Curwood, Inc.

March 12, 2007
Next-generation bacon packaging machine features advanced controls, trouble-free operation

Bacon processors now can achieve gains in performance, reliability and ease of operation with the reengineered FlexVac 6-18 Bacon Packaging Machine from Curwood, Inc. The 6-18 — considered the benchmark in continuous motion bacon packaging for more than 40 years — is being reintroduced with comprehensive mechanical and electronic upgrades.

The reengineered, enhanced machine responds to the industry’s increasing demands to maximize profitability through production and labor savings. Available in six tooling sizes for packaging bacon drafts weighing up to two pounds, the FlexVac 6-18 machine is capable of speeds up to 45 packages per minute. The machine’s robust and user-friendly processing platform includes:

  • PLC-based machine controls, monitoring and alarming. Vital process data is tracked and displayed including package counts, speed, run time, temperature and vacuum levels. Redesigned safety system identifies open access doors and e-stop occurrences.
  • Operator-friendly features. The new touch-screen interface simplifies production setup, data tracking and mid-run changes. Sensoring systems detect infeed plate jams, delivery chute backups and product carry-arounds for alarming.
  • Production data and package coding sensors. A new product detection system delivers accurate count of machine cycles, full packages and empties. An optional integrated code dater with die-specific tagging offers product traceability.
  • Reengineered drive and mechanical components. A totally reengineered drive system features timing belts and improved tension control for smooth and quiet operation. Material upgrades include the use of stainless steel and high-performance polymers in areas prone to wear for longer service life. An enhanced package pick-off assembly — featuring independently supplied vacuum lines to each pair of suction cups — is said to greatly improves package removal efficiency. Die beads are protected with a new one-way clutch on the cam shaft.
  • Improved machine access and maintenance features. Touch-screen alarming and die-static testing instantly pinpoint maintenance issues requiring attention. Improved machine access and component designs simplify cleaning, change-outs and adjustments. An expanded automated lubrication system improves service life.

Curwood also supplies bacon packaging film to run on the FlexVac 6-18 machine.