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Application of pneumatic technology in food packaging machinery

after nearly two decades of development, China's food packaging machinery has formed a certain scale and become an important part of the machinery industry. At present, most of the packaging work of domestic food processing, especially the more complex packaging process, is basically manual, which is likely to cause pollution to the packaged products. This situation needs to be changed. At present, the state has strengthened the implementation of the food quality and safety market access system, and food packaging equipment is gradually being incorporated into the food quality and safety access system, which is a good opportunity for the food packaging machinery industry to achieve industrial upgrading. Modern food packaging machinery integrates the most advanced technologies in many disciplines, with the characteristics of high efficiency, high precision, high automation and high flexibility, and is developing in the direction of intelligence and integration. One of the basic components is pneumatic technology

pneumatic technology, fully known as pneumatic transmission and control technology, is one of the most effective means of automation and mechanization in the production process. It has the advantages of high speed and efficiency, cleaning and safety, low cost, easy maintenance and so on. It is widely used in the field of light industrial machinery, and is also playing an increasingly important role in the food packaging and production process, including milk powder filling and packaging machine, yogurt plastic cup molding, filling and sealing machine, beverage and beer filling machine Jelly filling and packaging machine, biscuit and bread packaging machine, pillow type, potato chip filling and packaging machine, sauce filling machine, meat packaging machine, etc. are widely used, which can shorten the processing auxiliary time, reduce the labor intensity of workers, and give full play to the efficient performance of the equipment

however, as food packaging machinery must meet the relevant requirements and regulations of food machinery safety, and the working environment is generally complex and harsh, if inappropriate pneumatic components are used, abnormal phenomena often occur; Modern food packaging machinery is usually a combination of mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic and other equipment, and the various parts of the equipment are closely related. The failure of any part will affect the normal work of other parts. There are thousands of components in large food packaging equipment, and the difficulty of fault inspection and maintenance has always been one of the most thorny problems. Therefore, In the pneumatic design and application of food packaging machinery, we must choose reliable and practical manufacturers and products

basic application of pneumatic technology in food packaging machinery

in food production, different production areas have different requirements for hygiene; The European EN standard defines the environment of food processing machinery as three working areas, food area, splash area and non food area; According to different regions, the pneumatic technology and products required are also different

in the food area and splash area, pneumatic technology is mainly used in distribution, bottling, forming, filling, dispensing, sealing and other devices. Since pneumatic components need to be in direct or indirect contact with main production raw materials, in order to prevent the possibility of pollution to the final product, its material should be non-toxic, non absorbent, corrosion-resistant stainless steel; If aluminum alloy is used, it should have certain corrosion resistance, non-toxic and non absorbent; The rubber products used inside the components, such as seals, should meet the corresponding health requirements, have the stability of heat resistance, acid and alkali resistance and oil resistance in the working environment, can accept normal cleaning and disinfection, insoluble, non-toxic, non absorbent, and must not have the odor that affects the product; The working air filtration device shall ensure that no 5 μ Dust above M passes through; The structure and surface should be smooth, durable, easy to clean and achieve good cleaning effect. Although the design of splash zone needs to be similar to that of food area, the material requirements can be reduced as appropriate, and it must be ensured that the design has no negative impact on food products

typical pneumatic products used in these two environments include stainless steel cylinders, clean cylinders, easy to clean valve islands, stainless steel air source processing elements, etc., and the most representative of which is the clean cylinders, such as the new materials for recovery shown in Figure 1: the fluorine membrane project is ready to test run the PVA series clean cylinders of Norgren in the UK at the end of March. The clean design of this cylinder eliminates the cavities that food particles may adhere to Gaps and sharp corners have self draining function, so the liquid can flow away directly; The cylinder barrel is made of anodized aluminum oxide, the piston rod is made of hard coated stainless steel, and the seals used are polyurethane. The cylinder as a whole conforms to IP67, which is not only corrosion-resistant, but also can be cleaned repeatedly; Moreover, this kind of cylinder is a standardized product in line with ISO 6431, which is replaceable. Even the installation parts are standard parts, which is extremely convenient for installation and maintenance

