Packaging Equipment Options - Making the Machine Your Own
Browsing the Liquid Packaging Solutions website will bring you across "standard models" of numerous different packaging machines, from liquid fillers and capping machines to power conveyors, turntables and container cleaning equipment. However, there is very rarely anything standard about a machine that runs through production at LPS. This is because LPS equipment is manufactured specifically for the individual packager, and each individual packager will have slightly different needs. For this reason, almost every machine built by LPS has a list of common options that are available to help deliver the most efficient and consistent performance for the specific project at hand. Of course, the options listed below are not exhaustive as LPS must sometimes engineer custom solutions, but they are some of the most common options that are put to use on the packaging machinery built in La Porte, Indiana.
Turntables and Conveyors
Turntables generally come in two different types, loading and accumulating. These simple machines do not change much from project to project, but they can still be tweaked to add efficiency. Turntable tops can vary in size to match the needs of a packager based on container size. Height can also be adjusted from the standard to accommodate different projects. Some loading turntables will also include a deadplate, making it easier for an operator to get bottles from a box, carton or other package to the turntable. Power conveyors come in standard lengths and the most common option for these machines is a custom length based on need and space. Other options include special belting, such as heat resistant, for special projects. While a single guiderail is typically used on power conveyor systems, tall, heavy or oddly shaped containers may require a second rail simply to help with bottle stability.
Different filling machines use different principles to get product in to a bottle, from a fill-to-level system to a volume based fill or even a fill based on net weight. Options for liquid fillers will sometimes depend on the type of principle being used for any given project, but some may be seen across the different fillers. For example, bottle neck grabbers may be used to secure bottles and keep them secure under the fill heads. Diving heads may also be used for certain products and different indexing systems, from pin to starwheel to screw, may be used to increase speed, bottle stability or other components of the fill. Filling machines can be modified to need specific needs in so many ways that seldom will one be manufactured without some type of option included.
Of course, the type of capping machine used for any project will depend on the type of closure used to seal bottles, from screw-on to snap on to corks and other tops. The stability of bottles is crucial to reliable and repeatable capping, so that many machines, like the spindle capper, will include an option for double gripper belts. The gripper belts keep the bottle from shaking, wobbling or otherwise moving while the cap is being tightened, and an extra set of belts can be used for tall or odd shaped containers. Cap delivery systems on automatic capping machines may also differ, from the standard elevator to a vibratory bowl or a Pre-feeder and a bowl. The caps themselves will determine when such options will be necessary for any given project.
Many of the options listed on the LPS website for different machines are actually necessities when certain components of a packaging process are present in a project. Identifying the best solution for any project at each stop - loading, rinsing, filling, capping, labeling, packing and more - will help to determine which options will provide the most efficient packaging line. LPS Packaging Specialists are always available to discuss projects and explain why certain options may work better for specific packaging projects.