and down to create both seals.

Better yet, you can now package coffee even faster with the newly improved Twin VFFS Velocity, which harnesses the throughput of 2 high-speed continuous VFFS machines in a small space and requires only one operator.

2. “I want to package my coffee into flat bottom/quad seal bags.”

A versatile intermittent motion VFFS machine is a solid pick for most coffee producers who seek to package their product into the iconic flat bottom/quad seal bag types which are standard in the industry. You will sacrifice some speed when choosing an intermittent machine but will gain the flexibility to create more complex package styles.

One tip: Choose a packaging machine that has an enclosed jaw drive like the VFFS M250. This will keep dust and particulates inherent in the coffee packaging process from impeding vital moving parts.

3. “I have stand-up premade coffee bags and want to fill and seal them.”

Just want to automate the filling and sealing of your preformed coffee pouches? This is an easy one: Keep it simple with a premade pouch fill and seal machine. This equipment is easy for novice operators to learn and quick to set up. And if you have multiple bag sizes, you're in luck: Changeover takes a matter of minutes.

Modern automatic filling and sealing machines are servo-driven, which offers better control, smoother operation, and efficiency increases of up to 50%. With throughput rates of up to 60 cycles per minute on single-lane models, premade pouch machines are quickly catching up speed-wise to VFFS equipment.

4. “I want to package ground/powdered coffee into single-serve stick packs.”

A multilane stick pack machine is perfect for packaging ground or powdered coffee products into long, narrow single-serve packs. Because of the multilane setup, your throughput can reach up to 1,600 bags per minute! Don't need nearly that much? Opt for fewer lanes and a smaller model.

5. "I want to package coffee into small fractional packs that are then deposited into a large outer bag."

A bag-in-bag machine is what the doctor ordered. This machine is essentially two intermittent packaging machines stacked on top of one another: The top machine forms, fills, and seals the smaller fractional packs which are then automatically counted and dropped into the machine below, which forms, fills, and seals the large outer bag. 

Ready to automate your coffee packaging?

Assess your production and packaging processes first. Download our free Coffee Production Planning Tool to calculate over 100 data points including revenue, roast weight reduction, ROI when automating your packaging, and more:

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