Cold Weather, Viscosity and Filling Machines
While it seems to have taken a little longer this year, at least in our neck of the woods, the cold weather appears here to stay for the time being in the Midwest. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, the outside temperature can influence the temperature on our production floor, especially when deliveries and shipments are going in and out on a frequent basis. While this does not really cause any change to the building of packaging machinery, it can make changes necessary for those using the equipment to package liquids!
More specifically, a change in the weather or the temperature can change the viscosity of some liquids. Of course, when viscosity changes, the flow of a product can change, as lower viscosity products tend to flow more easily than those with higher viscosities. If a product thickens when it gets colder, the times used to get accurate fills on some filling machines may also need to be adjusted.
While there are exceptions to the rule, generally speaking many liquids will increase in viscosity as the temperature drops. For those using a filling machine cold weather may bring a change in fill levels or volumes. Fortunately, if a packager does experience this issue, the solution is fairly simple. Fill times on automatic liquid fillers can be easily adjusted from the touchscreen interface found on the control panel. Adjustments may be made differently for different types of fillers, but typically require simply pressing a button to adjust time, though some trial and error may be necessary to dial in the exact changes necessary. Semi-automatic machines may simply require an adjustment to the overall fill time, using a timer to change the setting. Other semi-automatic machines may simply require the operator to extend the fill with a finger or foot switch.
Of course, not all packagers will experience this issue. But for those with a production floor or a product storage area that is not in a controlled climate, the liquid may come to the filling machine at different temperatures at different times of the year. If the liquid does change viscosity with changes in temperature, an unexpected issue can arise. For anyone experiencing changes in fill levels or volumes, or having issues adjusting fill settings, LPS is always available to assist in both troubleshooting and modifying fill times. For those with automatic filling machines, the Recipe Screen can also allow settings to be saved for different times of the year, so that a change in the weather just means a change in the Recipe used for any bottle and product combination.
To learn more about filling machines or any of the other packaging equipment manufactured by LPS, simply give us a call at 1-219-393-3600 or use the contact forms found on every page of the LPS website.