Filling Machines and Equipment for Free-flowing Liquids
Filling Machines and Equipment for Free-Flowing Liquids
Many liquid products that hit the shelf today are free-flowing, or low viscosity products. Bottled water, other beverages, window cleaners and even some soups and salad dressings can be thin viscosity products that require a filling machine and other packaging equipment to prepare for the customer. Of the variety of filling machines that are available, there exist those that will generally work better with low viscosity products.
The overflow filling machine allows free-flowing liquids to be filled to a specific level on each bottle being filled. The overflow filler uses special nozzles that allow product to re-circulate to a holding tank (or other destination) once the product reaches a specific level in the bottle. In addition to handling free-flowing liquids, this filling machine can also handle some medium viscosity products, foamy products and those products with small particulates - like herbs or spices in salad dressings. The fact that this type of bottle filler consistently fills to the same level makes it a popular choice for products that are packaged in clear containers, such as bottled water.
Unlike the fill to a level overflow fillers, gravity fillers provide a simple, time based fill for free-flowing products. Gravity filling machines generally include a holding tank above the fill nozzles. Once bottles are in place on the power conveyor, a valve is opened to allow product to flow from the raised tank, through the product pathway and into the bottles or containers. Gravity filling machines provide an economical, yet still efficient, option for filling free-flowing liquids.
OTHER PACKAGING EQUIPMENT
Of course, free-flowing liquids, just like almost any other product, will normally be capped, labeled and otherwise packaged before hitting the shelf. However, the filling machine is the one piece of equipment where the product has a significant effect on the machine to be used. Capping machines for these products will vary according to the type of bottle and cap being used, but spindle and chuck cappers will be the most popular as a majority will use some type of a screw on cap. Flat caps on bottled water, flip-top caps on salad dressing and even trigger sprayers on window cleaner are all forms of screw on caps.
Labeling machines will also not be affected much by the type of liquid inside the bottle or container. Bottled water will normally use a wrap labeler, salad dressings might use a front and back type label, some thin, liquid cleaners may even apply a three panel label. The bottle labeler, like the capping machine, will depend more on the package than the product filling it.
These are, of course, general rules of packaging for thin liquids. Each project brings new challenges and unique traits and the packaging machinery chosen will depend on the individual needs of each packager. For those packaging thin liquids or any other product, we invite you to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of Liquid Packaging Solutions staff by calling with any questions or to consult on your project.