Frequently asked questions
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- 1. Henkelman - Does Henkelman manufacture its own machines?
Yes. The Henkelman quality is due to a purely "Made in Holland" production with local labour and parts from Northern Europe. All our machines are CE certified
- 2. Henkelman - Does Henkelman have subsidiaries?
No. Henkelman is based only in the Netherlands at ’s-Hertogenbosch and operates via a large network of distributors and agents in 70 countries.
- 3. Henkelman - Can we be part of the network of Henkelman distributors?
Yes. Our sales department is always looking out for new cooperation opportunities anywhere in the world. Please feel free to contact us.
- 4. Henkelman - Can we receive any Henkelman documentation?
Yes. If you would like to receive a brochure or a user manual on the Henkelman machines, please download it on the Website or get in touch with our sales department.
- 5. Machines - Are a vacuum chamber machine and a tray sealer the same thing?
Yes and No. These 2 types of machines use the same technology to extract vacuum and reinject gas if required. However, the seal/cutting, the packaging used and the end result are different. The advantages of the vacuum chamber machine are: low investment, packing of any product size, sous-vide cooking, large storage of raw materials, etc.
- 6. Machines - Where can I find prices of the different models?
You can ask for machine prices at your current supplier. If you do not have a supplier for equipment please fill our the contactform and we will find you a supplier near you.
- 7. Machines - How many packages a minute can be made with a vacuum pack machine?
Most Henkelman chamber machines offer a rate of 2 cycles a minute. This depends on the product (dry or liquid, hot or cold), on the ratio of the volume of the chamber to the volume of the product, the vacuum level to be achieved, the reinjection or not of gas, the seal time sufficient for the material of the bag, the capacity of the vacuum pump. It is possible to carry out several packaging processes per cycle with a longer seal bar, or a configuration with several seal bars or even with double chamber machines (the second chamber is loaded while the cycle is done in the first, then vice-versa)
- 8. Machines - Does a shrink tunnel also extract vacuum?
No. A shrink tunnel is used in addition to a vacuum chamber machine to make skin effect packaging, i.e. the vacuum packaging of the bag will be completely shrunk around the product so as to get rid of the outlines of the packaging made beforehand in the vacuum machine.
- 9. Machines - Can 2 single chamber machines have the same rate as one double chamber machine?
Yes, if for the same product the ratio of the chamber volume (or the working area) to the capacity of the pump is equivalent.
- 10. Technology - Is there always a gas flushing during the vacuum cycle?
No. The gas flushing, if required, is done after the vacuum extraction and not during it. Vacuum packing is not systematically under modified protective atmosphere or M.A.P.
- 11. Technology - What is M.A.P. packaging and what is it for?
A modified protective atmosphere is comprised of the same gases as those of ambient air: nitrogen N2, carbon dioxide CO2 and oxygen O2. Depending on the recommended mixes, these gases contribute to a balance between the internal pressure of the packaging and the external pressure (in order to not distort or destroy fragile or porous products). Shelf life is also longer and the proliferation of bacteria/mould is slower. The O2 gas is also used for its property of keeping the red or reddish colour of meats.
- 12. Technology: What mixes of gases are recommended by type of product?
A gas suppliers can best inform you on which mix is advisable for your product.
- 13. Technology - What type of controls are there?
Henkelman offers 3 types of printed control boards which can be fitted in our machines: one vacuum control in time (seconds), one vacuum control in vacuum percentage achieved (up to 99.8% vacuum) and one liquid control, to stop harmful boiling of liquid or juicy products.
- 14. Technology - Are there different seal options available?
Yes, we have different systems adapted to your specific needs. In addition to the possibility of having a double seal, we offer a cut-off seal, 1-2 cut-off, 8mm wide seal or Bi-active seal. In addition, it is possible to control the seal time (seconds) for the most specific bags/materials.
- 15. Technology - Is it possible to control the ventilation of the chamber at the end of the cycle to avoid piercing the bag??
Yes. The Soft-Air option developed by Henkelman is a function which enables you to control in time (seconds) the ventilation of the chamber. Hence, packed products which are sharp, with bones or piercing metals also benefit from irreproachable controlled ventilation.
- 16. Technology - Is it possible for the large double chamber models to lift the lid automatically?
Yes. Henkelman has developed a system called Easy-Swing which enables you, simply by pressing a button, to lift the lid automatically. Simply use one finger to swing the lid to the other side. Our Titaan series has a fully automatic lid.
- 17. Technology - Is it possible to stop the boiling of juicy or liquid products?
Yes, Henkelman offers a liquid control which will detect when the liquid or juicy products will start boiling. The boiling is due to the low pressure in the chamber. After the control detects the boiling, it will automatically switch to the next phase of the cycle. Effectively, this function optimises the vacuum time and protects your products against evaporation and the loss of weight.
