Every Other Bottle Process Helps Filling Machine Versatility
Many different components add to the versatility of liquid filling machines, allowing the equipment to handle different products, various container shapes, different viscosities and more. When working with a packager, rarely will a single bottle size be used by the company. Instead, products will be filled into a variety of containers for single use, multiple packs or even family size. Given that the area used to fill bottles on these machines is limited, many might think larger bottles create more issues. But small containers can cause problems for some packagers as well.
Regardless of the type of filling machine, fill heads and nozzles will require a certain space to move product from the bulk source to the waiting containers. For containers that are filling small amounts, from a fraction of an ounce to a few ounces, the width of the fill heads may be greater than the width of the bottles. Typically, the heads on a fill bar are adjusted to place one head over each bottle that enters the fill area. When the width of the fill heads is greater than the width of the bottles, the process requires some modification.
To allow the same filling machine to manage both large and small containers, the filler may be set up to fill every other bottle when small bottles are being run in production. Normally, bottles would travel through a single indexing station and into the fill area. With every other bottle fills, the smaller bottles will run through two indexing stations. So, on an eight head filler, the first indexing station would include eight small bottles and four heads. These first four heads would fill the odd numbered bottles. These eight bottles would then be transferred to the second indexing station, where the even numbered bottles would be filled by the last four heads. Finally, all eight bottles, filled with product, would be released down the conveyor to travel to the next station, typically a capping machine.
While other solutions do exist for smaller bottles, when a packager produces product in both small and large containers, the every other bottle solutions will allow that packager to use a single filling machine for a range of container sizes. To learn more about every other bottle filling, indexing and other solutions for filling bottles large and small, contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions today.