How to choose the right coffee packaging equipment for your business
If 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.
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.
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.
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 already have premade bags and just want to fill and seal them with coffee.”
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 rotary fill and seal machines like the 8S-235 are servo-driven, which offers efficiency increases of up to 50%. With throughput of up to 60 bags per minute, 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 counted and dropped into the machine below, which forms, fills, and seals the large outer bag.
Coffee Packaging Equipment Consultation
Ready to learn more about automating your coffee packaging? Contact the experts at Viking Masek for a free equipment consultation.