Quick Changeover and Clean-Up Adds Efficiency to Packaging Machinery

When considering packaging machinery for any project, much of the focus from packagers revolves around how fast the machine can rinse, fill, cap or otherwise prepare bottles. There will also be discussion about different bottle sizes and the ability of the machine to handle the range of containers, closures or other components. But packagers must also think of the overall efficiency of the machine, which includes the total number of hours the machine is running during a production day!

When multiple bottles, caps or labels are run on a single machine or packaging line, some time will be required to change over from one bottle, cap or label to another. The key to keeping a machine or a complete line efficient is to maximize the running time of the equipment by minimizing the downtime, or the time it takes to changeover from one component to another.

As to changeover, machinery manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions focuses on ease when moving from one container to another. While each packaging solution may have unique adjustments, some are built in to almost every machine to help speed up the changeover process. Almost all automatic equipment will include power height adjustments that allow fill heads, spindle wheel tighteners or other machine elements to adjust for different heights. Rinsing and filling nozzles typically use simple hand knobs that allow operators to loosen and adjust them for different bottle widths. Conveyor guiderails work in the same manner, allowing various diameter bottles to use the same conveyor to move from one packaging machine to another.

In addition, rinse and fill parameters, such as durations, delay times, speeds and more, can all be set on a touchscreen interface. Once these times are all set for the bottles and the products, they can be saved and recalled with a touch of a button to reduce set up and changeover time. Overall, every adjustment that is made quick and simple on each machine adds runtime and reduces downtime to increase the efficiency of the machine and the system as a whole.

Many packagers that run multiple products also have to worry about cross-contamination of the different liquids. In these cases, cleaning the machinery between runs becomes an important part of production. There was a time that cleaning machines entailed quite a bit of disassembly, cleaning and reassembly to protect against cross-contamination, but now the process can be completed much quickly and thoroughly in a fraction of the time.

Time spent cleaning the machinery will most often focus on the liquid filler, as this is the machine that interacts with the product being filled. Automatic machinery from LPS can be manufactured with a Clean-In-Place program that removes the need for disassembly and allow the operator to quickly and simply run cleaning cycles that may include the nozzles, product pathway and even the machine tanks. While CIP systems may look different depending on the type of filling machine and the cleaning desired, the purpose is to allow quick and easy cleaning without the need, as mentioned above, for time-consuming disassembly, cleaning and reassembly.

In some cases, dust and debris from the production floor environment may also necessitate more thorough cleaning of all of the machinery. This can be made more efficient as well with washdown components that allow for quick and easy clean up. As with all features of LPS machinery, the type and amount of cleaning necessary will be determined on a case-by-case basis to meet the needs of each individual packager. Custom machinery call allow even unique solutions to changeover and machine cleaning when unusual components are utilized as well!

To speak with a packaging specialist about your own changeover, CIP or machinery needs, call LPS toll free today at 1-888-393-3693.