non food area. In this area, pneumatic technology is mainly used in bag sealing, packaging, labeling, detection, capping and other devices. Although the pneumatic components in this area do not need to contact the production raw materials, they usually still need to be standardized, easy to clean, intelligent and environmentally friendly, and the structure is smoothly fixed on the horizontal test bench and compact. As the current food packaging equipment requires to achieve more functions in a limited space, the size of pneumatic components also requires more and more compact, integrated and modular; Typical products include the VM series of easy-to-clean valve island of Norgren in the UK, as shown in Figure 2. Is the fixture only 1 (1) wide easy to use and safe? The 0mm valve body can provide 430l/min flow, can be integrated with 2 to 20 positions, and can be used with multiple functions and pressures. It complies with IP65, which is the trend of complex control in food packaging. In addition, advanced food packaging equipment generally adopts an oil free lubrication pneumatic system composed of filters, pressure reducing valves, valves that do not supply oil for lubrication, cylinders, etc. this system seals grease in advance where the components need lubrication, without an oil mist, can work for a long time without replenishing grease, and can reduce oil consumption, improve the environment, have low cost, convenient maintenance, and stable performance

Application and development trend of pneumatic technology in food packaging machinery

with the increasing improvement of food processing technology, the automation level of food packaging is also improving. At present, the research and development of food packaging machinery is developing towards high-speed, multi-function and intelligent control. Industrial robots, microelectronics, computers, intelligent and image sensing technology will be more and more widely used, The intellectualization and networking of pneumatic technology applied to food packaging machinery will become inevitable

intelligent cylinder is the epitome of intelligent cylinder. Take the intelligent cylinder of Norgren in the UK shown in Figure 3 as an example. This kind of cylinder has built-in solenoid valve, speed control valve, cylinder switch and other accessories. According to its gas circuit design, whether single acting or double acting cylinder, only one end needs to be connected with gas. Using such a cylinder with filter pressure reducing valve can replace the traditional whole pneumatic circuit, Moreover, because the gas consumption factors in the process of intermediate gas pipe transmission are eliminated, the air consumption is also greatly reduced, which is very energy-saving and environmental protection; According to the cleaning needs of the food industry, this kind of cylinder has IP66 protection grade and belongs to the direct flushing cylinder; According to the needs of standardization, this kind of cylinder should also comply with iso/vdma standards, so that it can be interchanged with ordinary standard cylinders, so as to meet the design simplification requirements of automatic upgrading

this kind of cylinder is also very simple, integrated and flexible in electrical control. The cylinder can realize remote centralized control with only one electrical interface. You can choose either multi pin interface or AS-I interface. If you choose ASI interface, as shown in Figure 4, the bus remote centralized control can be carried out by connecting the communication cable (yellow) connected by an AS-I master controller with a group of intelligent cylinders, Refer to figure 5 for the specific circuit diagram of the system

intelligent pneumatic triplet (see Figure 6) makes it possible for the self diagnosis of the air handling system. Most of the faults of the pneumatic system are caused by the air handling system, while the traditional air source treatment has some defects, mainly the lack of state monitoring and feedback, such as filter element blockage, abnormal pressure regulation of the pressure regulating valve and other problems often occur, affecting the normal operation of the whole pneumatic system; The intelligent triplet can effectively solve this problem. It can continuously monitor the pneumatic system and display relevant data through fieldbus and ASI connection at any time, inform when to replace the filter element and lubricating oil, whether the pressure state is normal, and record the service time, so as to minimize the failure rate, reduce the maintenance cost, and improve the normal operation time and production capacity of the system and equipment


these intelligent and networked high-tech pneumatic technologies have been developed and applied in some western countries, realizing the further intellectualization of food packaging machinery. Through the understanding, research and absorption of these technologies, the water specimen stiffness of domestic food packaging machinery is also expected to be improved and developed, reducing human or machine errors in the process of food processing, and ensuring the reliable operation of food machinery, Realize safe production and cleaner production, realize the continuous production of food packaging process, and connect with international standards as soon as possible. (end)

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