Setting Up Semi-Automatic Machinery for One Operator
Packagers, like the products they produce, come in sizes both large and small. For this reason, Liquid Packaging Solutions manufactures distinct types of equipment for projects both large and small. Fully automatic equipment from LPS can rinse, fill, cap and otherwise prepare products for the end user. But not every packager needs fully automatic equipment to meet demand. For this reason, LPS also builds semi-automatic equipment that can do almost everything the automatic machinery can do, and with the proper set-up, a single operator can rinse, fill, cap and ready product for the shelf.
Semi-automatic equipment, generally speaking, will require an operator to interact with the machinery during each cycle. In other words, any time bottles are rinsed, filled, or capped, the operator will be assisting the machinery to complete the task at hand. So when using a semi-automatic filling machine, the operator would place the bottles under the fill head and activate the fill by using either a foot or finger switch. Once the fill cycle is complete, the operator would remove the filled bottles and repeat, until the desired number of bottles are done for the day.
Semi-automatic machinery can also take on different forms. Many semi-automatic machines are built as tabletop equipment with a small footprint. Tabletop machinery can provide a complete packaging system while taking up very little space. While the speed of the machinery will depend on the operator or operators, the equipment allows for consistent, reliable and efficient packaging of products. For startup packagers or producers of craft products that produce smaller amounts of product, a manual rinsing machine, tabletop filler and tabletop capping machine can all be run by a single operator to meet product demand in different ways. An operator may simply rinse all of the bottles, transfer them to the filling machine to fill all of the bottles, then continue to cap, label and otherwise prepare product.
Given that this machinery can all sit in close proximity on a tabletop, an operator may simply rinse, fill, cap, label and prepare a certain number of bottles at one time as well. For instance, the rinser and filler may both be built with four heads. So an operator can rinse four bottles at a time, move those bottles to the filler to receive product, then cap and label the same bottles and repeat the process. As demand grows, more than one operator can of course be employed to speed up the process!
Many packagers of new products expect growth over time, as more and more contracts are procured. An alternative to tabletop packaging machinery sees semi-automatic packaging machines built on the same frames as automatic machinery. These machines can accommodate more bottles per cycle, but also take up more space for production. Similarly, operators can run production in the same manner as with the tabletop equipment, running all products on one machine or individual cycles through each machine. Semi-automatic machinery on full frames allows for other options as well, such as conveyors running between the machines to transfer bottles. The biggest benefit of the full-frame semi-automatic equipment is the ability to upgrade machinery to fully automatic production should the need arise, allowing the equipment to grow with the company.
Growth is one of many factors that should be considered when searching for the right packaging equipment for any product. LPS encourages packagers to contact Packaging Specialists early in the process to help identify the best machinery and the best level of automation for any project, based on demand, product, bottles, caps, labels and many other factors. LPS Packaging Specialists can be reached Toll Free at 1-888-393-3693 for consultation and assistance in finding the best packaging solution.