Hassia Verpackungsmaschinen GmbH was founded in 1953 and is recognised as one of the founding fathers of the German packing industry.
Even now, numerous packaging technologies still in use today including, blister packs for sugar-coated medication and tablets, single serve packing for jams, packaging for moist wipes and double-compartment cartons, can be traced back to their Hassia roots.
Hassia machines, including service, are sold around the world directly from their headquarters in Randstadt, Hessen.
Previously owned by IWKA A.G., as a part of their packaging machine division, Hassia was integrated into the newly established OYSTAR Group in 2007.
The name OYSTAR Hassia is synonymously linked with the development and construction of high performance moulding, filling and grinding machines (including form, fill, seal -FFS), primarily for the dairy and food industries.
OYSTER Hassia packing machines are always designed and developed in accordance to their customer’s specific requirements.
Accordingly, these packing machines offer unique solutions thereby giving them a clear competitive advantage which is greatly appreciated by OYSTER Hassia customers ... since it’s often the outer packaging that whets the appetite rather than the packets internal content!
Recently, as a result of this customisation process, experts from Hassia needed a special cylinder for one of its machines which had to meet the following requirements.
To ensure good availability at competitive prices, it was agreed that the cylinder needed to be a standard model option, it also needed to offer additional functions such as built-in guides and Hassia´s experts were also very keen to minimise the components overall size.
With this clear brief, Hassia contacted SMC, the world leading experts in pneumatics, and it was decided to use a standard cylinder from SMC´s HYG range as these guide rod cylinders offer outstanding performance when used in machine applications especially where hygiene needs to be considered.
SMC´s Series HYG (hygienic guide cylinders) offers:
• High lateral load resistance
• Smooth surfaces - to enable easy cleaning
• Increased auto switch mounting rail options
• Improved water resistance performance
The significantly improved water resistance is achieved by:
• New socket, seal and scraper options
• Optional NBR or FKM seals/scrapers on guide and piston rods (NBR: for normal environments and environments with water spray/splashes - FKM: for environments with chemical spray/splashes)
Plus, the cylinders can also operate with a choice of lubrication grease:
• Standard grease: for normal environments without spray
• Food safe grease (NSF-H1): for environments with water and chemicals
Due to these attributes, the cylinder’s water resistance is up to ten times greater than other standard products on the market.
In fact, SMC´S HY Series, which includes the HYG range, was officially recognised as an outstanding product when it was awarded an International Forum Design (iF) Product Design Award in 2009.
A special coating applied to the piston rod guide (PAT) and with cleverly designed air relief ports on the guide, the released air is outside of the spray water environment. Due to the design of the HYG cylinder, mounting is possible in three positions: from the top, side or from underneath. Plug bolts are used to simply close the mounting holes not used.
The HYG32TFR-60F was assembled in OYSTAR Hassia´s THL32/48 Filling Machine.
The machine was developed to fill and pack butter and miscellaneous butter products in single serve helpings of 15g. The production process uses 5 filled rows, with each row containing 12 individual units (5x12 = 60 format) in a single cycle. The machine will operate at 28 cycles per minute, with a planned operating time of 4.800 hours per annum.
The HYG cylinder was installed in the wet area of the machine - in front of the packer.
The task of the three cylinders installed in the machine, is to stop the single serve butter units in front of the packer and to ensure that the 60 units produced in each cycle are in the correct position to be picked up using a vacuum plate transfer.
In order to pack the single serve units correctly and within the available time frame, the cylinders must maintain a set distance which is accomplished using rakes. The rakes are controlled by the HYG cylinders – with two cylinders controlling the barriers and one cylinder the advance.
The cylinders were installed in such a way that their piston rod faces upwards when stationary.
There were some early concerns that water residues Could possibly accumulate around the cylinders during cleaning but because of the design the HYG cylinders both the guides and piston rods were fitted with special concave (outwardly curved) seals, so the ingress or accumulation of liquids in the seal was prevented.
In accordance with the special need of the product to be filled (in this case butter and miscellaneous butter products) industry approved cleaning agents are applied to clean the surrounding filling and movement components to keep them free of microbial infestation.
This is why, as normal for food processing applications, so called CIP liquids are used.
Brief explanation of CIP:
Cleaning in Place (CIP): this refers to cleaning processes used in industrial machines e.g. pharmaceutical production plants, bio-plants. As the term itself implies, this involves cleaning the areas in contact with the product without the extensive disassembly of machinery. Usually this process requires flushing procedures and the sterilisation of machines. Cleaning in Place was originally developed for the food and dairy industry.
CIP procedure in the food industry:
• Pre-flushing to remove coarse dirt particles
• Cleaning using an alkaline agent (possibly with additives to improve the floating behaviour of the dirt particles)
• Flushing out the cleaning agent with water
• Circulating with acid to remove lime scale and alkalis
• Flushing out the acid
• Disinfection to kill off any vegetative micro-organisms
• Flushing out the disinfection agent.
Disinfection and flushing with acid can also be carried out as one step. Liquids often used include caustic soda and vinegar or peracetic acid in various concentrations in accordance with the machine’s guidelines and its application.
The HYG Series has been developed to withstand this CIP procedure.
In high performance machines, such as OYSTAR Hassia´s THL32/48, the innovative design of SMC´s HYG cylinders has guaranteed both fault-free and safe production.
And the advantages of the SMC´s HYG cylinders are clear to see:
• Standard product – which is readily available
• Great reliability
• Water penetration protected
• Hygienic, cleaner-friendly, design
• Function integration
• Competitively priced
• They off a unique solution in the market
The close working relationship between design experts at OYSTAR Hassia Verpackungsmaschinen GmbH and food sector specialists at SMC has culminated in the adoption of standard Series HYG cylinders in the THL32/48 machine. This has led to considerable cost savings without detriment to meeting machine safety and European hygiene legislation.