Liquid Packaging Made Simple
Liquid Packaging Made Simple
Liquid products encompass literally thousands upon thousands of items from many different industries. Food items such as salad dressings, ketchup and mustard, beverages such as bottled water and sports drinks, household items like liquid soap and window cleaner and industrial chemicals to name only a few, all need to be packaged before being introduced to the consumer.
Now imagine all the liquid products for sale on shelves around the world and expand on that to try to fathom the time and energy necessary if each and every one of those bottles or other containers had to be packaged one at a time, by hand! Packaging machinery makes packaging liquids simple and quick, allowing more products to reach the consumer in a shorter period of time.
Speed always plays a large part in the decision to purchase packaging equipment. For many first time purchasers or start up companies, the fastest speeds may not be necessary. For this reason, packaging equipment can be manufactured in several different levels of automation. Regardless of the level of automation, however, one recurring theme of packaging equipment manufactured by LPS is the ease of use.
As an example, we will use filling machinery to compare the use of semi-automatic and automatic equipment.
SEMI-AUTOMATIC LIQUID FILLERS
Semi-automatic machinery may be manufactured on a full size, portable frame, or where space is an issue, smaller frames, including tabletop models. These fillers will usually include a slide track upon which bottles can easily be moved by the operator into position under the nozzles. Adjustable guide rails will support the bottles and keep them in place during the fill cycle. Once the bottles are in place, the operator will typically either step on a foot switch or press a finger switch to begin the fill cycle.
Fills may be achieved by sight, simply releasing the switch when the desired level is achieved. But more often than not, a simple touchscreen control panel will be used to set fill levels prior to running production. The panel will allow the operator to set a certain time or amount for each fill head. Using this type of system, the operator simple touches and releases the foot or finger switch and the pre-set time or amount dispenses each cycle, adding consistency to the filling process. This system will require a change to the settings each time a new bottle or product is introduced, but settings can be recorded and easily entered after acquired once for each bottle.
AUTOMATIC LIQUID FILLERS
Automatic liquid fillers remove the requirement for the operator to initiate each fill cycle. Instead, power conveyors move bottles into and out of the filling area. Indexing systems are used to move the correct number of containers into the area and to hold and release the containers. Sensors are used to send signals to the PLC when bottles are in place. All delay and duration times for indexing and for the fill itself are input into the system before production begins. The touchscreen interface will also include a recipe screen to save all settings once found, allowing the settings to be recalled at the touch of a button.
Rail adjustments and sensor adjustments are made for different containers using simple knobs or handles, and some additional adjustments may be necessary for indexing pins, height and other settings. However, once adjustments are made, the operator need only monitor the line to ensure that production continue smoothly.
Other packaging machines, such as bottle cappers and rinsing equipment, will work in much the same manner as the filling equipment. Each of these pieces of equipment will also be available in varying levels of automation. Regardless of your production needs, packaging equipment for liquids exists to add efficiency and consistency to your process