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From the Filler to the Capper - Transfers

From the Filler to the Capper - Transfers

Almost every packaging system will include both a filling machine and a capping machine.  Even those facilties that package by hand will normally include a filling and capping station.  Whether using no automation at all or a completely automated packaging line, a transfer must occur to move bottles from the area of the fill to the place where they will be sealed.

Hand Filling and Capping

Small facilities or even larger facilities with a low demand version of a product may hand fill and cap containers.  When packaging is done by hand, product and bottles may simply be transferred by hand, literally carrying product from the location of the fill to the location where capping will be completed.  However, even when the filling and capping processes are not automated, the transfer from one location to another may be done with a conveyor.  Non-powered roller conveyors or skate type conveyor systems may allow bottles or other containers to be easily moved from one area to another by lining them up on the conveyor and sending them on their way.  Some facilities may even opt for an automatic conveyor system with accumulation areas for filling, capping and other packaging phases.

Tabletop and Semi-Automatic Packaging Systems

As production demand increases, semi-automatic packaging machinery may be used to complete the fill and cap.  These machines can take several different forms, from tabletop equipment, to uniframe systems to fully portable semi-automatic filling and capping machines.  The type of transfer used will often depend on the kind of semi-automatic machinery in place.  Tabletop machinery has a small footprint that usually allows the filling and capping equipment to exist in a smaller, shared area.  The slide track, as you may have guessed, is used to slide bottles in and out of the filling area.  In some cases, bottles may continue to slide to the capping machine, where they can be sealed and then slid out for packing.  In other scenarios, the bottles may exit the filling machine slide track to be positioned in a capping nest in order to seal the bottle.  Uniframe systems combine a filling machine with other packaging components on a single, sturdy frame. The uniframe system will also use a slide track in most situations, but filling, capping and other processes - rinsing, labeling, etc. - will be done right on the same machine in one location.

Portable semi-automatic liquid fillers and cappers cna use a slide track to fill and cap as well.  However, more times than not, these machines will be set up with power conveyor systems.  This semi-automatic equipment adds efficiency and consistency to the processes, but is really set up in anticipation of increased demand and a move to automatic production at some point in the future.

Automatic Packaging Lines

Automatic bottle fillers and bottle cappers, in order to perform as intended, require power conveyor systems to transfer bottles from one process to the other.  The type of power conveyor system used will depend on the application in question.  Chemicals may require an HDPE system to avoid corrosion and undue wear and tear on the transfer system.  Other applications may use low profile conveyors or even sanitary style stainless steel equipment.  But automatic fillers and cappers are normally set up for their speed versus other packaging options, and without an automatic conveyor system in place, the advantage of that speed is lost.

For more information on transfer systems, including automatic power conveyors, feel free to browse the LPS website or contact a representative today!