Filling Equipment Review - Solutions for Almost Any Liquid
Different filling machines can be used for moving different liquids from bulk sources to waiting bottles and containers. Each type of filler has features that may make it better for certain products, though more than one filler may be capable of moving the same product. Today we revisit the different types of filling machines to assist packagers in identifying the ideal solution for their own project.
Filling by volume is probably one of the most common methods for packaging liquids, and there are a number of different methods that allow an accurate volumetric fill. Gravity filling machines offer a simple time-based fill by volume solution. These machines, as the name suggests, use the power of gravity to release the desired amount of product through nozzles that open and close for a specific amount of time. Gravity fillers are better for thin liquids that flow freely and consistently.
Of course, not all liquids are low in viscosity. For those products that need a little push, pump and piston fillers also offer accurate volumetric fills. Both pumps and pistons assist in moving product rather than relying on gravity alone, making these filling machines optimal solutions for higher viscosities. Items such as pastes and gels would simply not be consistent nor efficient if a packager had to wait for gravity to move them through the product pathway.
An alternative to filling by volume, the overflow filler is a popular machine that allows a liquid to be filled to a certain level in each bottle. The level will be the same for every bottle, even where the interior volume is slightly different from one container to the next. These machines also work better with free-flowing liquids, as the time of each fill cycle would need to be increased significantly for moving thicker liquids and recirculating them to the tank when the level is reached. Overflow filling machines can be ideal solutions for packagers that are bottling with clear containers, adding to the aesthetic value of the product when it reaches the shelf by creating a uniform line for product presentation.
Not as popular, but an important principle for some industries is the net weight filler, which, as the name suggests, ensures that bottles are filled with the desired weight of a product. Net weight fillers use scales and a tare for the bottle, to ensure that when products are filled and labeled by weight, that weight in the bottle is accurate. These machines can work with products both thick and thin with varying nozzles for different containers and amounts of product.
Finally, some liquids simply require unique solutions when it comes to filling. Custom machinery may be manufactured for a number of different products, including corrosion resistant machines for acids and bleaches, molten fillers for wax and similar products or special equipment for large containers such as 5 gallon water bottles. These machines may use one of the principles above, but different components to fit the unique aspects or characteristics of the liquid and the project as a whole.
All of the filling machinery manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions is also manufactured at different levels of automation to offer solutions for packagers of any size. Smaller packagers with lower demand and limited space may find tabletop fillers or other semi-automatic machines ideal for their venture. High volume packagers may want and need a fully automatic bottle filler, to integrate with other equipment such as bottle rinsers, capping machines and more. To learn more about bottle fillers, or to discuss your own project, contact the LPS office today.