Automatic Overflow Filler - Properly Adjusting Fill Head Heights
To understand the importance of the fill head starting point on an overflow filling machine, a packager must first understand how the overflow filler works. This unique machine will fill bottles to a pre-set level, even if the volume of the bottles varies from one to another. In order to achieve the consistent, level fill, the heads dive into the bottle and apply pressure to create a seal. Each fill head includes a spring that will compress as the heads dive to secure this seal. If the springs are over-compressed, they can lead to bottle damage and unreliable levels. If under-compressed they may lead to leaking, spraying and, once again, inconsistent fills. For this reason, the proper set up and compression of the springs is integral to efficient and consistent performance.
The procedure for ensuring proper spring compression is actually pretty simple, consisting of the 4 steps listed below.
- Use the Power Height adjustment on the automatic filler to raise the fill head assembly high enough so that they will not crash into the bottles when in the dive (lowered) position. If unsure of how high is high enough, simply raise the assembly as high as possible. This simple adjustment is done by turning a switch left and right to raise and lower the assembly.
- Using the touchscreen operator interface, navigate to the Manual Toggle screen and press the Dive Button to manually lower the fill heads. After a slight pause the heads will lower. This is the position the fill heads will be in when releasing product. However, because the fill head assembly was raised using the Power Height switch, the heads will not currently be in the bottles.
- Place bottles under the fill heads while in the dive position and once again use the Power Height switch to lower the heads in to the bottles. Continue to lower the heads until the springs are compressed to the point that a fingernail can be placed between two coils.
- Return to the Manual Toggle screen and press the Dive button once again to return the function to AUTO. After a slight pause the heads will raise and the proper height will be set!
While this procedure ensures proper compression, packagers must also ensure that they have the correct, and the same, spacers on each fill head for the bottles to be filled. The spacers ensure the desired liquid height is reached in the bottle, while the compression helps make sure that height is reached consistently and reliably without leaks or bottle damage.
The compression rate for Semi-Automatic Overflow Fillers should be the same, with a fingernail space between coils. However, the semi-automatic machine will typically require the operator to hand crank the assembly up and down and use a finger switch to dive the heads. The procedure is still simple and will still ensure consistent and reliable fills.
To learn more about overflow fillers, or for help troubleshooting or setting up your filling machines, contact Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc., toll free at 1-888-393-3693.