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Pneumatic technology, automation and networking trend of food vacuum skin packaging machine

Pneumatic technology is one of the effective means of automation and mechanization in the production process.It is widely used in the field of light industry machinery and plays an increasingly important role in food vacuum packaging (including seafood and meat vacuum skin packaging) and production processes.With the continuous advancement of food processing technology, the level of automation in food packaging is also constantly improving, and the application of pneumatic technology in seafood and meat vacuum skin packaging machines will become an inevitable trend of intelligence and networking.

Food packaging machinery (including vacuum skin packaging machines for seafood, meat and other foods) has formed a certain industrial scale after nearly two decades of rapid development and has become an important part of China's machinery industry.Currently, the packaging work in domestic food processing is mostly manual, especially the packaging process is relatively complex, which is likely to cause pollution to packaged products such as seafood, beef, salmon and other seafood. This situation needs to be changed.Currently, the country has strengthened the implementation of the market access system for food quality and safety, and food vacuum skin packaging equipment has gradually been incorporated into the food quality and safety access system, providing a good opportunity for the industrial upgrading of the food packaging machinery industry.Modern food packaging machinery integrates advanced technologies from multiple disciplines, and is characterized by high efficiency, high precision, high automation, and high flexibility. It is developing towards intelligence and integration, of which pneumatic technology is one of the most basic components.





Pneumatic technology is one of the effective means of automation and mechanization in the production process.It has the advantages of fast speed, high efficiency, safety and reliability, low cost, and convenient maintenance.It is widely used in the field of light industrial machinery.It also plays an increasingly important role in food vacuum skin packaging and production processes.It is widely used in various packaging machinery, which can shorten the auxiliary processing time, reduce the labor intensity of workers, and fully utilize the high efficiency of the equipment.

However, due to the fact that food vacuum packaging machinery must comply with relevant food safety requirements and regulations, and the on-site environment is generally relatively complex, if the pneumatic components are used incorrectly, abnormal phenomena often occur.Modern food packaging machinery is usually integrated with mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic technologies, and the close relationship between various parts. Any failure of any part will affect the normal operation of the equipment.Therefore, in the design and application of food packaging machinery, pneumatic components must be selected based on reliable practical needs.

In the production of vacuum skinning for food, different regions have different hygiene requirements.The European EN 1672-2 standard defines the environment of food processing machinery as three work areas, namely the food area, the splash area, and the non-food area.Depending on the hygiene requirements of different regions, pneumatic technology and products used also vary.


Safety and hygiene are required in food areas and splash areas

In the field of food and splash, pneumatic technology is mainly used in equipment such as distribution, bottling, forming, filling, dispensing, and sealing to avoid contamination of the final product due to direct or indirect contact between pneumatic components and the main raw materials. Its materials should be non-toxic, absorbent, corrosion-resistant stainless steel original.If aluminum alloy materials are used, they should have certain corrosion resistance, non-toxicity, and non-absorption. Rubber products used in components, such as seals, should meet corresponding hygiene requirements, with high temperature resistance, acid and alkali resistance, oil resistance, etc., and should be subjected to normal cleaning and disinfection. Insoluble, non-toxic, absorbable, and odorless, they should not affect the product.The working air filtration device should ensure that dust larger than 5μm is prohibited, and the structure and surface should be smooth, durable, easy to clean, and achieve good cleaning effect.Although the design requirements for the splash area are similar to those for the food area, the material requirements can be reduced as appropriate, while ensuring that the design will not have a negative impact on the food.

Typical products in these two environmental pressures are stainless steel cylinders, clean tanks, easy to clean, valve islands, stainless steel filters and pressure relief valves, among which the most representative are clean tanks, such as the clean tank British Norgren PVA series RS cylinder. The clean design eliminates cavities, gaps and sharp edges, preventing food particles from attaching, with automatic drainage function, and the liquid can flow directly.The cylinder is made of anodized aluminum, the piston rod is plated with hard stainless steel, and the seal is made of polyurethane.The cylinder as a whole meets the requirements of IP67.In addition, the cylinder is standardized with ISO6431 products, which is compatible with interchangeability, even if the installation of standard parts can be used, installation and maintenance are very convenient.

The dimensional requirements for components in the non-food area are increasingly stringent

In the non-food field, pneumatic technology is mainly used in packaging, labeling, detection, and capping equipment. Although pneumatic components in this field do not require contact with raw materials in production, they still need to be standardized, easy to clean, intelligent, environmentally friendly, and compact in structure.Due to the current demand for more functions in food packaging equipment within a limited space, the size requirements for pneumatic components are becoming increasingly stringent.Typical products include the Norgren easy-to-clean valve island VM series, which has a width of only 10 mm, a valve body that can provide a flow rate of 430 L/min, and can be integrated with 20 positions, meeting the trend of IP 65 and complex control for food packaging.In addition, advanced food packaging equipment is generally composed of filters, pressure relief valves, non-oil lubricated valves, and cylinders.The utility model does not require grease, can work for a long time, reduces fuel consumption and costs, improves the environment, is convenient to maintain, and has stable performance.

Intelligentization of pneumatic devices

With the continuous advancement of food vacuum processing technology, the automation level of food vacuum skin packaging is also constantly improving.Currently, the research and development of food vacuum skin packaging machinery is moving towards high-speed, multi-functional, intelligent direction, and industrial robots, microelectronics, computers, intelligence and image sensing technology will be more widely applied. The application of pneumatic technology in food vacuum skin packaging machinery will become more intelligent and networked.

Intelligent cylinder is an integrated intelligent cylinder, taking NORGREN intelligent cylinder as an example. The cylinder is equipped with electromagnetic valve and speed control valve, and provides FIELDBUS and ASI interfaces, which can realize remote centralized control of the bus.It has a protection level of IP66 and is easy to clean.It also complies with ISO/VDMA standards and can be interchanged with ordinary standard cylinders.Using this cylinder can replace the traditional full pneumatic circuit.

Intelligent pneumatic triplex makes self-diagnosis of air handling system possible. Most pneumatic system failures are due to air conditioning system, and intelligent triplex effectively solves this problem.It can continuously monitor the pneumatic system and display relevant data through fieldbus and ASI connection at any time. When it is necessary to replace filters or lubricants, the stress state is normal and the time is recorded, achieving the lowest failure rate, reducing maintenance costs, and improving uptime and production capacity.

The development and application of intelligent and networked pneumatic technology will further realize the intelligence of food vacuum skin packaging machinery, achieve self-diagnosis of equipment, and improve the automation level of food packaging machinery in China.




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