Common Questions from New Packagers
For start-up businesses, or companies that are growing and find themselves in need of packaging machinery for the first time, there are several basic questions that arise quite often. Answering these questions and ensuring that the packagers understand their own options is one of the non-manufacturing tasks taken up by Liquid Packaging Solutions. LPS understands that to find the best solution for any packaging project, the packagers own needs and desires must first be understood. Below are a few of the most common questions encountered when working with new packagers.
Do I Need a Rinsing Machine?
Rinsing machines can be found across a wide range of industries, and different industries may have a different level of "need" for container cleaning equipment. For example, a company packaging a beverage, medicine or other product to be consumed by the end user, may have a higher need to ensure even small particles of debris are not left in the containers prior to filling.
But rinsing machinery is used to remove debris that could contaminate products of any kind. The level of need may also depend on how the bottles reach the filling machine. Debris can accumulate from the manufacturing of the bottles, during shipment or even in storage depending on how they are packaged prior to use. Even for products that are not ingested, removing debris may feel like a "need" to a packager simply to protect the aesthetic value of the product and package. In other words, the need for a rinsing machine will depend on a packager's product, packaging process and possibly other factors as well.
Which Filling Machine is Best for My Product?
Filling machines can be used to fill in a number of different ways. The first factor to consider is how the packager wants the product filled. Liquids can be filled by volume, level, weight and more. For clear bottles, a level fill is often the best solution, to provide a level line on packages when they are placed on the shelf for sale. For other products, filling by volume or weight may be a necessity.
Secondly, the product itself will help to determine the type of filling machine best used on any given project. With exceptions, thinner products will use gravity or overflow filling machines while thicker products tend toward pump and piston fillers for a little extra push to get the product to flow. Other factors will play a part in choosing the correct filling machine, but an analysis of the process and product as a whole will help reach the best solution or the best options.
How Accurate are the Filling Machines?
As noted above, different types of filling machines use different principles to fill liquids. Overflow filling machines fill to a level, and the fill nozzles allow for accurate filling to a specific level in each bottle run on the machine, even where interior volume may differ slightly from bottle to bottle.
Volumetric and net weight filling machines will also be highly accurate based on adjustments that are made to the machine. Gravity fillers allow for adjustment to each individual fill head to allow for accurate volume. Piston fillers use a cylinder that never changes volume to provide highly accurate volumetric fills. Net weight filling machines will provide scales that check for accurate weight with each fill. Overall, LPS filling machines will be manufactured to meet the accuracy of level, volume or weight as needed for each packaging project.
Which Capping Machine is Best for My Product?
Simply put, capping machinery is manufactured for the specific type of closure used on any given project. If a packager has not yet chosen a cap, then the ideal capping machine cannot be identified. Spindle and chuck cappers are built to tighten screw-on type closures. Snap cappers use belts or tamps to press down snap-on type lids or caps. Corking machines insert and secure T-corks and other cork-like closures, and ROPP capping equipment threads aluminum blanks on to a variety of different bottles. Once a packager selects a closure for their project, the type of capping machine that is best for that project will be easily identified.
How Fast Are the Machines?
LPS packaging equipment - rinsers, fillers and cappers - can all be manufactured to run at different levels of automation. This means equipment can be built to run with the help of an operator or to run continuously with minimal operator assistance. For semi-automatic machinery, the speed is more difficult to ascertain, as the equipment will only run as fast as the operator using that equipment. Automatic equipment will differ based on the number of fill heads, size of the bottles, type of caps and many other factors. Typically, LPS will work with the packager to determine how fast they need to go to reach their production demand. From there, expected growth can be factored into the search for the right equipment and the ideal machinery can be identified. Almost all equipment can be manufactured to be upgraded in the future to allow for demand growth. Overall, the speeds necessary for most projects can usually be met, with an upper limit, and machines may run anywhere from a few bottles per minute to 100 or more bottles per minute.
What is the Cost of a Specific Machine?
The LPS website allows packagers to see many different examples of the rinsers, fillers, cappers and other equipment manufactured by the LaPorte, Indiana company. But the specific price for any given machine will depend on many different factors. For example, a gravity filler may have two fill heads, eight fill heads or even sixteen fill heads. Product run on the machine may be filled at room temperature or it may need to be kept at a specific temperature for accuracy. Some machines may require sanitary construction and others may need to be built for a hazardous environment. A discussion with a packaging specialist about the specific project at hand will quickly yield a quote for the machinery requested, but the question of cost is not always a simple one to answer without additional information.
LPS is committed to helping packagers meet their demands by identifying the best solution for each and every project, and no two solutions are ever really the same. To ensure optimal performance and efficiency, LPS welcomes questions and conversations about packaging projects! To identify the best equipment for your project, get a quote, or simply learn more about packaging machinery, reach out to an LPS Packaging Specialist through the contact or quote request pages on the website, or call LPS Toll-Free at 1-888-393-3693.