Filling Honey and Other Viscous Products
Viscosity plays a large part in how a liquid product is filled. Some liquids, such as water and other popular beverages, are free-flowing in nature, allowing for simple machines like a gravity filler to complete the process of filling bottles. Other liquids, such as honey or maple syrup, are much higher in viscosity and will require a little extra push to get the liquids into containers. Different filling machines use different techniques to help these higher viscosity products make the journey from bulk container to bottle.
While some thick products will flow, the amount of time it would take to move from a holding tank through the product pathway and into waiting bottles would be highly inefficient. When this is the case, two popular filling machines are often used to complete the process. The first is a pump filling machine, and as the name suggest, this filler will use a pump to help push product through the filling process. The pump will be matched to the product and project to ensure accurate, efficient and when necessary, sanitary filling (think food grade pumps) and a wide variety of pumps are available for this packaging machine.
A second popular option for higher viscosity products is the piston filling machine. Piston fillers allow a product to enter a large cylinder when the piston retracts. The piston is then used to give the liquid the extra push necessary as it returns to the cylinder to complete the job. Pistons come in a variety of sizes, and a single piston can fill a range of volumes.
Of course, even high viscosity products can include many different characteristics. Certain pumps are available to handle products with particulates, such as gritty soap, and the open cylinder of the piston filler also allows for particulates, including larger pieces such asfruits an d vegetables, to be filled using the machine. Thick products may reach close to or even become solids when in their final state, and filling machines can be manufactured with components to heat product when the same is necessary to lower viscosity and complete the process.
Of course, particulates and hot fills are not the only characteristics of high viscosity products. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, packaging specialists will consult with a packager regarding their high viscosity product to design and manufacture the ideal filling solution for every individual project. To learn more about the machinery available for honey, syrup, jams, pastes and other high viscosity liquids, contact LPS today!