How do I Choose the Right Filling Machine Principle?

The correct filling machine principle for any packaging project will depend in large part on the product or products being prepared. Different bottle fillers can handle different ranges of viscosity and fill liquids in specific manners. Analyzing your own project and products will help you to arrive at the best filling principle for your own needs. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we manufacture filling machines that offer fills based on volume, level, and other principles.

Gravity Filler

Gravity fillers are one of several fillers manufactured by LPS that fill by volume. Bulk product on a gravity filler is typically pulled into a tank above the fill heads and, as the name suggests, gravity allows the product to flow from above into the waiting containers. Each fill head on a gravity filler will open for a specific amount of time to release liquid into bottles. LPS gravity fillers allow for each fill head to be timed individually for added accuracy. As gravity is the only force used to move the liquid, these machines are best suited to free-flowing products like water or other beverages.

Overflow Filler

Overflow filling machines offer a fill-to-a-level principle as an alternative to the volumetric fill. These fillers use a special nozzle to seal over a bottle opening and release liquid into the bottle. Once the bottle reaches the desired level, fluid will return to a tank through the overflow port in the nozzle. LPS overflow fillers work well with low to medium viscosity products, as thicker products would prevent an efficient fill. As they fill to a level rather than volume, overflow filling machines are ideal to add aesthetic value to liquids packaged in clear containers such as distilled spirits and other beverages.

Pump Filler

Pump filling machines use different pump types to fill a variety of liquids by volume. The difference between pump fillers and gravity fillers lies in the liquids that can be filled. The extra push of the pumps allows for higher viscosity products to be filled efficiently. Pump fillers can use time or the motion of the pump to achieve accurate volumes on a range of containers. For example, a gear pump may measure liquid by each turn of the gear, or simply turn the gear for a set amount of time. Pump fillers are ideal for products such as cosmetic creams and other products that don't flow as freely as water.

Piston Filler

Piston fillers offer another method of filling liquids by volume. These machines move a piston in and out of a cylinder to push product into bottles and containers. Also good for thicker products, the large open cylinder of the piston filler allows for not just thick products to be filled, but also products with particulates such as jellies and jams with fruit chunks or salsas and similar food products. Piston filling machines can efficiently fill free-flowing products as well, making this principle ideal for packagers with products that vary in viscosity.

In addition to volume and level fills, products can be filled by net weight or custom solutions can be designed for unique projects. Our packaging specialists at Liquid Packaging Solutions are always available to help packagers identify the best principle for their own filling needs.