Horizontal FFS machine

Horizontal FFS machines are well suited for the packaging of individually packaged goods such as chocolate and cookies – not only in the food industry. SEW-EURODRIVE automation enables fast and simple automatic format change in this area. Manufacturers thus have different products and bag sizes perfectly under control with one packaging machine.

Horizontal FFS machine

Corresponding software modules for cyclical and continuously running machines

One important step in the horizontal packaging process is product separation. This ensures the separation of the products and maintenance of the necessary gaps in the product stream and therefore flawless packaging.

Our MOVI-C® automation system offers ready-to-use software modules for such always recurring and already nearly standardized functions in a typical horizontal FFS machine. This makes fast implementation of synchronizing as well as continuously running machines possible. And we can fully satisfy the requirements of a horizontal FFS machine.

Quote by Alexander Hack, Strategic Portfolio Manager Machine Automation at SEW-EURODRIVE

It doesn't get any faster than with MOVIKIT®. Thanks to our ready-to-use application-specific software modules, you do not have to wait on your machine automation any longer than on a new gearmotor. But even software developers can save a lot of time with our ready-to-use program template in the freely programmable CoDeSys environment.

Extensive drive and control functions are required for the automation of a typical horizontal FFS machine (HFFS machine). The portfolio for corresponding application-specific function blocks has a name: MOVIKIT®: The ready-to-use software modules are released with a simple parameterization. This allows the functions of individual software modules to be started up especially quickly and easily.

In addition, the software modules included in the MOVIKIT® AutomationFramework are also expandable as needed for individual functions in the machine sequence program and in the integrated drive controller. Because even software developers will get their money's worth with the IEC 61131-compliant CoDeSys environment. You can flexibly program your machines just as usual in a ready-to-use program template. You thereby gain maximum freedom while simultaneously saving a significant amount of time.

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Expert knowledge and tips

Find inspiration in topics such as "food and consumer trends", "networked production", or "savings and optimization potentials".

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Maximum freedom with MOVIKIT®

Print mark detection for the synchronization of the film transport, rotary knives or a cross-sealing traveling in parallel (also called a "flying saw") as well as the acquisition of the process data in real time with standardized interfaces for optimal production and quality control: these are just some of the diverse core functions in the automation technology of SEW-EURODRIVE.

Our modular and flexible function blocks enable quick adjustments and format change and thereby the highest effectiveness and availability for your machines. With MOVIKIT® you also significantly reduce the effort required for the development of your application software. That is because this comprehensive portfolio provides you with a multitude of software modules for the seal check, print mark control, synchronous product inputting, and OMAC-compliant line communication.

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Process flow diagram of a horizontal FFS machineT
  • Detecting products
  • Separating products
  • Synchronizing the conveyor belt
  • Unrolling film
  • Detecting the print mark
  • Longitudinal sealing
  • Transporting film
  • Cross-sealing and separating
  • Transporting away

Detecting products

On our Inverters from the MOVI-C®modular automation system and with the program algorithm in our SmartBelt software module, product detection is carried out in an especially flexible way. The number of synchronous belts can be flexibly adjusted and precisely controlled according to the product type, feed speed, and grouping requirement.

The widest variety of products can be checked and fed with precision positioning thanks to the prepared functions for product detection, the universal programming, and the easy adaptation.

Separating products

Our SmartBelt software module is the ideal solution for the product separation. Pre-grouped products can be precisely placed on the conveyor belt inlet and sequenced in a highly dynamic way with the ready-to-use software functions. This positions the products into a defined phasing on the synchronized conveyor belts.

After the asynchronous product stream has been synchronized to the machine, the products are input into the cycle phase-synchronous to the virtual master of the machine (master axis). On the basis of the precisely detected product stream the machine automatically adjusts to an optimal speed.

This is not only particularly material-friendly but also very efficient and consequently resource-saving in two ways.

Synchronizing the conveyor belt

The phasing determines the cycle in this process. That means that the virtual vertical shaft or the virtual master are the reference points for all other movements and actions. The pocket conveyor or the conveyor belt must be precisely synchronized to them.

Extensive cam functions with integrated synchronization and desynchronization functions, a format-specific generation of the curves on the target system, motion modulation for corrections and slip compensations as well as phase shifts for optimizations help with this.

All of these functions are available in our application framework (template) in the MOVIKIT® AutomationFramework software module. This enables the quick and flexible programming of the machines.

Unrolling film

Film is unrolled and continuously conveyed via the dancer control. With such an application with strongly varying inertia, our versatile MOVIKIT® Winder software module is perfect for use. The motors are thus precisely and harmoniously controllable. This also applies to motors with increased inertia such as our CM3C.. servomotors.

The material feed and web tension always remain stable, even with different roller diameters. This allows the machine to produce with maximum effectiveness, regardless of whether it is running at low or high speed.

Detecting the print mark

The parameterization of the MOVI-C® modular automation system offers print mark correction functions specifically developed by us. In connection with the precise interaction of our servo drives, the print mark detected by the film drive can thus be precisely processed.

In addition, the synchronized motion of the sealing bar is easily controllable. The perfect positioning of the printed image on the bag is ensured thanks to the high-precision control.

Longitudinal sealing

The correct temperature is crucial for the sealing quality. In addition, materials and machine speed also have a direct influence on the quite complex control.

Various analogue input modules are available in a large I/O portfolio for temperature detection. And the corresponding controller component can always be precisely selected from the function library contained in the MOVIKIT® AutomationFramework software module in order to control such processes with maximum precision.

Transporting film

The film drive is inconspicuous yet important for the overall result and appearance of the packaging. This is because the film is pulled and conveyed at multiple points. The varying slip on the drive components has a corresponding influence on the film tension and film orientation. This means that all drives must be precisely synchronized and adjustable to this varying slip.

In doing so, the entire transportation of the film and thereby the creation of the printed image must be carried out simultaneously phase-synchronous to the virtual master axis. With the aid of the ready-to-use software components of MOVIKIT® AutomationFramework and MOVIKIT® Visualization such complex relationships and varying recipes can be implemented on FFS machines in an easy and ideal way.

Cross-sealing and separating

The required high sealing quality of the bags can only be achieved with the right temperature. The film material and the speed of the FFS machine have a direct influence on the rather complex control arrangement.

The software components included in the MOVIKIT® AutomationFramework enable the high-precision compensation and controlling of such processes that have high disturbances. Whether only parameterized with MOVIKIT® or flexibly programmed with the extensive function library of the AutomationFramework, both ensure quick and easy automation for this as well.

Transporting away

Filled and sealed bags are transported away in an energy-efficient way via the connection of our MOVIGEAR® decentralized drive system. Defective products can be detected and sorted out accordingly here via additional scales and controls.

Writing and programming applications quickly and most of all easily

It is possible to save up to 80% of the time in the development and creation of the machine sequence program with our MOVI-C® automation platform and with the aid of the parameterizable MOVIKIT® software modules.

MOVI‑C® modular automation system

  • Modular
  • Fully integrable
  • Everything from a single source
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In this video, we will show a fully automated horizontal form fill and seal machine (HFFS) that was implemented with starter set 614 and numerous enhancements such as safety.
Horizontal Form Fill and Seal Machine | Machine Automation

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In this video, we will show a fully automated horizontal form fill and seal machine (HFFS) that was implemented with starter set 614 and numerous enhancements such as safety.


With our basic package, you can get your automated HFFS machine even faster.

Realized with StarterSET 616
Hugo Beck reference

Hugo Beck reference

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