A Packaging Machine A Day - Piston Filling Machine
A versatile filling machine, piston fillers can be built as both automatic and semi-automatic bottle fillers. While ideal for very thick products, the machine can handle both low and high viscosity, as well as products with particulates large and small, making it the perfect solution for many jams and sauces that may include fruits and vegetables.
Piston filling machines provide a highly accurate volumetric fill using a fairly simple process. Each bottle filler will be manufactured with a piston sized for the particular project at hand. Piston sizes can be changed out to accommodate a wide range of container sizes, but a single piston can also fill a number of different volumes.
Piston fillers first pull product in to the cylinder as the piston retracts from that same cylinder, and because the volume of the cylinder never changes, the volume of product pulled in will never change. Once the desired amount of product enters the cylinder, the piston returns to the cylinder to push product out in to the waiting containers. If a packager is using a 32 ounce cylinder, a single stroke of the piston will fill a 32 ounce container. However, 8 ounce and 16 ounce containers could also be filled using partial piston strokes. Likewise, a 64 ounce container could be filled using two piston strokes.
So not every bottle size will require a piston of its own. However, when bottles range from a few ounces to a gallon or more, the filling process will remain more efficient if the piston is changed out to meet the needs of the smaller or larger bottles.
Automatic piston filling machines may use multiple pistons and fill multiple bottles at a time as they move in to the fill area on the power conveyor. Indexing systems help keep operator interaction with the automatic filler to a minimum. Smaller packagers may use a simple tabletop piston filler to consistently and accurately fill a single bottle at a time. An operator of a semi-automatic piston filler will typically place the bottle and use a finger or foot switch to initiate the fill process. The piston filler, while handling a variety of products, can also provide a solution for both large and small production demand.
Click to learn more about piston filling machines from Liquid Packaging Solutions.