How to keep your flow wrapper in good working condition
As the UK's sole distributor of Fuji’s flow wrapping machines, we get a steady stream of maintenance queries from users. Most of those queries relate directly to the Fuji machines, but also from production teams in relation to machines from other manufacturers too.
This blog is addressed to those workers, and its key message is 'Don't panic!' Although flow wrappers appear to be large, complex pieces of equipment that operate at high temperature, they're designed for use by everybody. With a Fuji system, you’ll find them to be incredibly accessible, dependable and user-friendly.
If you're going to be working with a particular flow wrapper for years to come, we'd strongly recommend that you begin by reading the manufacturer's manual from cover to cover.
The manual for our own Fuji machines has a maintenance section with clear text and illustrations and we can send you a copy in PDF format if required.
Here is a quick guide to the care and good practice of flow wrappers.
Although we're most concerned with the products of our partner company, Fuji, much of what you read here will likely apply to machinery from other manufacturers too.
Mind your fingers
Oops! You spilled tuna mayonnaise all over the casing. Not to worry, you can clean up the spill without going for a complete shutdown...as long as you stay away from the heated components.
It's still important that you hit the EMERGENCY STOP, even if all you're doing is wiping down the touch panel or cleaning the photoelectric sensor.
Use a damp cloth, work briskly to remove the spill and unlock the EMERGENCY STOP when you're done.
Larger maintenance tasks will require some cooling-down time. Fuji flow wrappers, like those of other makers, use very high temperatures to fuse and seal plastic seams. The temperature at the machine's heater block and centre sealer is about the same as that of the hotplate in a fast-food restaurant, so it will stay hot for a while even when the machine is switched off.
The upshot of all this is that you need to allow plenty of time for daily cleaning. In the case of the Fuji units, we recommend a full hour of cooling time. That means that, if you intend to carry out a 30-minute cleaning operation before leaving the plant at 5pm, you'll need to be powered down by 3.30pm.
Know your routine
The key to safe, effective maintenance is to have an established cleaning routine.
For all Paramount customers, you’ll receive a manual which includes a standard cleaning routine to observe daily, giving you step-by-step instructions on good practice cleaning.
Other important maintenance operations can be done weekly or monthly, like:
- Cleaning the heat exchanger filter
- Lubricating the seal units
- Monthly inspection
We’d always recommend an ongoing maintenance regime with a knowledgeable contractor.
At Paramount, we like to be proactive about service visits, and we offer detailed maintenance contracts to make budgeting and scheduling easier. Plus, we can supply OEM spares for our Fuji machines from stock, and we can help you with upgrades.
Please call us on 01252 815 252 to learn more.