What is the difference between a suction machine and a chamber machine?
A suction machine is a normally a low cost vacuum packer. A special, (embossed bag) is required. This embossing allows the bag to collapse and pull the air out through the embossing.
The bag lays outside the machine with the opening of the bag inside the front of the machine, in a trough. The bag is laying over a heat bar. Once the air is extracted, the heat bar seals the bag.
NO PROBLEM TO THIS POINT UNLESS LIQUIDS OR VOLUME IS INVOLVED..
LIQUIDS AND HEAT(VOLUME) ARE THE PROBLEMS WITH SUCTION MACHINES.
IN ALASKA, BOTH ARE MAJOR ISSUES, LOTS OF VOLUME AND LOTS OF LIQUIDS SUCH AS RESIDUE ON FRESH FISH.
The liquids have to be controlled or the seals will be defective.. LIQUIDS CAN BE CONTROLLED...........
HOW TO CONTROL LIQUIDS: One or more of these applied techniques work for Alaskans.
1. Wrap the product in a saran wrap. This will create a barrier to prevent the liquids from coming out immediately, allowing time to get a vacuum and seal with no residue in the seal area.
2. Fold a paper towel, insert in the mouth of the bag, out of the seal area. This will act as a filter and help hold back the liquids until a proper seal can be made.
3. Freeze the product first or a least enough to set the liquids.
4. Pat the product dry with paper towels reducing the amount of liquid to control.
Most of the suction machines available in Alaska will not do the volume required without overheating and shutting the machine off. Most have a device to protect the machine, shutting it off for a time to cool. Normally 20 to 30 minutes.
Problem, when the machine comes back on, it never cooled down completely and will only do a few bags and it SHUTS OFF AGAIN.
THIS IS WHEN ALASKANS GET UPSET... THEY HAVE 100 LBS OF HALIBUT TO DO, THE MACHINE KEEPS SHUTTING OFF FROM OVER HEATING...
If you don't have volume the suction machines should work out for you just fine.
Liquids you can learn to control....
Chamber machines solve every problem but one, COST.. Liquids, heat, cost of bags, technique, all go away...........
Imagine a box, with a lid, a heat bar inside the box. You place a smooth bag inside the box, over the heat bar, close the lid and start the vacuum.
You do not vacuum the bag, you vacuum the entire box, including the bag.
No liquids problems as the machine is not sucking on the bag but rather the entire chamber inside the box.
Liquids is not an issue, heat is not an issue and the cost and quality of the bags is superior to suction bags. The bags cost 40% to 70% less.It all comes down to money and volume. If the chamber machine cost will fit your budget, it is by far the best way to go for most Alaskans.
What is the difference between a smooth bag and an embossed bag?
Embossed bags, used with a suction machine, have tiny grooves running lengthwise down one side of the bag. The grooves allow the bag to collapse and still pull the air out through the embossing.
Smooth bags, Flat bags, commercial bags designed for use in chamber machines, have smooth sides. The embossing is not required as the machine is not sucking on the bag.
Both smooth and embossed bags can be purchased in different sizes and quantities.
Cost of the smooth bags will be 40% to 60% LESS THAN EMBOSSED BAGS. THESE SMOOTH BAGS WILL NOT WORK IN SUCTION MACHINES.