Posts Tagged ‘Chamber Vacuum Sealers’

TC-350FLR Fish Chamber Vacuum Sealer Review

Monday, July 1st, 2013

TC-350FLR Fish Vacuum Chamber SealerOne of the best ways to package a fish is to use a vacuum sealer. One of the most effective ways to package fish on a full scale commercial level is to use a chamber vacuum sealer (found here). These large industrial machines can be used all day to package fish for storage, transportation, preservation and much more. They can be used to package fish cutlets, supremes, steaks, fletches and much more. If you are trying to vacuum seal full size fillets or the entire fish, you may have run into a few space issues.

While most chamber vacuum sealers are excellent for packaging meat, fruits, vegetables and more, many people who are packaging fish need length, not necessarily width. Most chamber sealers, however, feature square-shaped sealing basins that just don’t work with larger fillets or trying to vacuum seal the entire fish. This is where the TC-350FLR (found here) really finds its place.

The TC-350FLR features a rare design. It is far longer than it is wide, designed to package fish on a commercial level. This sealer measures in at almost 40” wide by 15” wide. The front sealing bar itself is just shy of 33” long. This long chamber is perfect for packaging fish or other long food items. It also features two 14.1” sealing bars on the left and right side of the machine.  There are many reasons why this sealer is such an excellent option for fish packaging purposes.

This fish vacuum sealer features a stainless steel design. Anyone familiar with the chamber vacuum sealing industry knows that BUSCH vacuum pumps are some of the best in the business. This sealer features a durable BUSCH vacuum pump. This allows the sealer to be used on a continuous basis without suffering the wear and issues found in vacuum sealers that utilize cheaper components.

The sealer itself contains an MPC 20 microprocessor that helps assist with the sealing process, ensuring a solid and professional seal every time. The LCD control panel is extremely easy to navigate and the electrical box is IP 65 rated against water. The control panel also features the ability to store up to 20 programs and includes an oil indicator light for maintenance purposes.

The cycling time, which includes sealing and removal of air, takes about 25-35 seconds, depending on the size of the object being packaged. This means you can easily package several hundred items a day without a problem. It is designed to be used with vacuum sealing bags up to 6 mil thick and seals these bags shut using a 6mm sealing wire. Bladder activated sealing and helps assist with the sealing quality and vacuum removal.

Overall, this is the perfect machine for fish vacuum sealing and packaging. You couldn’t ask for a better designed machine. It can be used for packaging small and large fish and is the perfect addition to any fish processing plant or even the die-hard fisher that wants the ability to pack and freeze his / her own catch.

If you still have questions about this vacuum sealer, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have decades of experience with chamber vacuum sealers and we would love to help you out. You can find our entire selection of external vacuum sealers here and chamber vacuum sealers here.

Soft Air “Pillow Pack” Option for Minipack Chamber Vacuum Sealers

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Minipack MVS 45X Chamber Vacuum SealerWe recently had a customer approach us who was interested in packaging his own pizzas for long term storage using a vacuum sealer. He appreciated the preservation nature of vacuum sealing, but didn’t want his pizzas to be totally crushed by having 99.9% of the air removed. He was in need of a solution to this problem. Luckily Minipack has had these types of inquiries before. They are able to equip their chamber vacuum sealers (found here) with a soft air option via an inert gas kit. Let me explain.

One of the reasons vacuum sealers are able to increase the lifespan of food is because the life giving oxygen air that feeds bacteria is removed. Oxygen makes up about 20% of the air that we breath. Minipack chamber sealers are capable of removing 99.9% of all air in the packaging. This also protects against freezer burn and other elements.

The inert gas kit allows for soft air packaging. Soft air packaging basically involves injecting nitrogen into the package after the oxygen has been removed. This method prevents the vacuum packaging from being drawn down tight around the product. This packaging method is commonly used for packaging potato chips and other delicate food products that would otherwise be destroyed. One reason this is referred to as a pillow pack is because of the pillow-like nature of these bags (such as potato chips).

