Inline gas analysis for MAP packaging machines

With MAPY inline gas analysers, quality assurance during modified atmosphere packaging becomes a simple exercise. These devices from MAP specialist WITT continuously monitor the gas composition during packaging, directly in the packaging machine. Costs can also be reduced by simultaneously optimising the amount of gas used.

MAPY gas analysers allow the quality checking of the entire output of a packaging machine in real time during the packaging process. This gives the user more certainty and enables reduction of the sample size of the necessary final inspection – with correspondingly lower labour costs.

Another advantage of inline analysis is that any malfunctions are detected directly and can be corrected. Costly subsequent correction, including repackaging of all products, is avoided from the outset.

To cover all types of packaging machines, WITT has designed two analysers: the MAPY LE for flow packing machines with continuous gas flushing, and the MAPY VAC especially for tray sealing and thermoforming packaging machines with intermittent gas flushing.

In the case of flow packing machines, a sample is continuously drawn from the closing form fill and seal bag by means of a lance during the introduction of the protective atmosphere, and compliance with the desired gas mixture is monitored by the MAPY LE. In addition to the increased quality assurance, inline analysis also offers great potential for cost savings here. In combination with a suitable gas mixer or a gas metering unit, thanks to the MAPY LE only as much gas is used as is absolutely necessary for an optimum packaging result. A significant reduction in gas consumption is possible in most cases.

The MAPY VAC analyses the inflowing protective gas directly in the sealing tool during the cycle of the packaging machine. If the adjustable limit values for O2 or CO2 are breached, MAPY VAC and LE give an alarm or stops the packaging machine directly. The whole process takes place automatically and at maximum speed. This results in a complete and non-destructive inline quality control.

Both analysers are compact devices in hygienic stainless-steel casings. The digital control system drives everything including the communication with the gas mixing unit. The analysers can be integrated into the network via an Ethernet interface. All processes and results are stored internally and can be exported.

 “Even though modern gas mixers are very reliable and safe, it makes sense to combine them with inline gas analysers for optimal quality assurance. This involves monitoring the complete packaging process,” said WITT managing director Martin Bender. “The 100% inspection offers the best possible quality assurance, helps to reduce costs and is the perfect complement to the final spot checks prior to shipping.”