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How a Vertical-Form-Fill-Seal Machine Works

Published on August 30, 2016

A vertical form fill seal machine, also known as a VFFS, is a common machine used to package goods into bags as part of a production line. Just as the name suggests, this machine starts by helping to form the bag from roll stock. Then, the bag is filled with product and sealed in preparation for shipment. It can be used with either liquids or dry goods with all types of products and packaging.

The Basics of a VFFS Machine

The vertical form fill seal machine works to form, fill and seal the bag from roll stock. These machines are available in a number of sizes, including dual and single web.

In recent years, the vertical form fill seal machine has been developed to be considerably more compact. It is good for working with products that may be difficult to handle manually, such as liquids, grains, chips and certain types of food.

Step 1: Forming

The initial step is forming the bag. Depending on the package type, it is taken from a stack or a roll. A single web vertical form fill seal machine work with flexible materials and is typically fed to a cone-shaped tube called a forming tube.

The film is worked outside the forming tube and sealed to make the package. The package is sealed with a horizontal seal at the top and bottom of the bag with a vertical seal in the back. Flexible applications are similar on a dual web machine, however, two rolls are used and twice the output is typically achieved.

Step 2: Filling

The next step in the process is filling, which is accomplished by interfacing a filling machine (typically a multihead weigher or an auger filler). The machine is programmed for filling, so this step is completely automated. The pre-measured product is dispensed from the machine into the bag. Then, the film is sealed.


Finally, the vertical form fill seal machine seals the package so it can be shipped to stores where it is purchased by consumers. This process typically comes immediately after the filling process. The reason for this is to limit the risk of contamination, which is especially important when packaging food products.

In many of these machines, a horizontal sealing bar seals the top of the package. If necessary, the package will them be moved on to the final sealing process. In some cases, this can be filling the package with nitrogen to increase product shelf life.

Here at Ohlson Packaging, we design and manufacture a full range of automatic and semi-automatic machines, including the vertical form fill seal machine. Give us a call today to learn more!

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