Minipack chamber sealers can be outfitted with an inert gas flush kit. This is done in the factory, so be sure you order this feature up front when buying a machine for pillow pack purposes. The kit essentially consists of a gas flush nozzle that is set near where the sealing bar is located. This nozzle is inserted in the open end of the pouch where oxygen is removed and nitrogen is inserted.

Minipack chamber vacuum sealers can be built with a manual soft air option along with the gas flush kit. The soft air option helps prevent sharp objects from puncturing the pouch. It is adjustable to accommodate a variety of products and allows for softer bag placement around the product. As mentioned earlier in the article, this is especially nice for a “special look” for retail sales or for delicate product packaging.

There are a few things you will need for the inert gas kit that will not come with the Minipack vacuum sealer. This includes:

  • The Nitrogen Tank
  • The Regulator
  • Necessary Hosing
  • Proper Connections & Fittings

In order to get the nitrogen tank fitted to your vacuum sealer, you will probably want to contact a gas tank company or welding company in your local area. They should be able to help get your vacuum sealer properly set up. If you are unable to locate someone in your local area, we are certainly more than happy to help. Contact us at 1-800-658-8788 for help finding a company that can outfit you with a nitrogen tank and necessary fittings.

We recently helped a customer with their purchase of an MVS 45X (found here) that was outfitted with an inert gas kit and manual soft air option. The nitrogen tank, regulator, hosing and fittings ended up costing less than $300 with labor (including a 5 foot tank), so it really isn’t too bad for commercial packaging purposes. This was through a company called National Welders out of South Carolina.

We have a lot of experience with chamber sealers, including those made by Minipack, so please feel free to contact us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. We have experts here who can help and also have a full-time Service Department that can provide you with parts, setup, training and additional help.

You can find our entire selection of Minipack chamber vacuum sealers here. If you already own a similar setup, please feel free to post your experience and advice here as a comment. Thanks for reading!

Best Way to Vacuum Seal Liquids

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Minipack Chamber Vacuum SealersVacuum sealing liquids, or even sometimes powder, can be a tricky ordeal. Most external sealers can’t package liquids because they literally pull the air out of the bag. For this reason, a chamber vacuum sealer (found here) is the necessary machine to get the job done. The only problem with vacuum sealing liquids using a chamber sealer is that it is still difficult to get the bag to stay in place. Minipack has developed a very effective system to help get the job done.

Chamber sealers by design have a huge advantage over external sealers when it comes to packaging liquids and powders. Unlike external sealers, chamber sealers remove air from the entire chamber, rather than directly from the bag. As a result, the possibility of liquid actually getting sucked into the pump is extremely remote. This also allows the bag to stand up rather than lay on its side.

Trying to keep a bag of water, juice, soup, wine or other liquid upright during the vacuum sealing process is a challenge. The bag, by nature (and thanks to gravity), wants to fall back down on its side. As a result of this frustrating series of events, Minipack now manufactures a special kit for their chamber sealers that makes vacuum packing liquids extremely easy.

The kit is called the Angled Tray Kit. Rather than trying to balance the bag on end and against the flat side of the chamber, the kit uses a stainless steel angled tray that keeps the liquids upright at a slight angle. While this may seem simple, it works remarkably well.

Special volume plates have been developed to fit inside the chamber that are cut to fit next to the angled tray. These volume plates can be added or removed, depending on the size of the bag being packaged. These same volume plates help provide additional support for the bag being sealed.

These pictures help demonstrate just how the Minipack angled tray kit and volume plates work with vacuum packing a liquid:

Minipack Angled Tray Kits

If you still have additional questions about the angled tray kit, or if you need additional advice about vacuum sealing liquids, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788.  These kits can be purchased with new machines or for existing machines. You can find our entire selection of vacuum sealers here.

All You Need To Know About External & Chamber Vacuum Sealer Bags

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Vacuum Sealers & BagsIf you have a vacuum sealer, you are probably well aware of the fact that you need vacuum sealer bags (found here) to complete the process. These bags provide a barrier and make it possible to provide an oxygen-free environment for food and other packaged goods. One thing you may not know is that you need to use different bags for different machines. The two most common vacuum sealers used today use external and chamber designs. So which bags do you need for which machines?

