How Compressed Air is Used in the Packaging Industry

No need to get worried, compressed air is not only reliable but also safe. Several packaging industries find compressed air very essential. Packaging industries have compressed air systems that help in performing tasks designed for them. As much as we need this system in product packaging, it is also useful in product alignment, part drying, and blow off tasks. The compressed air technology has made things more straightforward, more so in our industries. Take, for instance, in the food processing firms, cutting, sorting, shaping, and conveying these products from one point to another is effective and more comfortable because of this technology.

Let’s shift away from the processing industry and move to the manufacturing industry. Here, compressed air is also necessary for product packaging. Take, for example, the process of making cartoons. First, you start by forming them, the fill, and later seal them with air using the compressed air technology. In all these industries, quality varies. The quality of compressed air needed in food industries is quite different from the one used in the packaging of goods. Most products that are either ingested or injected into our bodies like food and pharmaceutical products require the highest level of safe, clean compressed air. This helps to ascertain that the products are not contaminated, therefore, safe to use.

You might be wondering how a compressed air system works. Air is taken into the compressor to create a vacuum to reduce the volume of the compressor. Then the air is withdrawn from the space and brought into the storage tank. The moment the storage tank is filled with enough air pressure, the compressor stops working. Often, pneumatic systems are the most preferred because they are not prone to leaks like hydraulic systems. Also, they have no negative impact on the atmosphere, making them best for the packaging of food products.

How Compressed Air Helps Keep Products Dry And Free Of Contaminants

The first step to get quality air is having the right type of equipment with the highest level of performance. Dirt and moisture are components of atmospheric air. The two elements of air should not be taken for granted as they have a negative impact on the system’s performance. The concentration keeps on increasing as compression of air takes place.

Here is how this happens. Air is heated up, and during this process, water vapor is held up as the air starts to get cooled as it moves downstream, condensing water vapor to liquid. You need plant operators for maintenance to eliminate any contaminants and moisture and dirt. The system also features air dryers to minimize condensation. They prevent any possibility of having moisture droplets from forming by lowering the dew point of the compressed air.

Dryers come in four primary categories. There is the chemical dryer, regenerative dryer, mechanical dryer, and refrigerated dryer. Dryers are essential in eliminating moisture and contaminants before packaging. You also need to understand the three categories of filters for this system; adsorption, particulate, and coalescing filters.

Add an appropriate filter on the conveying system to make sure no moisture or contaminant is added into the compressed air system. You also need equipment that will help you eliminate air by blowing from the products before packaging. An example of such a product is an air knife. You may also consider using nozzles. Take, for instance, an air knife that uses the Coanda effect to come up with a high flow speed stream of air.

An air knife and nozzle perform the same task. They make it possible for you to open and close the top of the boxes while packaging. The two are categorized under blow-off-products that meet OSHA noise and pressure specifications. They are necessary as they enhance safety while manufacturing and the factory’s environment.

Considerations When Using Compressed Air Products For Packaging

We all need clean air, and to achieve this, it is necessary to follow all laid down procedures and guidelines. Following all these prevents you from any biological, chemical, and physical hazards during packaging. As a manufacturer, consumers depend on you to get end products that are safe with no contaminants. That is why most quality products come from manufacturers who use compressed air systems.

First, you need to ascertain that the compressed air system you are using has air purifiers and filters. This is as per the BCAS/BBR Code of practice, which calls for all manufacturers to examine the installation of its system at least twice annually. During the testing process, what is tested for include microorganisms, dirt, moisture, and oil contaminants

Secondly, filtration is also essential. However, in case you have new filtration pipes, then you are recommended to get a centralized air drying and filtration system. As for polluted pipes, go for a combination of a centralized and decentralized filter. The filters should have an upstream installation of the point of usage.

How It Works

Packaging firms entail several activities and materials. Almost every product needs to be packaged. For the packaging process to take place, there is a procedure that needs to be followed. The process entails a transportation line essential to carry a blend of various products down an airstream

There is a pneumatic conveyor system which entails several interconnected transitional lines and hoses, gas compressor, standard cylinder, and gas. All these are necessary for packaging to take place.

  • For the generation of airflow, you need a compressor.
  • The airflow is controlled using either the manual or automatic solenoid valve.
  • Cylinders, pneumatic devices, and air motors are powered using the centrally positioned and electrically powered compressor.
  • There is a switch used for the configuration of a pneumatic system-whether to power it on or off.

A suction operating at 0.5 atm is used to carry light materials from one point to another. There is a positive pressure compressed air conveying system with an atmospheric pressure of 6 that is used to push products from one location to the next. Lastly, you need a combined sanction to dispatch products from suction to push.

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