Filling Liquids with Solids and Particulates
Even when filling a straight liquid, a certain filling machine may be ideal for a packaging job depending on the viscosity of that liquid and other factors. However, a unique challenge is presented when liquids contain solid particles, which can consist of a number of different items. For example, a salad dressing may contain small pieces of herbs or spices. Different sauces and jams may also include herbs and spices, but also added chunks of fruits or vegetables. To make the filling machine perform in an efficient and effective way, the filler must be manufactured to ensure particulates do not jam the product pathway, but also that the extra ingredients get to the bottle or container.
For some liquid items with particulates, such as the salad dressing mentioned above, the particulates are unlikely to clog or jam the product pathway. These items may be filled with just about any liquid filler, including the overflow and gravity filling machines, which typically work with free-flowing liquids. Larger particulates may require a pump or piston filler with a unique nozzle which allows the pieces to make it through the pathway and the nozzle to get into the container. Piston filling machines are often used for sauces and jams due to the principle of the machine itself. A piston filler pulls product into a large cylinder, with the piston then being used to push the product into the waiting container. The large open cylinder allows larger particulates to easily pass from the bulk tank or holding container into the filling machine.
While some particulates may be suspended in the product, especially thicker liquids, more times than not the particles will tend to settle in the liquid. For this reason, a modification to a normal tank may be necessary to ensure the proper amount of particulates enter the bottle or other container. Normally, filling machine will pull straight from the bulk tank or include a holding tank for product. When liquids held in the tank contain particulates, the mixture of product and particulates may need to be continually agitated in order to avoid issues with settling. Placing an agitator in the tank keeps the product continually moving and stops particulates from settling to the bottom of the tank.
As with any filling project, the type of filling machine used will depend on the product, bottles, space and many other factors. But even with unusual products like liquids with particulates, Liquid Packaging Solutions can provide a packager with an efficient, consistent and reliable way to fill product. To speak with an LPS representative about your own project, use the contact box found on every page of the LPS website or call 1-219-393-3600 today.