Before I go into too many details regarding vacuum sealer bags, I would like to answer a few quick questions. One question I frequently get is, “Can I use chamber vacuum sealer bags with my external vacuum sealer?” The quick answer is no. Chamber vacuum sealer bags and external bags cannot be interchangeably used. External sealers cannot seal using the non-embossed bags and external bags are not designed to handle the low atmosphere process used in a chamber sealer.

Vacuum sealer bags come in different mil thicknesses (1 mil = 0.01″) and are designed to handle different temperature ratings. Not all vacuum sealer bags have a boilable barrier and not all can be used for Sous Vide cooking. Only chamber bags, designed for temperatures up to 212 Fahrenheit (100 Celsius) can be used for Sous Vide. You can read more about Sous Vide cooking here.

I would like to first cover the two most common types of vacuum sealer bags used today. One is an external vacuum sealer bag and the other is a chamber sealer bag.

3 Mil Cook-In Chamber Vacuum Bags (found here) – These bags are the most common used with chamber sealers. They are BPA free (safe for food) and are suitable for use up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 Celsius). The have an oxygen transmission rating (OTR) of 4.1 and are made using a 3-mil thick (75 microns) nylon and polyethylene coextrusion layer. They are available (upon request) with a tear notch, hang hole or zipper. These bags are extremely affordable and come in a wide variety of sizes.

Here are some detailed specifications:

3 Mil Chamber Vacuum Sealer Bags

3.5 Mil Embossed External Vacuum Bags (found here) – These bags are made using a 3.5 mil thick layer of polyamide and polyethylene. The layer features an embossed pattern, designed to help assist with the external vacuum sealing process. While these are designed to work with Minpack Cyclone machines, they work great with most external and non-chamber vacuum sealers.

Here are some detailed specifications:

3.5 Mil External Embossed Vacuum Sealer Bags

While those are our two most popular vacuum sealer bags, we also offer two other chamber sealer bags that you may wan to consider using. Here are some details on those other two bags:

3 Mil Sous Vide Chamber Vacuum Bags with Boilable Barrier (found here) – These bags are BPA free and are microwaveable and boilable and are made with a 3-mil thick (0.8 mil nylon / 2.4 mil linear low density polyethylene) layer. They can be used for Sous Vide and have a maximum temperature rating of 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 Celsius). These bags have an oxygen transmission rating (OTR) of 3.3 and are available upon request with a tear notch, hang hole or zipper.

Here are some detailed specifications:

3 Mil Sous Vide Chamber Vacuum Sealer Bags w/ Boilable Barrier

4 Mil Sous Vide Chamber Vacuum Bags (found here) – These bags use a 4-mil thick layer of Nylon and Poly Coex and feature a boilable barrier that can be used for Sous Vide cooking. Not only are these bags great for boiling, but they can also be used in extreme cold as well (-2 degrees up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. These bags are BPA free and food safe. Options include a tear notch, hang hole, zipper or gusseted.

Here are some detailed specifications:

4 Mil Sous Vide Boilable Vacuum Sealer Bags

With all these vacuum sealer bag options, we are sure to have something you can use. We try to keep our prices as competitive as possible and offer bulk-pricing discounts. These are some of the highest-quality chamber and external vacuum bags available. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with questions.

Minipack Inert Gas Flush Kit for Vacuum Sealers

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Minipack Chamber Vacuum SealersIf you need to provide maximum shelf life for vacuum-sealed food, without removing all of the air, you need to use what’s known as an inert gas kit. Minipack, one of the leading manufactures of commercial and industrial vacuum food sealers (found here), offers inert gas flush kits for all their chamber machines. This article will cover what is involved in an inert gas kit and why you may want one for yourself.

