Semi-Automatic Packaging Machinery on Automatic Frames

Almost every packager, but especially those just starting a business or introducing a new product, hopes for growth in production and sales. But with that type of success comes the need for change. From the size of the plant to the number of employees to, of course, the packaging machinery. Liquid Packaging Solutions manufactures equipment with this type of change in mind, and one of the benefits we add to our machines whenever possible is the ability to upgrade the equipment.

For smaller companies, or for companies who find themselves currently limited in space, LPS provides semi-automatic tabletop packaging systems. From rinsing equipment to filling machines and bottle cappers, tabletop machinery can pretty much handle any of the bottles and products that can be taken on by automatic packaging equipment. Of course, lower automation means lower production speeds, but even tabletop equipment can be upgraded to a certain extent, such as adding rinse heads or fill heads to the machines. For companies with lower production demands that expect quick and significant growth, however, tabletop systems may not be the ideal starting point.

In addition to tabletop equipment, LPS also manufactures semi-automatic packaging machinery on the same frame used to build automatic machinery. Several key components separate these type of semi-automatic and automatic models. Semi-automatic machines may or may not be connected by power conveyors, depending on the speeds desired or the output necessary. Container cleaning equipment and filling machines may use a slide track, which allows the operator to move containers under rinse or fill nozzles, perform the task at hand and slide them out to be transferred to the next process. Bottle cappers will typically use a conveyor, but the operator will place the cap on the bottle before sending the combination into the capping area. In other words, operators will be responsible for the indexing, transfer, placement of components and in some cases the activation of the process, be it rinsing, filling or capping.

This type of semi-automatic set up will allow for faster production than hand rinsing, filling and capping product, but will also fall short of what can be achieved with automatic equipment. The machines described above are one of many options that fall between manual packaging and automatic packaging. The biggest advantage of semi-automatic equipment built on automatic frames, however, arrives when the packager sees an increase in demand and higher production is necessary. Rather than start from scratch with all new machinery, the semi-automatic equipment can be upgraded to an automatic system.

Though the additions will vary from project to project, such upgrades will usually consist of adding different components to different machines. For example, both rinsing equipment and liquid fillers will be upgraded with a PLC that allows the operator set up parameters from a single location for each bottle and/or product to be run. These parameters will include different delay and duration times as well as settings for indexing systems, bottle grabbers, pumps and more. The indexing system will also be added along with vision systems to ensure that the right amount of containers are in the right place before the rinse or fill takes place. Capping machines will require a cap delivery system to remove the need for the operator to hand place the closures on the bottle. Depending on the type of machine, adding the delivery system may be the only upgrade needed, along with the addition of controls to adjust speed and turn the delivery system on or off.

Different machines will require different upgrades to move them to fully automatic functioning, but initially manufacturing the semi-automatic machinery on the full size frame lays the foundation for growth from the beginning and allows the equipment to grow with the company. To learn more about these machines and other options available to packagers, call LPS to speak with a Packaging Specialist about your specific project.