Liquid Filling Machines - Start Up to Mass Production
Regardless of the product, from thin beverages to thicker fruit filled jams, there exists a filling machine to help get product ready for the shelf. But each of these bottle fillers can be broken down in to additional categories as well, based on how many products need to be prepared in any given amount of time. Filling machines can be manufactured for local or regional bottlers to those that prepare products for customers around the world, with many different options between those two extremes.
Filling Machines for Lower Production
Some packagers prepare products for local or regional consumption, or simply on a smaller scale when first starting a business. Whether a private label bottled water company or a small beekeeper producing honey for the local population, these businesses can still benefit from the efficiency gained from a liquid filling machine. Tabletop machines are often an ideal solution for those with lower output. These bottle fillers take up next to no space, literally sitting on a tabletop, but can fill bottles up to six at a time! A packager will still have to assist in the filling process, by moving bottles in and out of position and activating the fill cycle, but the ability to consistently, repeatedly and more quickly fill the bottles makes the process much more productive than trying to hand fill each container with the proper amount of product.
Filling Machines for Medium Production
Upgrading tabletop filling machines to multiple heads can actually work to help companies reach what might be termed the low end of medium level production. So even tabletop liquid fillers can grow with the company and allow for expansion without the need for immediately buying new packaging equipment. Eventually, however, production levels reach a point where a tabletop machine simply will not work to hit certain goals. For medium level production, though, another type of semi-automatic filling machine exists. Instead of a tabletop frame, a semi-automatic bottle filler can be manufactured on a full frame, which will allow for even more fill heads. Full frame semi-automatic machines, depending on the type, can fill up to sixteen bottles at a time, significantly increasing the number of bottles that can be filled each minute, hour or day by the equipment. These machines will still require an operator to place bottles, usually on a slide track, under fill heads and activate the fill cycle. Still, increasing the maximum number of heads from six to sixteen again increases efficiency and consistently while using only a single operator to prepare the product.
Filling Machines for Higher Production
Like the tabletop, semi-automatic machines may start with only a couple fill heads and allow for increased output by simply adding more nozzles. Full frame semi-automatic machines may also allow for an upgrade to automatic production. When production reaches a point where a single operator cannot keep up, an indexing system and PLC can be added to allow for continuous production without the need for operator interaction on every cycle. Whether an upgrade or whether the machine is originally manufactured as an automatic filler, these machines only require the operator to input the correct settings prior to production, then monitor the machine after starting to ensure it continues to run properly. Once started, the indexing allows the correct number of bottles in to the fill zone, positions them and fills based on volume, level or some other principle, repeatedly and consistently. Where multiple bottles are involved, the control panel will allow recipes to be saved and recalled, meaning set up time and changeover time are reduced to minimal.
Of course, there are different levels of automation and different options between the three scenarios and machines described above. Each filling machine will be integrated in to a system and designed specifically for the project at hand. Each project may start at a different level, but most will also allow for growth to ensure the machine is useful to the packager for an extended time. Liquid Packaging Solutions' representatives are available each weekday from 8 AM to 5 PM Central Time to answer questions or discuss filling machine options.