Optimizing Your Packaging: A Guide to Choosing a Filling Machine

At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we understand the diverse needs of those packaging liquids, which is why LPS offers a range of filling machines designed to meet different needs for different packaging projects. Identifying the correct filling machine for any project can be a daunting task for those unfamiliar with the different machine types. However, there are key considerations that go a long way to making an informed decision on the best filling solution for any circumstance.

Understanding Your Liquid Product

Different liquids have different characteristics, but one of the most important traits when searching for the ideal filling machine is product viscosity. Certain filling machines work well with free-flowing liquids, allowing a product to move freely through the product pathway. Other, thicker liquids, may need an additional push through the pathway using a pump or piston to help product flow. While understanding viscosity will go a long way toward identifying an ideal filling machine, other factors, such as foaming, product particulates and viscosity changes with temperature will also be taken into account when comparing filling machines.

Comparing Types of Filling Machines

At Liquid Packaging Solutions, four specific types of filling machines account for a majority of the filling equipment manufactured at the LaPorte, Indiana plant. As a general rule, both overflow fillers and gravity fillers are popular for lower viscosity products, while piston and pump filling machines are used more often when liquids need that extra push. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and some packagers may run products with a wide range of viscosities, which is why other factors are always considered when searching for the ideal solution.

Filling principles should also be considered, as some industries may require or desire accurate volumetric fills, which are provided by gravity, pump and piston fillers, while others may prefer a level fill, which can be attained by the overflow filling machine. Net weight filling machines and custom equipment may also provide less common ways to fill liquid products.

Production Demand and Speed

Bottle fillers can be manufactured as both automatic and semi-automatic machines, allowing solutions for both small-scale packagers and higher speed facilities. Understanding not only current needs, but also estimating growth, can also be helpful in choosing the right filling machines, as almost all bottle fillers allow for upgrades and growth along with the company. Semi-automatic filling machines require an operator to interact with each cycle run on the machine, while automatic liquid fillers only require set-up and replenishing of bulk components from time to time.

Customization and Options

Finally, no two fillers are likely to be built exactly the same. Each project will have distinctive traits, and LPS machines are customizable to meet the needs of individual packagers. These customized solutions may be as simple as neck grabbers for bottle stability or a unique indexing system to help with speed and bottle control. In some cases, customization may mean starting from scratch and engineering a completely unique filling solution for rare or special projects.

While analyzing your product, demand and options can help identify the ideal filling solution for just about any filling project, LPS Filling Specialists are always available to answer questions and help with the journey to efficient and consistent liquid filling.