Vacuum sealers, out of the box, can be used to remove air from a bag for preservation purposes. Minipack vacuum sealers can remove 99.9% of the air in a bag. For food preservation purposes, this gets the job done. The only problem is that not everyone wants to remove all of the air. Many fruits, vegetables, chips, bread products and other food will be damaged and crushed if all the air is removed. By using an inert gas flush kit, air can still be left in the bag and thus the food itself is not damaged.

Why swap out the air? One of the most damaging gasses you can have in packaged food is oxygen. This is because most food-damaging life forms and bacteria use oxygen. In practice, the removal of that oxygen will eliminate the very gas needed to sustain life. This is done by re-balancing the gasses.

Re-balancing of gasses is most economically done via an inert gas kit. The inert gas kit is used to flush out oxygen (O2). Oxygen makes up about 20.9% of the air we breath. The gas kit creates a modified atmosphere, which is process of moving the 20.9% oxygen content down to 0%. By removing the oxygen, and replacing it with another gas, food shelf life can be dramatically extended.

While the oxygen is removed, it has to be replaced by another gas. One of the most popular inert gasses used is nitrogen (N2). Another inert gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), which helps cut down on bacterial growth while lowering the PH. Carbon monoxide has even been used as an inert gas as it helps red meet retain a bright red color. These gasses are all considered to be safe for use with food. The gas used will ultimately depend on the product being packaged.

As mentioned earlier, Minipack offers an inert gas flush kit for all their machines. That kit must be factory installed, so you will want to request it when purchasing a new machine. The price of the kit varies from one machine to another.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for more information on an inert gas flush kit for your Minipack chamber vacuum sealer. You can find our entire selection of Minipack vacuum sealers here. You are more than welcome to call us with your questions or you can simply post your question here as a comment.

Troubleshooting: MVS Vacuum Sealer Bar Sealing Issues

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Minipack MVS Vacuum SealersA poorly functioning vacuum food sealer can be an extremely frustrating experience. This can lead to lost time, lost production and unprofessional results. What can really be frustrating is when the sealing problem doesn’t always manifest itself or it is inconsistent. Thanks to excellent technical support from Minipack, we have come up with a solution for one of the most commonly seen vacuum sealing problems.

While Minipack vacuum sealers are some of the most reliable on the market, as with any mechanical device, some problems can arise. If the sealing bar on your MVS vacuum sealer is experiencing issues, you may be having problems with the bellows. The bellows are typically located underneath the sealing bin on a chamber vacuum sealer.

Poorly functioning bellows typically manifest themselves when the sealing bar begins to have issues. Many of these issues include:

  • Loss of continuity
  • Loss of bag vacuum
  • Inconsistent sloppy seal
  • Raises unevenly
  • Lacks contact with Red Lid Striker

Why are the bellows going bad? This is usually a result of moisture or liquid working its way into the bellows. While Minipack vacuum food sealers can be used with liquid, you are less likely to have issues if you use a liquid tray. Using a flat bin, without any upright bag support, can lead to spills. Contact us at 1-800-658-8788 for information on getting a liquid tray for your Minipack MVS vacuum sealer.

Minipack MVS Vacuum Sealer Bellows

While you can replace the bellows, Minipack recently released a rebuild kit that will save you a lot of money. The rebuild process is simple enough that most people can handle it on their own without the need of a Service Technician or a Service Department. We will be posting rebuilt kit instructions on our blog soon.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Minipack MVS31X and MVS35X Chamber Vacuum Sealer Troubleshooting Tips and Calibration

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Minipack MVS31X Chamber Vacuum SealerIf you own a Minipack vacuum sealer, you’re probably well aware of the excellent quality and renowned Italian design. Simply put, our Minipack products (including shrink wrap machines) have an excellent track record with our customers. We have found that most Minipack issues have simple solutions. One small issue that has come up is that the MVS31X and MVS35X won’t pull a full vacuum of 99.9%. Here are a few tips that may help you.

Minipack vacuum sealers can remove 99.9% of the air in a bag. This produces a remarkably tight seal that is excellent for food and product preservation. Few vacuum sealers are able to achieve this high a mark for air removal. Here is a tip that will help over 90% of you who are experiencing issues achieving the much-desired 99.9% mark.

