Automatic Liquid Packaging Machines - Troubleshooting Basics
Automatic liquid packaging machines designed and manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions are built with ease of operation in mind. But sometimes the unexpected, and unexplainable, does occur, and equipment will not rinse, fill, cap or otherwise prepare product in the manner expected! Some very basic troubleshooting can often lead to a simple resolution when issues do arise.
1. Alarm Screen
On many automatic packaging machines, an alarm screen will be found on the operator interface used to set up and control the equipment. An operator should first check this screen for assistance in locating the root of any problem. For example, if someone stopped the machinery for any reason, the alarm screen may show "E-stop Control Power ??". This eliminates the chore of trying to identify the issue, telling the operator that one or more machines have been shut down using the Emergency Stop button. While not every possible issue is covered specifically by the alarm screen, this is the best place to start the troubleshooting process.
2. Level Machinery
Inconsistency is often a frustrating effect of an unknown cause when troubleshooting automatic packaging equipment. Whether fills levels are not always the same or caps are being missed or overtightened, inconsistent performance can ruin a production day. If machinery has recently been installed, adjusted or moved to a new location, the first thing that an operator should check is whether or not the machinery is level. Though an obvious necessity and a simple fix, this troubleshooting step is often overlooked or forgotten when attempting to correct an issue. If bottle rinsers, liquid fillers, capping machines or any other equipment found on a packaging line are not sitting level, achieving consistent and efficient performance will be nearly impossible.
3. Correct Recipe
For some automatic machines, such as rinsing equipment and bottle fillers, recipe screens are included on the operator interface. Recipe screens are, generally speaking, memory slots that allow settings for combinations of bottles and/or product to be saved and recalled at a later time, reducing the downtime during changeover from one set up to another. Again, if performance is inconsistent, an operator will want to check that the correct recipe is pulled up for the components (bottle, product, cap, label, etc.) currently being run on the line. This fix, if necessary, can be completed at the operator interface screen for the machine in question.
4. Sensor Alignment
If bottles are not indexing correctly or the function of the machine is not activating (rinsing, filling, capping), an operator will want to check the sensors on the automatic machine to ensure they are still reading containers correctly. This can often be a culprit when changeover is a common occurrence in a production day. Different bottle sizes will often require slight adjustments to the sensors in order to read the passing containers correctly. An improperly placed sensor, one that does not read the bottle or the space between bottles, can cause problems with indexing the correct number of containers, which in turn may cause the machines to malfunction and not start the rinse, fill or cap process.
Of course, almost all automatic packaging machinery includes wear parts that may need replacement over time and other, unique issues may arise from time to time. If the simple troubleshooting steps above do not lead to a resolution, LPS technicians are always available to assist in deeper troubleshooting over the phone in order to identify the cause of the issue and find a solution. Technicians can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM Central Time by calling toll free at 1-888-393-3693.