Packaging Machinery for Electronic Cigarettes

Packaging Machinery for Electronic Cigarettes

A health conscious public and what can really be termed a war on tobacco has led to the emergence of a new product in the packaging industry.  Though the roots of the electronic cigarette can be traced back to the 1960's, the popularity of the product has taken off as more and more people realize the health hazards behind smoking and attempt to kick the habit.  For packagers, the liquid used in e-cigarettes may be prepared in different ways, from placing the liquid directly in the e-cigarette to filling containers of flavors for re-fills.  Below are a few of the options when it comes to preparing these liquids for the customer.


Liquid for e-cigarettes generally consists of a vegetable glycerine or glycol, flavoring and/or some amount of nicotine.  The mixture of these ingredients can occur before the product reaches the filling machine or through a combination of the ingredients using the filling machine (multiple fills).  Since this product is being used, in a sense, for human consumption, the liquid is treated as a food or beverage product for the purposes of packaging.  That is, the filling equipment will likely be sanitary to help avoid contamination during the packaging process.  To protect against viscosity changes that could also effect the reliability and consistency of the process, liquid fillers for e-cigarettes will often be manufactured using a pulse based pump filling machine, though a sanitary gravity filler may also be an option.  These are, of course, general guidelines for the filling of such liquids, and each project will be analyzed to find the ideal filling solution.


The capping of e-cigarettes or refill containers of e-cigarette liquids will depend in large part on the cap being used.  E-cigarettes themselves may use a screw on type cap or a plug.  Refill containers will most likely use a screw on type cap.  Chuck cappers, snap cappers and even spindle capping machines may be used to secure and seal an e-cigarette or a bottle of refill liquid.  The chuck capping machine or snap capper may be more prevalent for the e-cigarette simply because of the size of the container and cap.  Given that e-cigarettes are normally on the small side, the spindle capper would be more likely to be seen when filling and capping refill bottles.  Again, an analysis of the container and cap will be completed for each project to find the ideal capping solution.


The small size of the container and the fill for e-cigarettes makes the product a prime candidate for a monoblock packaging system.  Rather than use an inline power conveyor system with a liquid filler, capping machine and labeler, those packagers preparing e-cigarettes may opt for a monoblock packaging system.  This monoblock design uses a star wheel indexing system with the packaging functions taking place at different spots on the star wheel.  For instance, the e-cigarette may be presented to the star wheel at the first stop.  As this container moves around the star wheel, the mixed or individual ingredients can be introduced via peristaltic pump fillers or other filling machines.  Once filled, the star wheel may jog one or two more positions to a point where the plug will be introduced and then on to another position where the plug is stomped or otherwise sealed to the container.  Once filled and capped, the star wheel can release the package to a labeling machine as a final step.  The monoblock system can be a cost-effective, space saving and efficient option to an inline system for the right package and product.

If you have questions about packaging e-cigarettes or flavoring for e-cigarettes, feel free to contact our packaging specialists toll free at 1-888-393-3693. 

Author:  Erik M. Arndt