Narrowing the Machine Options for Any Packaging Project
With so many packaging machines to choose from, how does a packager begin to narrow down the choices and find the best solution for any given project? Even within single categories, such as filling machinery, there exist a number of different options to put product into bottles or containers. However, by analyzing the components of one's own project, the best equipment can often quickly be identified.
In most cases, packagers will use an inverting rinsing machine to clean containers before product is introduced for the fill. The decision to use air, water or other liquid to clean the inside of bottles will often depend on the products being filled and the needs or desires of the packager. Packagers worried about cross-contamination may use product to rinse bottles, while others may use water or a cleaning solution to rinse away dust and other debris. Air rinsers are often chosen over the wet rinsing machine simply due to the reduced waste product with each cycle, worrying only about the residue from the containers rather than the rinse media and the debris.
However, in some cases, the bottles themselves may come into play. Small, large, heavy or oddly shaped bottles may require a solution that removes the inverting process from the rinse. In these cases, a bottle vacuum can be used to remove contaminants while containers remain on the power conveyor. A look at the containers used, the product that will be filled and the amount of debris being removed can all help to choose the correct rinsing machine for any given project.
Two factors play a large part in determining which filling machine will be the best option for any packaging project. The first is the fill principle to be used for the products being filled. Some packagers may prefer a fill-to-level machine, while others may prefer or even require a volumetric or net weight fill. Choosing a fill principle may depend on the packager's industry, the product or even simple personal preference. The second important factor in narrowing down filling machine options goes to the product itself. Different filling machines work better with different viscosities, and though not set in stone, free-flowing products will typically be filled using an overflow or gravity filler, while thicker products are filled more efficiently with pump or piston filling machines. Though other factors will come in to play, analyzing industry requirements and product viscosity will go a long way toward identifying the best filling machine for a packaging project.
Capping machinery is all about the cap. Probably the easiest packaging machine to narrow down for a packager, the equipment used for sealing bottles or other containers will be chosen based on the type of closure used for any given project. ROPP Cappers seal ROPP closures, Snap Cappers will push on snap-on type closures, Bottle corkers work with T-corks and other cork-like closures. Some type of caps, such as screw-on type, continuous thread closures, will work on different machine types. In these cases, speed, space and other factors will decide which capping machine will work most efficiently.
With much of the equipment, as noted in the filling machinery section, there are exceptions to almost every rule. Space and speed are also considerations, but will typically help to determine whether semi-automatic or automatic equipment will best fit the project. Other factors may also be considered on a case-by-case basis when narrowing down equipment to find the ideal solution, but the factors above are a great start for homing in on the best machines. For assistance finding the best equipment for any project, simply contact Liquid Packaging Solutions to speak with a Packaging Specialist about your project.