Liquid Filling Machinery - Standard Features
Though there are many different types of automatic filling machines, based on how a packager wants to fill their product, some features will normally be present across all types of machine. Whether filling by level, volume, weight or other principle, the following standard features help make Liquid Packaging Solutions filling machines ideal for a wide range of products and projects.
Heavy-Duty Portable Stainless Steel Frame
Not only does the heavy-duty frame of the filling machinery ensure stability and aid in consistency of the fills, but the stainless steel material helps protect the machinery as well. Stainless steel will interact well with almost all liquids, though exceptions do apply. If product happens to get on the machinery from drips, spills or other accidents, the stainless material will not be negatively affected, keeping the life of the machinery at a maximum. Of course, when acids or other harsh chemicals are involved, stainless steel may break down. In these cases, LPS can construct filling machinery from HDPE rather than the typical stainless construction. The portability of the frame allows for quick set up and changeover as well as future changes to the line should other equipment or processes be added.
PLC with Touchscreen Interface
The PLC acts as the communication center for the liquid filler, with the touchscreen interface allowing the operator to access almost every control! The PLC send signals to the various components of the filling machine to control functions such as the indexing, fill time, dive time for heads (if applicable) and other settings. Operators can manage all of the settings right from the touchscreen interface, easily making adjustments and setting delay and duration times. Even better, the automatic filling machines include Recipe Screens that allow all of the settings for a bottle and product to be recalled with the touch of a button. LPS also inputs all of the settings prior to delivery of the equipment when bottles and product are provided for in-house testing!
Vision Systems for Missing Bottles and Anti-Back Up
As noted above, the PLC allows the different components of the machinery to communicate with one another. Automatic filling machines will include vision system that allow the bottle filler to "see" potential issues and minimize their effect. For example, the missing bottle vision system will stop the filling machine from entering a fill cycle if a bottle is missing from that cycle, protecting against spills from missing bottles under the fill heads. Anti-back up systems help the equipment to "see" possible bottle jams or back-ups down the packaging line, pausing fill cycles until the back-up or jam has been cleared. Other vision systems may be included on a filling machine or packaging line depending on the individual needs of the project.
Power Height Adjustment
The power height adjustment on the automatic filling machinery allows an operator to raise and lower fill heads with the flip of a switch. This simple control allows for quick and easy adjustment for different bottle heights, as well as easy set up with overflow fillers where the nozzles must dive into the container while also creating a seal over the bottle opening. Simple height adjustments also allow the operator of the machine to easily clear the fill heads for maintenance and wear part replacement.
Tool Free Adjustments
In addition to easy height adjustment, automatic filling machines are manufactured with quick and easy tool-free adjustments to allow for quick changeover from one bottle to another. Fill heads, for example, can usually be adjusted with simple hand knobs for different bottle widths. Tool free Adjustments keep downtime to a minimum while allowing production at peak efficiency on a day-to-day basis.
With different filling principles, different filling machines may include a range of options that modify the equipment to best fit the packaging process for the individual packager. However, the standard features listed above will usually be found on every automatic filling machine to ensure consistency, reliability and efficiency.