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Pleasant Hill Grain
Vacuum Packaging Systems

Would you like to buy the very best... for less... and enjoy personal service too? At Pleasant Hill Grain we offer the finest kitchen tools, at great prices, and provide personal service both before and after your purchase. We appreciate your visit today and hope you enjoy your time at our shop. Please call or e-mail if you have questions or if we can assist you in any way.  We like to help and we'd love to hear from you!

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Commercial or Home use? Select from...

Selecting the right vacuum packaging system...
For sealing food and other products.

Food sealing systems fall into three general types: Commercial-duty internal-type "chamber" vacuum sealers (type #1), where your product is placed entirely within the machine for sealing, "external vac" sealers built for commercial use (type #2), and "external vac" sealers built for home use (type #3).

With chamber-type commercial vacuum packaging systems, the product is placed entirely in a chamber like the one in the drawing at left, below. The lid is closed, and a high speed commercial vacuum pump extracts the air from the entire chamber. When the air has been extracted, a commercial-grade heat strip (indicated in red, below) automatically seals the bag, then air is allowed back into the chamber surrounding the vacuum sealed bag, and — with fully automatic machines —
the lid reopens and lifts on its own. The vacuum sealed product is removed, and the process is repeated to seal the next bag. Commercial machines of this type use economical multi-ply bags that are smooth on both the inside and the outside (not embossed.) Some chamber type machines also offer a gas-flush option, which automatically flushes the vacuum chamber with inert gas (most commonly nitrogen) after evacuation of air, and before sealing. This results in a bag that contains no oxygen, but is not sucked down tightly. Items as fragile as potato chips can be vacuum sealed without damage this way.

Chamber Vacuum Sealer
(Commercial Duty)
External-Vacuum Sealer
(Commercial Duty with "Snorkel")
External-Vacuum Sealer
(Home Consumer Duty)
Uses smooth bags
Uses smooth bags
Uses embossed bags (having ridges)
Drawings above represent the three basic types of vacuum sealing systems, shown from a side perspective. The heat sealing bar is shown in red. Dotted lines in the left and right-hand images represent the vacuum cavity within those machines. The yellow block represents the material to be vacuum sealed in pouch.
Digitally watermarked images © Pleasant Hill Grain

With external-vacuum machines, the product remains outside the machine. Air is extracted by means of a retractable "snorkel" probe (illustrated in green in the image above) in commercial external vac's. Home-duty external vacs extract air using a small vacuum cavity which the open end of the pouch is laid into; this design requires home-duty external vacuums to use pouches made with embossed plastic, so the air can be evacuated through the ridges embossed into one side of the pouch material after the machine's lid is closed over the bag's end.

Purchasing a quality home-duty food sealer is a smart move for the home gourmet, gardener or sportsman who will be doing a relatively small volume of packaging. Likewise, a commercial vacuum packaging system is a good investment for anyone with a restaurant or commercial food operation, who wants to dramatically extend fresh storage life, provide customers with a higher quality and more appealing product, reduce waste, and easily enable portion control.

Could a commercial machine be best for you?
Between the obvious commercial operator and the typical home user, is another type of food vac user: The "higher volume but noncommercial" user. Some people who are shopping for a home-duty machine would be way ahead to buy a small commercial vacuum, rather than a machine made strictly for home use. Initial investment will be higher for the commercial machine, but there are several major benefits to commercial machines, including much lower operating costs. Commercial vacuums offer:

  • Higher production rates: Seal more bags in less time
  • Long machine life span even under heavy volume use
  • Easier and lower-cost serviceability
  • Wider selection of pouch sizes and types
  • Lower plastic cost

$$$ Lower plastic cost is the primary cost issue
in moderate to higher volume applications... even more important than machine cost. Because plastic pouches for commercial sealers (either chamber type or commercial external type with snorkel probe) don't require special features like surface ridges, they cost less. For the typical home user, using the ridged (aka "embossed") plastic with a low cost home-duty machine makes perfect sense because a much lower volume of plastic will be used during the life of the machine. But for medium or higher volume home users, the lower cost of the smooth plastic used by commercial external or chamber vacuum sealers can save you a lot of money in the long run, and the breakeven point might arrive sooner than you'd think. If you'll be using medium size bags, a commercial machine would cost no more to purchase and operate than a home-duty machine by the time you've sealed approximately 1000 to 1500 bags. At that point the commercial machine has paid for itself in plastic savings, and it then continues to generate major savings for you through continued use of the very economical commercial bags. Add to this the commercial vacuum's convenient operation, longer life span and higher production rate, and it's clear that the advantages of a commercial chamber vac shouldn't be overlooked. If you'll be doing small quantities, then by all means, one of our quality home-use machines may be the ideal, economical solution for you. But if you'll be sealing 80 or more packages monthly, don't buy a "consumer style" machine without first doing the math on total operating costs (machine and plastic cost, and operating time) over a two year period.

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Commercial or Home use? Select from...

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Pleasant Hill Grain®
1-800-321-1073 toll-free for orders & info
From outside the U.S. call 1-402-725-3835
210 South 1st Street, PO Box 7, Hampton, Nebraska 68843-0007
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*All prices $USD. Free-ship offers are for US 48 states (exceptions noted in product info) & by FedEx Ground principally. Inquire for other shipping. No sales tax collected except in Nebraska and Kentucky.
Website updated Sept. 22, 2014 | All Contents Copyright Pleasant Hill Grain® All Rights Reserved.
Cat: Vacuum Packaging
| File: Vacuum Packaging Machine System