[VIDEO] Pouch packing machine maintenance: Bag open station filters



Welcome to our new series: Packaging machine maintenance tips of the month!

Each month, one of our trained Viking Masek technicians will walk you through a common packaging machine maintenance issue, what causes it, and how to fix it.

Tip #1: How to maintain bag opening station filters on pouch packing machines

Your rotary premade pouch machine has different stations that perform specific packaging functions.

There are stations for opening bags, filling the bags with product, sealing the bags shut, and more.

Today we are taking a closer look at one machine component that influences the entire packaging process: The bag opening station. This station uses a vacuum suction unit to grasp both sides of the pouch and pull it open, which will allow the dosing station to engage and fill your pouches with product. If your bag does not open, the premade pouch machine will not release product to fill the bag. There are multiple reasons bags remain unopened, among them dirty filters in the vacuum suction unit.

How can dirty filters affect the bag opening station?

The bag opening station on a premade pouch packing machine uses vacuum suction cups to grasp and open premade pouches prior to filling the bags. To do this, a vacuum suction unit must engage. If the filter within the vacuum unit is dirty, you will not get adequate vacuum suction at your bag opening station. This can cause machine malfunction, namely, that the bag opening station will not engage, which also means the bag filling station will not engage. This results in empty bags, decreased throughput, and unplanned downtime.

So what can you do to prevent machine malfunction from dirty vacuum unit filters at the bag open station? It's simple...just clean them on a regular basis! Here's how:

How to clean and install bag open station filters:

Watch the video above for an in-depth visual demonstration of how to change the bag open station filters. Below are the text instructions:

  1. Locate the PIAB unit at the bag opening station.
  2. Unscrew the COAX filters at the bottom of the PIAB unit.
  3. Remove the white filter from the top.
  4. Clean the filter by blowing compressed air inside of it.
  5. Pull the black part of the filter apart to make sure the inside is clean.
  6. Once the inside of the filter is clean, screw it back on. Make sure the 3 different ports are lined up properly: The top one must be open and the bottom two must be closed. If the ports are not configured correctly, the unit will not get enough vacuum to sense that the bag is open, so the bag filling station will not engage.
  7. Screw the COAX filters back into the PIAB unit.

How often should I clean the filters?

As part of your routine preventive maintenance plan, you should clean the bag opening station filters at least every week. The time interval can change based on your product and plant environment. For instance, if you have a particularly dusty powder product, your filters may need cleaning more often.

I cleaned the filters and now I have no vacuum suction.

This is a common mistake and an easy fix. Remove the entire COAX filter again and check to make sure the ports are lined up correctly. The top port should be open and the bottom two ports must be closed. Any other configuration of ports results in a loss of vacuum suction.

If the ports are lined up correctly and you still do not have vacuum suction, you may have a torn bag suction cup or a more serious issue. Consult your owner's manual or contact your Viking service technician.

Need help with your packaging machine maintenance plan?

Preventive maintenance of your pouch packing machine is key to its efficiency and longevity. Download our free Pouch Packing Machine Maintenance Checklist for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly recommended maintenance tasks:

Download pouch packing machine maintenance planner