To begin with, re-calibrating your MVS31X and MVS35X will solve the majority your issues. Here are some step-by-step instructions that should help:

MINIPAC MVS31X / MVS35X CALIBRATION INSTRUCTIONS

Minpack Calibration Vacuum Sealer Digital LED DisplayWhen you first receive your Minipack chamber vacuum sealer, it is recommended that you calibrate it. Differences in elevation and atmospheric pressure vary from one place to the next. Calibration will ensure optimal machine operation.

The calibration process will take about 3 minutes of your time. Calibration should be done the first time you operate the machine and after every oil change.

STEP 1 – Connect your chamber vacuum sealer to a power source, leaving the power switch in the OFF position.

STEP 2 – Simultaneously press the down (\/) and up (/\) buttons while switching the power “ON.” The down and up buttons are located under the digital LED display. If done correctly, the LED display will show CAL (calibration). Once you see CAL, release both arrow keys.

STEP 3
– Close the lid to the chamber sealer. The pump will automatically start running. The digital LED display will eventually show up to 3 numbers. These are your calibration numbers. Once these 3 numbers have stopped increasing for about 5 seconds, write down (or otherwise notate) the number on the display and press the (S) button located above the LED display. This will cause the pump to stop and the LED display will return to the last program being used.

STEP 4 – Turn off the power switch and repeat STEP 2.

STEP 5
– You will now close the lid, starting the pump. The LED display will begin displaying numbers that will eventually increase up to 3 total numbers. Once the 3 numbers displayed reach 1-2 numbers below the calibration number you wrote down in STEP 3, press the (S) key. This will stop the pump and again will return the LED display to the last program number being used.

Your Minipack chamber vacuum sealer should now be calibrated to its environment and should now be ready to use.

Is re-calibration not solving your issue? Please contact our Service Department. They are kind, professional and more than happy to help. Our Service Department is fully trained in repairing and servicing Minpack products. You can reach them by filling out this form.

You can find our entire selection of Minpack vacuum sealers here and Minipack shrink wrap machines here.

Top 5 Best Vacuum Food Sealers 2011

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Minipack Chamber Vacuum Food SealersIf you package food on a regular basis, cook food via sous vide, freeze food or sell food in a store, you probably need a solid vacuum food sealer. Finding the best vacuum sealer isn’t always easy. Having used many machines myself, I can vouch for the fact that quality varies as much with vacuum sealers as it does with cars. I have compiled a list of the best vacuum food sealers available for 2011.

To begin with, my list focuses primarily on chamber vacuum food sealers, which are ideal for commercial, industrial and long-lasting vacuum food packaging. This list is based on customer feedback, track records and overall reliability.

The vacuum food sealers listed bellow are commonly used to package fish, poultry, beef, pork, fruits and vegetables. Some of them can even package an entire chicken. Because these are chamber style sealers, they can also be used to package powders and liquids.

Top 5 Best Vacuum Food Sealers 2011

  1. Minipack MVS 31 X Chamber-Style Sealer
  2. Minipack MVS 45 X Food Packaging Sealer
  3. Minipack MVS 35 X Vacuum Food Sealer
  4. Minipack MVS 20 Chamber Food Sealer
  5. Minipack MVS 26 X Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Let me point out a few things you should keep an eye on when shopping for a vacuum food sealer:

Where is your vacuum sealer made? Our Minipack line, considered to be one of the most reliable brands around, is made in Italy.

Is the metal used in construction heavy gauge? Many “cheap” vacuum food sealers use flimsy sheet metal in construction that can lead to easy denting and even dangerous metal edge cuts. Minipack vacuum food sealers use tough heavy gauge stainless steel.

Is the basin seamless? When packaging food, you don’t want food getting trapped in creases, cracks and seams. This isn’t only gross, it’s also unhealthy. Our Minipack vacuum food sealers utilize a seamless design.

