Liquid Filler and Capping Machine Combinations

Liquid Filler and Capping Machine Combinations

In almost all cases, a packager that uses fully automated filling equipment will also use automatic capping machines.  While there are exceptions, this is simply a logical result.  A company using a filling machine to package 80 or 100 bottles per minute is unlikely to then hire the labor necessary to cap the same amount per minute by hand.  Once production demands warrant fully automatic packaging equipment, both filling and capping machines are almost a necessity.  However, for facilities with low to medium production requirements, different filler and capper combinations may exist.
In theory, virtually any filling machine can be matched to any piece of capping equipment.  In reality, space, efficiency and economics ensure that you will probably never see some combinations.  In the example above, it would not make economic sense, nor would it be efficient, to use a liquid filler to bottle 100 pieces per minute and then have to hire 50, 60, 70 or more employees to handle the capping to keep up with the filler.  Similarly, it would be extremely rare to find a facility that uses a single head, tabletop filling machine to bottle maybe 6 or 8 pieces of product per minute and then runs those 6 or 8 pieces through a fully automatic spindle capper.  This is rare, rather than unheard of, only because if a company is expanding and planning for the future such a set up may make sense. 


The first factor that may limit the filler and capper combinations available to a packager is physical space.  Simply put, packaging machinery takes up space.  If a packaging facility does not have the physical space available for a fully automated, inline packaging system, other alternatives will have to be considered.  Tabletop packaging machinery and uniframe systems may be utilized, combining the same filling and capping principles as automated packaging machinery but sacrificing some speed.  Monoblock systems may also be used to save space, filling and capping bottles as they turn on a starwheel rather than running down an inline system.  The more production space available, the more options that will exist for the filling and capping machinery.


Paying attention to efficiency simply eliminates certain combinations of filling and capping machines for any given packaging project.  Automatic filling machines and manual capping equipment simply do not make good partners in nearly any scenario.  A packager must pay attention to the overall efficiency of the packaging system as well as the efficiency of each individual packaging machine.  While a filling machine or capping machine in and of itself may be an efficient machine, it will only be as efficient as the LEAST efficient machine in the packaging system.  


The economics of choosing a combination of filling machine and capping machine for your packaging line includes more than just the price of the machinery.  Of course, machine cost is a factor.  There is likely no reason to spend thousands of dollars for a project that produces a few hundred bottles a month.  However, a packager must also consider other economic factors when choosing filling and capping equipment.  Some of these factors include the cost of manual labor and the ability to upgrade.  While packaging machinery may seem expensive up front, consider the amount that is currently paid - and will continue to be paid - for the manual labor that will perform the same function.  Do you expect quick growth and an expanded market for your product?  Or additional and new products in the near future?  If production is expected to increase quickly, purchasing automatic equipment or semi-automatic filling and capping machines that can be upgraded, makes more sense than purchasing equipment that will be obsolete once your production level increases.   


Last, but far from least, the product and the package (bottle and cap) will have a limiting effect on the filling machine and capping machine combinations available for any given project.  Spindle cappers will not be an option for snap on caps.  Overflow fillers are probably not a good choice for thick, viscous products.  Both the capper and the filler must be chosen with the product and package in mind to ensure consistent, reliable and efficient performance.
Representatives from Liquid Packaging Solutions are always available to discuss packaging projects, including the available options for filling equipment, capping machines and other packaging machinery.  If you would like to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of our packaging professionals, call our offices toll free today at 1-888-393-3693.