Stick pack machines are becoming more popular as various industries push toward greater automation. Manufacturers and co-packers alike use stick-pack devices for their capacity to create high throughput with little impact on available floor space.
Multiple-lane packing machines presently serve a purpose in various industries for packaging liquids and powders. Customers who regularly purchase single-serve goods like the accessibility, portability, and ease of use afforded by stick packs.
Now, we’ll cover all you need to know regarding stick pack machines and walk you through the whole seven-step procedure from start to finish.
What is a stick pack machine?
A stick pack machine operates similarly to single-lane vertical form-fill-seal packaging lines.
The process may begin after cutting and forming a roll of film into stick packs. Following that, sealing the bags vertically at speeds of up to 80 per minute per lane after loading with products.
To put it another way, if you have eight lanes of machines on your stick pack machine, you can produce 320 stick packs every minute. It’s equivalent to almost 40 sticks each second.
What goods are suitable for stick-pack packaging?
This machine can pack many different items. They can be;
- Granola bars
- Coffee sticks
- Detergent pods
- Mustard, ketchup, etc.
Stick Pack Machines—What Are the 7 Steps in the Process?
With the definition of a stick pack machine in hand, we can go on to the next question. Now is the time to learn more about the practical applications of these devices.
🔵 Film transfer and unwind
Film in stick pack machines is also a roll stock, consisting of a single sheet wound around a core. The film reel is at the rear of the machine, and the film is unwound from it.
The unwinding of the film is from the movements of the cross-seal jaws at the front of the machine. Cross-seal jaws, or grippers, transport film along a linear path from the beginning of the machine to its final destination.
If a date stamping function is present, the film goes in via an alignment roller. This allows the product date stamp to align precisely with the horizontal seal.
The film passes over a sensor that reads the location of “eye markings” and adjusts the horizontal seal to align with the printed design on the film.
🔵 Tension Film
The following stage involves feeding the film through a series of nip rollers. Nip rollers supply even pressure to the film, which aids in keeping the film taut and, in turn, keeps the dancer’s arm in the proper working posture.
A dancer’s arm, a heavy pivot arm at the rear of the machine, is used to unwind the film by passing it over it as it is withdrawn off the roll.
Multiple locations along the arm now have rollers. As the film is moving, the arm moves up and down to keep the film taut and prevent it from swaying to one side or the other.
🔵 Cut Film
After going through the nip rollers, the film reaches the cutting section. At this point, a massive roll of packing film is sliced into manageable widths. Stick pack machines have many lanes, each of which controls the quantity of strips cut off the roll.
These strips serve as the base for each stick pack. At this stage, the cutting disk knives are in use, which are not driven by motors. Feeding film through the blades while in contact with a custom-built roller maintains consistent tension throughout the operation. The film is pulled through the assembly, where it is cut into sticks and packed.
🔵 Form Packs
Here, the film feeds into a series of forming tubes, one for each of the lanes. When the film is cut to the collar (shoulder) of a forming tube, it is wrapped around the tube to make a stick pack, with the two outside sides of the film overlapping. In each tube, this occurs when the film reaches the apex.
You get a flat seal when the two outer edges of the film overlap, but you get a seal that sticks out like a fin when the inner sides of the two outer edges of the film are joined. Lap seals are more visually pleasing and more resource-efficient than fin seals.
🔵 Fill & Seal
If there is any vertical overlapping in the film, it will be sealed when a series of sealer bars, one for every lane, move ahead and make contact with it.
When the bar that makes the vertical seal is heated, it presses down on the forming tube to establish the seal. A single horizontal sealing jaw meets at both ends of a stick pack to create a tight seal.
The packing product is put into the center of the forming tubes as the sealing jaws are clamped shut, and the product fills each bag as it moves through the machine. A filling device such as a liquid pump, auger, or volumetric filler accurately measures and releases individual product doses into each stick. It is possible to find similar filling machines.
🔵 Stick Pack Discharge
The knife advances and slices the bag after placing the product into every stick pack, or making a cut in the horizontal seal directly under the jaw that creates the horizontal sealing.
A programmable flap on the outfeed chute opens and closes regularly to receive the final stick packs. Outfeed conveyors or a collecting point may receive the bags at this stage.
You may control and guide the outflow of stick packs using individual outfeed chutes, an available accessory.
After filling, the bags go through a variety of downstream processes. These can include being under check weighers, an x-ray machine, a case, or carton packaging equipment.
Many products are suitable for packaging using a stick pack machine. Stick pouches are the ideal packaging choice in the pharmaceutical and food sectors. Using this method, you may store powders like coffee and medicine without worrying about them exploding.