- 18. Technology - Is it possible to pack my products under vacuum and ESD-safe pack?
Yes, Henkelman offers several machines in ESD version with special materials protecting your products and you from electrostatic discharges.
- 19. Technology - Is it possible to reduce the cycle time and/or the gas consumption?
Yes. The insert plates for reducing the volume of the chambers are available as standard with all machines. These enable you to fill the chamber so as to have less air to suck out and therefore reduce the cycle time and the gas consumption if required since there will be less to inject. What's more these make it easier to position the product on the seal bar and make the seal optimum. Similar additional plates to be fitted in the lid are available for the Polar series as an option.
- 20. Technology - Is there a kit of spare parts ready to order with each machine?
Yes, Henkelman has a stock of service kits adapted to all machines which is recommended for purchasing a machine.
- 21. Applications - Can any type of product be packed with the Henkelman vacuum packers?
To our knowledge, numerous types of food and industrial products can be vacuum packed with our machines. If in doubt, please feel free to contact us or your supplier.
- 22. Applications - Why vacuum pack?
Vacuum packages are done to protect the products. For food products, vacuum packing helps to extend the shelf life by 2 to 6 times longer than in standard cold chamber storage conditions. For industrial products, vacuum packaging enables the products to be protected during storage and transportation but also saves on the space taken up and avoids fraud. In catering, vacuum packaging enables you to perform sous-vide cooking.
- 23. Applications - Is there an official list of shelf-lives for all products?
No, this because the shelf-life depends on the quality and freshness of the products, the bacteriological conditions during production and storage and transportation methods. It is therefore difficult to determine an official value - the values given for indication are rather empirical. It is then essential to contact the analysis laboratories concerned which will examine your products.
- 24. Applications - Does a food product that is vacuum packed, always has to be stored cold?
Yes. If bacteria not requiring oxygen are initially present in the product, after vacuum packing, these bacteria continue to develop more in an ambient atmosphere than in a refrigerated atmosphere.
- 25. Applications - Why is it that when meat is vacuum packaged it becomes a dull brown/grey and loses its red/reddish colour?
Because the vacuum packaging removes all traces of oxygen, and because meats owe their red or reddish colour to the oxygenation of the red oxymyoglobin pigment, the meat effectively loses its colour. It becomes red again about 20 minutes after the package is opened. For products intended for retail sale, their natural red colour can be kept thanks to a protective atmosphere with high oxygen content.
- 26. Applications - Is it possible to vacuum pack liquid or marinated products?
Yes. Any liquid can be vacuum packed in a chamber machine. You are strongly recommended to do this packaging at the lowest temperature possible so as to obtain the best final vacuum level and with the use of a lquid Control sensor. Henkelman also offers special inclined insert plates, for easy positioning of your product.
- 27. Applications - Is it possible to pack warm products?
Yes, however this is really not recommended. When packaging warm products, an evaporation of the humidity of the product is created and can cause condensation in the machine which obviously damages the pump. It is therefore recommended not to pack products with a temperature higher than 30 degrees C or then not to try to achieve a high vacuum level.
- 28. Applications - Is it possible to vacuum pack CDs, DVDs, documents, files, money?
Yes. Vacuum packing in no way damages this type of product. The hermetically sealed package guarantees the integrity of the content and secures confidentiality.
- 29. Packaging - Can any type of bag/material be used to vacuum pack?
To our knowledge, numerous types of bags and materials can be vacuum packed with our machines. Of course it is important to use vacuum bags and not regular plastics. Please feel free to contact us or your supplier for testing of your material.
- 30. Packaging - How do I calculate the necessary bag dimensions for the packaging of my products?
The product's dimensions determine the size of the bag. - The width of the bag is calculated as follows: bag width = (Product height + product width) + 10%. - The bag's length is calculated as follows: Bag length = (Product length + 5 to 10 cm). Once the width of the bag is determined, the seal bar length must always be more than 1cm approximately.
- 31. Packaging - Is it possible to seal bags vertically?
Yes, Henkelman offers the Toucan range for any type of vertical or square packaging. The bags are inserted on a plate or into a mould and are sealed vertically.
- 32. Packaging - Is it possible to vacuum pack jars?
Yes. A jar containing a preparation to be vacuum packaged will close itself during the cycle after the vacuum packing by pressure difference. Hence preparations in jars can be stored for longer.
- 33. Packaging - Is it possible to vacuum pack gastro containers?
Yes. Henkelman offers for these different models, an adaptable connection on gastro containers which are vacuum packed in order to draw out the air by operating outside the machine. However, Henkelman does not manufacture this type of gastro containers.
