Piston Fillers and Pump Fillers for Products with Particulates

Piston Fillers and Pump Fillers for Products with Particulates

Particulates are found in a wide range of different products.  Some salad dressings will contain spices and herbs.  Jams and jellies may be filled with chunks of fruit.  Even some hand soaps use crushed seeds, ground pumice and a number of other materials to create a helpful grit when washing or cleaning.  So while particulates are useful in different ways and in different products, each and every one of these products creates a challenge for the packaging machine manufacturer.  

Products with particulates will normally be filled using one of two types of filling machine, a piston filler or a pump filler.  A piston filler can be a single head stand alone filling machine or a multiple head, automatic, inline liquid filler.  Piston fillers are highly accurate volumetric filling machines.  During each fill cycle, the piston will retract from the filling machine cylinder, pulling product in.  Once the piston is fully retracted and the cylinder is full of product, the piston pushes forward, moving the product from the cylinder to the waiting containers.  This simple procedure creates a repeatable, and thus accurate, fill.  A wide range of piston sizes can be utilized for filling small to large containers, and the open cylinder can be used to accommodate products like salsa, salad dressings, soaps and other products that use particulates.  

Pump filling machines can also be used to handle products with particulates.  The filling principle used will depend on the type of pump on the machine, and the pump used will be selected on a case by case basis taking the product and production rates into account.  Positive displacement filling machines, for example, use a positive displacement pump, which essentially traps a certain amount of product and then forces it through the product pathway and, eventually, into the container.  Positive Displacement pumps may include a diaphragm pump, lobe pump, vane pump or some similar type of displacement per the packaging application.  These pumps can trap both product and particulates for the filling process.  Pump filling machines can also be manufactured as single head, stand alone fillers or as automatic filling machines with multiple fill heads.  

The type of filling machine used, and even the type of pump employed on the liquid filler, will depend in part on the size and density of the particulates.  Of course, additional items may also be necessary to ensure consistent filling of products with particulates.  An agitator or mixer may be necessary for the supply tank, to stop particulates from settling on the bottom or becoming congested in a single area. A clean in place system may be a useful tool depending on the nature of the particulates.  If you would like to learn more about piston fillers or pump filling machines, feel free to browse our informative website, or call toll free to talk one-on-one with a Packaging Specialist today!