Hopefully these tips and suggestions help you with your vacuum food sealer shopping. Be aware that many of the models listed are on equal ground when it comes to quality, with the only difference being the size of the chamber. As with any domed chamber vacuum sealer, you often end up with an extra 2-4″ in height due to the curvature of the dome.

Please feel free to contact one of our food packaging specialists at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here and chamber vacuum sealing bags here. Our line of vacuum sealers includes industrial chamber sealers designed for high-volume food packaging.

What Size Vacuum Sealer Bag Should You Use?

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Chamber Vacuum Food SealersIf you’re vacuum sealing meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables and other products, you’re probably going to want to use the right size bag. If the bag is too small, you’re out of luck, and if it’s too big, your loosing money by purchasing oversize bags. Thanks to our friends over at Minipack, they have provided us with a guide that should help you determine the perfect size vacuum sealer bags.

You’re going to need a few tools to help determine the right size vacuum sealer bag. First off, you’ll need the product you’re packing in front of you. Second, you will need a measuring tape or ruler. Third, you will need either a calculator or a sheet of paper to write on.

This guide will help you determine the right size bags for standard-size materials and for round materials (chubs). This guide is in millimeters and in inches.

Vacuum Sealer Bag Sizes

Vacuum Bag Measurement Guide

Hopefully this helps you track down the right size vacuum sealer bags. At ABC office we offer vacuum sealer bags for external clamp vacuum sealers and for chamber vacuum sealers. You can find our external clamp vacuum sealer bags here and our chamber vacuum sealer bags here. You can find our vacuum sealers here.

Good luck and happy vacuum sealing! Feel free to call one of our vacuum sealing experts at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Should You Use an External or Chamber Vacuum Sealer?

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Vacuum Food Sealing MachinesVacuum sealers are excellent machines for packaging, selling and preserving food. They can also be used to package retail merchandise, clothing, auto parts and much more. There are two primary types of vacuum food sealers. The first type is known as an external sealer (sometimes called a clamp or pouch vacuum sealers) and the other is known as a chamber vacuum sealer. So which style should you use?

External and chamber vacuum sealers both get the job done, albeit in slightly different ways. This is a brief breakdown on how the different systems work:

External Pouch / Clamp Vacuum Food SealerExternal “Clamp / Pouch” Vacuum Sealers – These types of vacuum sealers tout the title “external” because the entire vacuum sealing process is conducted outside the machine. Products are placed in a bag, which is then placed into the external sealer. The sealer is then clamped down onto the bag, after which it begins to remove the air. Once air has been removed, the bag is sealed.

Chamber Vacuum Food SealerChamber Vacuum Sealers – These types of sealers can be used with most food and most retail merchandise. Once a product has been placed in a bag, the entire bag is placed in the chamber, ensuring the opening of the bag is placed on the sealing bar. The hood of the sealer is brought down, after which air is removed from the chamber. Once air has been removed, the bag is sealed and atmosphere is brought back to normal.

Now that you have a general understanding as to the different technologies used, why would you want to use one over the other?

External “Clamp / Pouch” Vacuum Sealers – External sealers are generally used for light to medium-volume packaging purposes and are generally less expensive than chamber sealers. These types of vacuum sealer are generally used for home and medium-volume grocery-store use, although the MiniPack Cyclone line of external sealers are used for commercial packaging. These sealers are typically slower than chamber sealers.

Chamber Vacuum Food SealerChamber Vacuum Sealers – Chamber vacuum sealers are generally used for medium to high-volume packaging, although they can be used for light volume if needed. Chamber sealers are very easy to use and are typically faster than external sealers. They can be used to package fruits, vegetables, meats, liquids, powders and non-edible retail products.

Chamber sealers are typically more efficient than external sealers, with the ability to remove 99.9% of the air from a bag. Chamber sealers often offer the option of being used with inert gas / air kits as well (not an option with external sealers). Inert gas kits are great for packaging delicate food like potato chips.

So basically it all boils down to application. External sealers are great for home use and for light to medium use where chamber sealers are great for commercial higher-volume use.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

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