- 34. Service - Where can I find all the information about cleaning my machine?
In the user manual delivered with the machine and it is downloadable from our website.
- 35. Service - What daily cleaning operations should I do?
After use, clean the chamber and the lid with a damp cloth.
- 36. Service - What weekly cleaning operations should I do?
Run the conditioning programme for the pump at least once a week. Check the seal bar for potential damage. Replace the teflon strip / the seal wire if the seal quality is no longer good or if the teflon strip / the seal wire are no longer taught on the bar. Check the lid gasket and replace it if it is damaged or loose.
- 37. Service - What kind of service should I do per 6 months?
Change the oil at least every six months. Check the condition of the lid if it is transparent and the gas springs.
- 38. Service - What annual cleaning operations can I do?
Check the oil filter or exhaust filter for its saturation. If saturated, replace the filter. Contact your supplier for professional cleaning to check the pump and the cylinders/membranes/seal air chambers.
- 39. Service - What is the conditioning programme?
The conditioning programme has to be run every week. The conditioning programme cleans the pump, enables the oil to absorb humidity and potential grime and filters them. The programme is activated by pressing a button on the control panel and by closing the lid. It lasts 15 minutes. The programme should also be run upon initial use, after the machine has not been used for some time and before changing the oil. This programme reduces the potential risks of rust marks and of pump blockage.
- 40. Service - Can I power clean or use detergents for cleaning the machine?
No and no. Power cleaning is not authorised for cleaning the machine. Power cleaning can cause considerable damage to the electronic parts and other components of the machine. Also agressive detergents cannot be used because they can cause considerable damage to the lid. For more information please contact your supplier or our technical department.
- 41. Service - Can I move my machine with oil in the pump?
Yes. However, the machine must be transported or moved in an upright position. Overturning the machine IS NOT authorised as this may damage the pump
- 42. Service - How do I add oil to the pump?
The oil viewer helps you check the level and quality of the oil. If the oil level is too low, add oil. The filler cap can be unscrewed with an appropriate open end wrench. Ensure that the right amount of oil is inserted and fill it up slowly to the limit authorised by the oil level indication label.
- 43. Service - How do I drain oil from the pump?
Oil has to be changed every 6 months. The oil viewer helps you check the level and quality of the oil. If the oil is dirty or milky white, change the oil. Before draining the oil, let the conditioning programme run a full cycle. Remove the draining cap and put a container underneath. If need be, slightly tilt the machine to drain all oil and residue. Ensure that the right amount of oil is inserted and fill it up slowly to the limit authorised by the oil level indication label.
- 44. Service - What oil can I put in the pump?
It is important to use the right type of oil for the pump. The wrong type can damage the pump. The ambient temperature around the machine is also important for the type of oil. The types of oil are listed in the user manual delivered with the machine and downloadable from our website. Examples of supplier brands for the standard oil types are Shell Vitrea, Aral Motanol GM, BP Energol CS, or Texaco Regal R+ O with a corresponding viscosity index.
- 45. Service - How do I clean the seal bar?
The main cleaning operations are the daily cleaning of the seal bar and silicon holder with a damp cloth, and a weekly check of the bars with replacement of the seal wire, or the teflon strip and the silicon rubber of the silicon holder if the seal quality is not good enough.
- 46. Service - How do I replace the teflon strip of the seal bar?
Cut a piece of teflon strip the length of the seal bar plus about 5 cm. Stick a new teflon strip right on the seal wires. When sticking the teflon on the bar, ensure it is smooth and has no creases.
- 47. Service - How do I replace the silicon rubber of the silicon holder?
The silicon rubber has to be replaced every 6 months. Remove the old silicon rubber from its support. Cut a new silicon rubber the same size as the old one. It is very important that the size is the same - a smaller or bigger size can cause problems when seal. Place the new silicon rubber in its support. Ensure that the surface of the silicon rubber is even and has no tension.
- 48. Service - How do I replace the lid gasket?
The lid gasket has to be replaced every 6 months. This is essential for obtaining an optimum vacuum. The lid gasket is subjected to wear and tear due to big pressure differences. The length of the new lid gasket is determined in accordance with the old lid gasket. If the lid gasket is too short or too long this may cause problems closing the lid or cause leaks. The lid gasket has to be placed in the lid properly and without tension. The ends have to be cut and must be butt-jointed to avoid any leaks.
- 49. Service - Is there a kit of spare parts ready to order with each machine?
Yes. Henkelman has a stock of service kits adapted to all machines which is recommended for purchasing a machine.
- 50. Service - Where can I find the serial number of the machine and the voltage, tension and power values?
These data are indicated on the identification plate stuck on the machine.
- 51. Service - When using gas, what is the maximum pressure on the gas bottle?