New milk powder seamer from Innovus
The new 10VGT vacuum and gassing seamer from Innovus Engineering is built fully in stainless steel and is designed to meet the specific needs of the canned milk powder market, achieving residual oxygen levels of less than 0.5%.
It follows the design guidelines of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG), ensuring an easy wipe down and avoiding powder traps. All surfaces are smooth, and previously close faces have been spaced apart for cleaning access.
Innovus developed the 10VGT automated seamer based on the success of its semi-automated model 10VG machine. Seaming head technology is mirrored between the two models, providing repeatability of performance on both the small-scale laboratory model 10VG and the automated production of the new machine.
The 10VGT has a completely new control system, designed by Innovus using Siemens control technology. A low backlash Siemens servo motor is used to index cans from the infeed conveyor onto the transfer table. Lids are dropped using a fixed splitter end feed module through a centring ring, to place the end loosely on the can. An end-in-place sensor checks for the correct location of the end on the can, before the can arrives at the seaming station.
Once the can is located onto the lifter plate, it is lifted to the vacuum and gassing position, where a silicone ring inflates around the can to create an airtight chamber for the headspace. Solenoid valves control the opening and closing of the vacuum and gassing ports located inside the seaming head.
Levels of vacuum and gas are determined by an hygienic tri-clamp pressure sensor fixed to the seaming head, which consistently monitors the chamber pressure. Also available is the option to perform a double evacuation if required, which is easily adjusted on the touch screen HMI. The HMI has a full range of machine setting adjustments for vacuum and gassing pressures, conveyor speeds, turret indexing speed and positioning, as well as the option to select vacuum only, gassing only, vacuum and gassing, or atmospheric seaming. Seaming under vacuum is achieved using an integrated high-power vacuum pump.
The can seaming process is completed using a hardened cam for repeatability. The thirteen 1st operation revolutions, a feature of all Innovus can seamers, provides optimal seam formation. The 10VGT is unique in its capability to complete modified atmosphere seaming on 2.5 kg, 189mm diameter dairy cans. It can be tooled for cans from 99 mm to 189 mm diameter, with a height rangeof 119mm to 217mm.
A further advantage of the 10VGT is the parallel infeed and outfeed conveyors. This enables customers to add the seamer to any stretch of conveyor without the need for modification to the existing layout.
The first model 10VGT was successfully manufactured and installed at Ornua Nutrition Ingredients in Leek, UK to package Kerrygold 2.5kg cans. The option to retrofit a second seaming station to the 10VGT provides customers with the flexibility to increase capacity on their existing machine. As a single head configuration, output is rated at 10 cans per minute running 99 mm diameter cans. Output is 18 cans per minute for a two head configuration using both vacuum and gassing.