Packaging Machinery for Smaller Containers

Having recently discussed packaging machinery for larger containers, we figured we should probably take a look at the other extreme as well. Packaging machinery for smaller containers will often, just like extremely large containers, require some custom manufacturing or extra components to ensure efficient and consistent filling, capping, labeling and conveying.


While there are many different types of small containers, vials and tubes do make up a portion of this category. The problem with vials and tubes is they typically have a rounded bottom, which can make moving such vessels from one packaging machine to another difficult. Adding pucks, either loaded to the conveyor or built in to the transfer system, can add stability to the containers and allow for reliable filling and capping. Systems may also include a de-pucker to remove containers from the puck once all packaging tasks have been completed on the line.


The filling machine can be a challenge in that small containers will require very small amounts of liquid. Typical nozzles may not work well when dispensing an ounce or even a fraction of an ounce. While many different filling principles may still be used, the machines themselves will be modified to handle the minute amount of liquid entering bottles each cycle. Depending on the product, different methods, nozzles or even pumps may be used to achieve the packaging goal.


Capping and labeling machines will not normally require special, or custom, designs. The type of capping machine used for any small container will depend on the type of closure being used to seal that container. Whether a screw-on type closure, snap cap or plug, standard capping machines can handle a range of sizes. Some adjustment may be necessary to run smaller caps where a range of caps are being run, but in most cases the machine itself will not require custom design.

Labeling machinery is much the same, except that standard machines exist specifically for smaller containers like vials or tubes. Unlike water bottles, laundry detergent, soda or other products, liquid packaged in small containers like vials or tubes offer very little space to apply a label. Labeling machines are manufactured to handle just this type of label.

While many small containers will still be packaged on an in-line system, another solution does exist for those with limited space. Monoblock machines use a starwheel to allow for smaller containers to be filled, capped and otherwise packaged as they make there way around the wheel. The packaging done will depend on the project at hand and which components are necessary. To learn more about packaging machinery for small containers, contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc., today.