Container Size Impact on Filling Machines
Filling machines are manufactured to fill bottles and other containers both large and small. But the size of containers run for any given packaging project can have an impact on the project and the way in which the fill is completed. Small and large bottles, for example, may require different nozzles to avoid spilling, splashing and other issues. Below are a few common modifications that may be made to machines to accommodate different container sizes.
Filling Machines and Small Containers
Small containers, containing an ounce or even a fraction of an ounce, will typically require special fill nozzles to allow the small amount of product to be placed into the container. But in addition to modifying the machine or components to release a small amount of product, the movement and width of the bottles may require adjustments as well. As fill nozzles require some space on the fill bar, bottles with a small diameter may not create enough room to line up under the nozzles. In such cases, indexing containers to fill every other bottle can accomplish the fill.
For instance, on an eight head filler, the first four heads might fill bottles one and three, those four bottles would be indexed to the next four heads, where bottles two and four would receive product.
Filling Machines and Large Containers
Larger containers often add time to the packaging process simply because the time to fill the bottles will take longer. However, large diameter containers can also create issues with the nozzles on the fill bar. Obviously, filling every other bottle with large amounts of product is not a solution in such a case. However, larger nozzles spaced farther apart can also allow for larger containers to be filled quickly.
In some cases, a filling machine using sixteen fill heads for smaller container sizes may only put eight or six heads to use when running the oversized bottles. Fill heads may be removed for such runs, or they may simply be turned off via an operator interface.
Filling Machines and Wide Range of Container Sizes
Of course, a project with one container size is rare, as packagers will often offer sample sizes, single servings, family sizes and many other variations. Filling machines are built to handle a range of container sizes, and the adjustments noted above are built into the equipment to allow this. Power or simple hand crank height adjustments also let packagers run short and tall containers on the same machine.
Unique container heights, widths and shapes can usually all be handled on a single liquid filler, but there are of course limits to that range. Liquid Packaging Solutions works individually with each packager to ensure that the equipment built for any project will handle the different bottles or containers used in production. For more information about bottle fillers or which filling machine will work best with your own containers, reach out to a Packaging Specialist at LPS for a free consultation today.