Vacuum packaging machine troubleshooting: Why there are wrinkles at the sealing area and how to solve it

Vacuum packaging is one of the most common food packaging solutions. Vacuum packaging has many benefits, including extending the shelf life of food, reducing frostbite, and reducing food waste. The large demand for vacuum packaging in the food industry has made the use of vacuum packaging machines very common.

In the process of using vacuum packaging machines, it is inevitable to encounter some minor problems that affect the quality or appearance of vacuum packaging. Recently, a friend contacted us through our website and mentioned that the vacuum packaging machines they purchased from other suppliers often had wrinkles in the sealing area of ​​the packaging.

The harm of vacuum packaging seal wrinkles

For a high quality vacuum pack, the sealing area should be flat, consistent and tight. The unexpected wrinkles are harmful to the packages and food products.

  • Wrinkles degrade the appearance of the package, giving consumers a negative impression of the product and brand.
  • The wrinkles will affect the sealing quality, and the food packaging would probably lose vacuum, shortening the shelf life of the food.

Case study

Below pictures are sent to us by the customer. From the pictures, we can clearly notice the wrinkles at the left part of the sealing area.

I asked the customer about the conditions of the vacuum packaging machine that they bought, customer claimed the machine is completely new, and there are 7-8% of the packages that have this wrinkle. This percentage catches our attention and is the key to quickly identify the cause of the wrinkle problem.

vacuum packaging wrinkles troubleshooting
why there are wrinkles at the sealing area of vacuum packages and how to solve it

Based on our experience, we quickly advised the customer to check the heating sealing wires, PEFE heating isolation cloth and air bag of the vacuum packaging machine. And then they found the air bag is broken, and problem is solved by replacing with new air bag.

vacuum package wrinkles and how to solve it

Why broken air bag cause wrinkles

The airbag is an important part of the sealing assembly of the vacuum packaging machine and is installed above the heating sealing wire. Its length is the same as the effective length of the sealing wire. Its main function is to inflate the airbag after vacuuming is completed, press the heating sealing wire, and perform the heating and sealing operation to achieve sufficient pressure between the heating strip and the vacuum bag to ensure the sealing strength and prevent the package from leaking.

vacuum packaging machine air bag is used to press down the sealing wire to seal the vacuum bag

To ensure the consistency of sealing strength, the key is to ensure that the pressure on the contact surface between the sealing wire and the vacuum bag is consistent, that is, to ensure that the pressure of the entire air bag is exactly the same from one end to another end.

Once there is a leak, the air pressure of the airbag will of course no longer be stable and consistent. If the sealing area of ​​the vacuum bag is subjected to uneven pressure, wrinkles will occur, resulting in insufficient sealing strength and ultimately causing air leakage in the vacuum packages.

Does sauce or liquid products cause wrinkles?

When the customer wrote the first Email to me, he worried maybe the wrinkles were caused by the sauce/liquid products, or maybe they filled too many sauces into the vacuum bag.

Is it true?

Of course not. The vacuum packaging machines can vacuum pack sauce products or products with liquid without any problem. It 100% won’t cause wrinkles or any sealing issues. For example, one of our customers packs lotus root with a full bag of water with our belt-type continuous vacuum packaging machine. Please check the below video for reference.

YouTube video

How to minimize wrinkles in vacuum packaging

Vacuum packaging with wrinkles is unqualified because wrinkles will cause the packaging seal to be loose, and the packaging will quickly leak and lose the vacuum state, causing the food to quickly deteriorate.

To reduce the occurrence of wrinkles, we have the following suggestions:

  • Use new heating element: Sealing wires, PTFE heating isolation cloth, air bags, silicone strips.
  • Make sure the vacuum bags are put in the vacuum chamber at the right position
  • Press the vacuum bag head with the pressing bar
  • Keep watching the sealing area of the vacuum packages. Once a wrinkle happens, please stop the packaging process.
  • Check the sealing PTFE heating isolation cloth, and see if it’s flat and tight
  • Uninstall the heating assembly, check the status of the sealing wire. Replace broken sealing wire in time.
  • Check the air tightness of the air bag
  • Check the pressing bar which pressed the head of vacuum bags after we put the packages into the vacuum chamber.
  • When we deliver the vacuum packaging machines to customers, we always prepare a set of spare parts, including multiple PCs of sealing wires, PTFE heating isolation cloth, and air bags. So that once any of them is broken, you can replace it without any delay.

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Vacuum packaging machine troubleshooting: Why there are wrinkles at the sealing area and how to solve it
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