A Packaging System Primer - Other Packaging Machines

A Packaging System Primer - Other Packaging Machines

Arguably, the major components of a packaging system have been discussed in our last five posts.  These machines include container cleaning equipment, liquid fillers, capping machines, labeling equipment and belt conveyor systems.  Once these major components have been chosen, there remains a number of other machines that can be added to your packaging line to make the system uniquely tailored to your needs.  


Depending on the level of automation desired, unscrambling equipment may be used at the beginning of a packaging line to add speed to the packaging process.  Unscramblers generally allow the operator of the packaging line to simply dump bulk bottles into a hopper - the unscrambling machine then places them in the correct position on the conveyor system for container cleaning, filling, capping and labeling.  Alternatives to automatic unscramblers include loading turntables and static bottle hoppers.  Operators can load bulk bottles on the loading turntable, which in turn will deliver bottles to the power conveyor.  Static bottle hoppers present single bottles to a packaging system operator for placement onto the conveyor system.  While both of these machines do add efficiency to the packaging system, they also both require more labor than the automatic unscrambler.


Leak detectors may also be used prior to filling, capping and labeling to ensure the integrity of the bottles being used.  Leak detectors are available in manual and automatic models.  The manual models require an operator to place and remove bottles while the automatic leak detector will roll up to almost any conveyor system and use an indexing system to allow for testing of up to sixteen bottles at once.  


Nitrogen Purge can be used at a few different points on a packaging system - pre-fill, post-fill or pre-capping.  A nitrogen purge system is generally used to remove oxygen from the container, helping to maintain the texture, color and taste of a product while also extending the shelf life.  Nitrogen purge systems may also be used to strengthen plastic bottles in some circumstances, lowering the amount of damaged containers as they move through the packaging system.  Nitrogen purge systems can be manufactured with a conveyor mount or a portable frame for packaging machine versatility.


Almost any labeling machine will be equipped with a piece of coding equipment as well.  However, several different methods for coding can be used.  Hot stamp coders will print one to three lines of code, allowing for the addition of expiration dates, batch numbers, lot numbers and other information.  Ink jet coders and laser coders can also be used to achieve the same result, but add a larger print area for items such as bar codes, logos or pictures.  The type of coding machine used for each individual packaging system will depend on the information and speed desired.


Once the product is filled, capped and labeled, there are many different pieces of packaging equipment that can assist in preparing product for shipment to the customer.  Packaging machines can bundle product (shrink wrap bundlers), erect cases for packing (case erectors), tape the cases shut (case sealers or tapers) and even wrap a full skid of product (pallet wrappers or stretch wrappers).  Each of these packing machines are available in different levels of automation to fit the individual needs of each customer.


Finally, some products require sanitary packaging conditions for a variety of reasons.  Clean rooms can be manufactured in virtually any size to keep the packaging process free of contaminants during cleaning, filling, capping, labeling or any other process.  These rooms use HEPA filters to clean the air and different class clean rooms are available for specific needs.

All of the different packaging machines, as well as all of the different levels of automation available on each of these machines, allow each packaging system to be specifically designed to meet individual needs.  However, the way we package and the packaging industry itself are constantly changing.  If your product and package require a custom packaging system, give us a call toll free at 1-888-393-3693 and let us help you find your Liquid Packaging Solution.