Revisiting the Principles of Popular Filling Machines
As we end 2014, we would like to provide a quick refresher on the different principles used on our bottle fillers. Covered below are arguably the four most popular filling machines manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc., though other principles and custom machines are available. If you are planning to add a filling machine to your packaging line in the coming year, check out these and other filling machines on our company website, or just give us a call!
The principle behind the overflow filling machine is the ability to fill to a specific level on each and every bottle, even if small discrepancies exist in individual bottles. This filling machine offers obvious aesthetic value to products that are packaged in clear containers, such as bottled water and window cleaners. As with all of the filling machines discussed in this article, overflow fillers can be manufactured to meet almost any production demand, as tabletop, semi-automatic or fully automatic bottle fillers.
Gravity filling machines allow for the simple filling of free-flowing products using a tank positioned above the fill heads and a time based volume fill. Gravity filling machines can use a number of different filling nozzles and can include options such as diving heads, foam control and other extras to hand tailor the machine to the individual project.
Piston filling machines also use a volumetric fill principle, but allow for thicker products to be filled such as pastes, jams and jellies. Generally speaking, the piston will pull back to the set point during each fill cycle, allowing the same amount of product into the cylinder with each stroke. As the piston reenters the cylinder, the product is pushed out through a nozzle or nozzles to a waiting container.
Machines using a pump filling principle can also be ideal for thicker, more viscous products. The type of pump used will depend on the product and fill being completed, with many options available. For example, a gear pump may be used to move product based either on time or on the turn of the gear (pulse based). A peristaltic pump uses rollers that allow the product to be pumped without coming into contact with pump components, only the tubing, which makes this pump ideal for pharmaceutical and some food or flavor processes.
As packaging machinery manufacturers, part of our job is to help packagers figure out which filling machine will provide the most benefit for their specific project. For this reason, we encourage any and all companies looking for a filling machine to give us a call to discuss the different characteristics of their packaging process. Some products may be filled hot, some may change as temperature changes, some packagers may fill ten different products a day. Each of these elements of the filling process can be analyzed to find the best solution for the individual packager, and as previously stated, the four machines above present popular filling machines, but by no means cover all of the solutions available.