Modifications to Individual Packaging Machines

Modifications to Individual Packaging Machines

An automated, inline packaging system will almost always include several different inline packaging machines.  From conveyor systems and turntables to rinsers, fillers and cappers, each individual machine may need to be slightly customized to fit the specific project at hand.  In other words, one system may use a standard rinsing and capping machine, but require custom filling equipment while the next system may use a simple overflow filler but require specialized capping machinery.  Once explained, these situations make perfect sense, but many packagers new to the world of automated machinery do not initially understand the need for custom packaging equipment.

The two basic factors that will be taken into account when designing a packaging line are the product and the package.  While there are, without a doubt, other factors, these two are arguably the most important.  Container cleaning equipment for plastic water bottles will likely be designed differently than square glass jars for a molten product. Filling equipment for thin products will use a different filling principle than filling equipment for pastes or jellies.  Capping machines for screw caps may be different from capping machines for snap caps.  

As noted above, the product or products to be run can have an effect on the different packaging machines.  As product does not come into play prior to filling, it will seldom affect the container cleaning equipment used on a packaging line.  There may be cases, however, where the product will effect the medium being used for rinsing bottles.  Rinsing machinery may use air, water or other solution to clean bottles.  If water or cleaning solution would have a negative effect on the product, an air rinser may be used.

Where the product or products being run will most affect the packaging line is at the filling stage.  Different filling machines will be used for different viscosity products.  In some cases, a filling machine will be manufactured to handle a range of product viscosities.  On occasion, a filling machine will even be modified to include multiple types of fill heads or even multiple filling machines, allowing different filling principles for different products.  

The type of product will also not normally have an effect on the capping machine to be used, though in rare cases some options may be added to a capper based on the product being filled.  For example, with some chemicals a fume extractor may be used with the capper or other points on the packaging line to keep the environment safe.

The package being used on a product can require modification to the container cleaning equipment, conveyors, filler and capper based simply on its size.  Conveyor width or height may leave the normal range for bottles or other containers that are extremely tall, wide or otherwise oddly shaped.  Special fill heads may be necessary for tiny openings or large mouth bottles.  Components of a capping machine may need to be tweaked to accomodate large or small containers as well.  Finally, package material combined with shape can play a part in designing and manufacturing packaging equipment.  Some modifications may be necessary if dealing with brittle, odd shaped containers or even containers that have a tendency to slip, like some smooth glass.  Each and every detail of the package will be taken into account before building the right machinery for the product.

A third factor that runs close behind product and package is the desired production rate.  In some cases, packaging machinery can be combined, like a spindle and snap capping machine.  However, if production rates require the spindle cap to be run throughout the work day, this option disappears.  Where multiple products are being run in a packaging facility and all have high output demands, it may become necessary to use multiple packaging lines for the different products.  

If you have questions about packaging lines or need some help figuring out the best solution for your packaging needs, contact one of our packaging specialists toll free today at 1-888-393-3693.