Starting Simple - Semi-Automatic Packaging Machinery
Everyone has to start somewhere, and when it comes to packaging, the starting point can differ greatly from company to company. