A Quick Refresher on Filling Machine Principles

A Quick Refresher on Filling Machine Principles

Though we have spoken about the different filling machine principles on many different occasions on our site, it can be helpful to pull all of them together from time to time to understand the differences and advantages of each.  More than one filling machine type can usually get the job done on most packaging projects, but understanding these differences will lead the packager to the most consistent and reliable choice for his or her specific needs.


These liquid fillers use special nozzles that allow product to recirculate to a supply tank or other holding vessel.  This method of recirculating product ensures that each and every bottle filled using an overflow filler will be filled to the same level.  Consistent, level fills create a great shelf presence, making this machine ideal for clear, see-through containers.  Overflow fillers can handle thin to medium viscosity products with ease and the nozzles and resupply system create an effective tool against product foaming.  


Gravity fillers provide a simple, economical time based fill for low to medium viscosity products.  These liquid fillers can use a variety of nozzles to fill containers from large to small, with the ability to dive, cut off product to avoid drips and even handle some foaming products.  While economical, the gravity filler is also a versatile filling machine for many facilities.


For thicker products that do not flow freely, pump filling machines will add a little extra push to move the liquid through the product pathway.  Pump fillers offer versatility for those facilities that package thin and thick products and allow pumps to be matched to the individual needs of the packager.  Many pumps can also handle particulates, such as gritty soaps or salad dressings with herbs.  Like the gravity filler, a variety of nozzles can be used on the pump filler to suit the specific needs of the packager.


Piston fillers also have the ability to handle thick and thin products, but are ideal for highly viscous products and products with larger particulates like tomato sauces or soups that may include chunks of food.  The piston filler offers a highly accurate volumetric fill as the piston cylinder will fill and empty the same amount of product each cycle.

The descriptions above describe the general or standard uses and advantages of the different fillers.  Of course, some packaging projects may require custom filling equipment or even use a filling principle where it would not normally be used.  The choice of filling machine will depend in large part on the product being used, but other factors will also be taken into consideration.  To learn more about the different types of bottle fillers and the other packaging equipment offered by LPS, feel free to browse our website, or call a representative toll free at 1-888-393-3693.