SEALVAC extends the shelf-life of your foods by up to 5x longer and gives you an extra 30% in fridge space all at the push of a button!
SEALVAC is a food vacuum sealer that utilizes powerful features and a convenient design to properly preserve food so that the cooking process is made easier and more enjoyable for you. You can even use this with foods that come in pre-packaged bags!
The vacuum packaging machine (model name: KUV-1) manufactured by WIHEIM Co., Ltd., which is the first household vacuum packaging machine having a UV sterilization function in the world, was launched in the Korean market in January 2021.
In order to solve a problem in which leftover foods remained in the vacuum chamber of the vacuum packaging machine cause the propagation of unhealthy microorganisms in the vacuum chamber. The WIHEIM conducted research and development on the structure of the vacuum packaging machine having the UV sterilization function. As a result, a structure having an optimal UV sterilization function was obtained.
The WIHEIM filed a patent application on the results of the research and development with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) on September 4, 2020.
Under the COVID-19 pandemic, the market interest in hygiene has increased more than ever. Under this circumstance, consumers were very interested in the KUV-1 model having the UV sterilization function.
Meanwhile, the WIHEIM, which released the first household vacuum packaging machine in the market, found that the KUV-1 model is required additional improvements in terms of the essential functions of the vacuum packaging machine other than the UV sterilization function.
In this regard, the WIHEIM’s engineers changed the design of the KUV-1 model over several months to enhance the essential functions of the vacuum packaging machine configured to hermetically seal the container by vacuuming the container and applying heat to the container. As a result, SEALVAC as an upgraded model of the KUV-1 was released on Kickstarter.
The SEALVAC model developed to solve the problems of the KUV-1 model has features as follows. Such features support the fact that the SEALVAC model released on the Kickstarter is a new product that did not disclose in the related art.
1. Improved performance through an upgrade of CPU
CPU used in the vacuum packaging machine receives a signal corresponding to a voltage value of the battery and controls the operation time of the heating wire based on the received signal, that is, the voltage value. As the CPU that performs such a function, an 8-bit 2 CPU (STMicro STM8L151K6T6TR) was employed in the KUV-1 model, and an upgraded 32-bit CPU (Nuvoton M058LDN) was employed in the SEALVAC model.
With the upgrade of the CPU, it became possible to not only achieve the effect of improving the overall processing speed but also use a more accurate voltage value for the control of the CPU by fractionalizing the voltage of the battery.
This provided the effects of controlling the operation time of the heating wire in accordance with the voltage value of the battery with higher accuracy and optimizing the power consumption of the battery to further increase the amount of usage of the battery.
2. Solved the problem that the main body made of ABS resin is thermally deformed by heat radiated from the heating wire
Once the air in the container is discharged by the operation of the vacuum pump in the vacuum packaging machine, electric current flows through the heating wire and the inlet of the container undergoes thermal fusion to hermetically seal the container. At this time, the heat radiated from the heating wire may be transferred to the main body made of ABS resin in the vacuum packaging machine, which thermally deforms the main body and causes damage to the main body.
To cope with this situation, in the KUV-1 model, an insulating plate (Mica plate) made of Mica material was applied between the heating wire and the main body made of ABS resin. However, it has been found that it is insufficient to protect the main body made of ABS resin from thermal deformation only with such an insulating plate having a single structure. In practice, referencing a published report, the ABS material around the heating wire in several products of the KUV-1 model was damaged by the thermal deformation.
In this regard, the WIHEIM’s engineers established several improvement measures for a thermal deformation prevention structure of the KUV-1 model and evaluated thermal deformation prevention effects. From the above evaluation, the WIHEIM’s engineers found that it is possible to effectively prevent the thermal deformation by additionally providing a silicon plate between the existing insulating plate (Mica plate) made of Mica material, which has been used in the KUV-1 model, and the main body made of ABS material.
Based on such findings, the design changes employing the above structure have been carried out.
3. Solved the problem of being difficult to suck air due to the folding of the silicone tube configured to suck air from the interior of the vacuum chamber
Vacuuming the container connected to the vacuum chamber by sucking air from the vacuum chamber is the most important essential function of the vacuum packaging machine.
In the KUV-1 model, the suction of the air from the vacuum chamber is performed by the silicone-made tube. This tube is assembled in the vacuum packaging machine in a folded state while being connected to the vacuum chamber.
Referencing the published report, the flow of the air was inhibited due to the folding of the tube. The inhibition of the airflow increases the load to be applied to the vacuum pump, which makes it difficult to achieve a desired degree of vacuum within a desired period of time.
The WIHEIM engineers conducted design changes to solve the inhibition of the airflow due to the folding of the tube as described above, even when the tube has been assembled in the vacuum packaging machine. In the changed design, the tube was designed to be bent through a rib additionally provided inside the main body.
By allowing the tube to be bent only in a predetermined path through the additionally provided rib, it is possible to prevent the airflow from being inhibited due to an irregular folding of the tube. In the SEALVAC model manufactured in the changed design, the inhibition of the airflow by the folding of the tube is not caused.
4. Changed the material of the heating wire pressing bar
The heating wire pressing bar is provided at a portion in contact with the heating wire in the vacuum packaging machine in the state in which the cover is closed to operate the vacuum packaging machine.
The heating wire pressing bar needs to keep a certain degree of elasticity when the cover is repeatedly opened and closed regardless of being exposed to high heat released from the heating wire.
However, referencing the published report, the elasticity of the KUV-1 model was decreased as the amount of usage of the vacuum packaging machine accumulates. In order to solve this problem, the material of the heating wire pressing the bar in the SEALVAC model has been changed.
By changing the silicone material of the tube used in the KUV-1 model into a flame-retardant material, the tube was designed to keep a desired degree of elasticity for a long period of time regardless of the repetitive opening/closing of the cover in an environment exposed to high heat.