Operating Automatic Packaging Machinery
While all of the automatic packaging machinery manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions is built with ease of operation in mind, each type of machine requires different actions by an operator to ensure efficient and reliable production. In general terms, automatic equipment requires the assistance of an operator at set-up. Once running production, operators of the machine or line will simply monitor the same for issues and add bulk components from time to time. Below we look at some common machines and the way in which they are set up and operated.
Conveyors and Turntables
Power conveyors and both loading and accumulating turntables handle bottles or other containers. The operation these two types of packaging equipment, while important to production, are about as simple as any machine. Both conveyors and turntables will require the operator to turn them on (sometimes through the interface of another machine) and set the speed correctly. Some simple adjustments may need to be made to bottle guides on loading turntables and conveyor railing if bottles are switched. However, if a packager is using a single bottle and product, all settings for these two types of equipment may be done at the factory and never need be changed. In addition, even with multiple bottles or containers, the speed settings can be recorded to make adjustments quick and simple.
Rinsing and Filling Machines
Though serving two separate functions, the controls for automatic rinsers and filling machines are very similar. Each will need to be set up for the specific bottle (or bottle and product in the case of the filler) and nozzles must be adjusted to center over the bottle being run. Typically, both will include a power height adjustment allowing nozzles to be raised and lowered using a toggle switch.
Of course, more than just speed and power are required to clean and fill containers, so the operation of these machines is slightly more complex than with the conveyors and turntables. However, a touchscreen operator interface allows for adjustments and settings to be centrally located. A variety of times for indexing, delays and durations make up what is called the rinse or fill cycle. For example, rinsing and filling machines will index bottles, requiring a specific time setting for each bottle entering and exiting the rinse or fill area, while also requiring a duration time for the rinse of fill. All of these times can be set or changed from the operator interface for each bottle that is used in production. To simplify even more, a recipe screen is found on the interface that allows all settings to be saved and recalled for a bottle or bottle and product combination. If all bottles and products are supplied during the manufacture of the machine, these settings will be factory pre-set, leaving the operator to perform a majority of set up at the push of a button!
Though capping machinery relies on timing, most automatic cappers will not include an operator interface. The efficiency of the capping machine relies more on the physical set up of the components, including the cap delivery system, bottle support system and the capping apparatus, be it a chuck head, spindles or other capping component. Bulk caps will need to be supplied for the cap delivery system, and some physical adjustment may need to be made for different caps, such as the tilt of an elevator. In most cases, the setting will be marked with a ruler or other sight component that will allow for quick and easy adjustment. The capping apparatus will also need to be adjusted in the same manner, with physical markings to make it easier whenever possible. Without the extra component of the rinse media or product, the capping machine does not require the same delay and duration times as the rinser or filler, though some cappers may take advantage of indexing as a way to stabilize the bottles for sealing.
Of course, other types of packaging machinery will include their own set up procedures, with custom machinery often including custom set ups. To learn about set up of any or all of the machines in more detail, contact Liquid Packaging Solutions today to discuss any machine with a Packaging Specialist.