Liquid Filling Machines and How They Fill
At Liquid Packaging Solutions, four distinct types of machines make up a majority of the filling equipment manufactured in the LaPorte, Indiana plant. These four groups include overflow, gravity, pump and piston fillers. But the manner in which they fill can be broken down into two main categories, fill-to-level and fill by volume. While other fill types exist, these two categories will almost always be used for filling projects.
The overflow filling machine allows packagers to fill bottles to a pre-set level, regardless of minute differences in the interior volume of the individual bottles. This type of fill works well for packagers that are using clear or nearly clear bottles, where the product level can be seen through the container. Filling to the same level in each bottle creates an aesthetically pleasing shelf appearance. While volume may differ slightly, in most cases where a packager must hit certain tolerances, the fills will fall within those variances, though packagers will have to verify this will bottle manufacturers.
Volumetric Fills allow containers to be filled with the same volume of product in each container, even if the levels may not be the same in each container. Gravity, pump and piston fillers all use a volumetric fill principle, with each filler offering different benefits. Gravity fillers are ideal solutions for thin, free-flowing products where product is held in a tank over the fill heads and released for a pre-set amount of time with each fill cycle. Pump and piston fillers move product through the pathway with the help of, as the names suggest, pumps or pistons. The extra push from the pump or piston helps packagers fill thicker, or more viscous, products.
Other Fill Types
While most projects will use a fill-to-level or volumetric fill system, there do exist alternatives for unique projects. For example, some products will be filled by net weight, using scales to ensure the desired weight is met with each fill. In addition, special filling machines for molten products, larger container and other unique situations can also be built, but will typically use one of the types of fills noted above.
The type of fill used for any project will depend on many different factors, and those factors may also change for each individual packager. Product, viscosity, the industry itself and more will help determine if the best solution is filling to a level, filling by volume or filling in another unique manner. For assistance in discovering the best fill solution for your project, contact Liquid Packaging Solutions today.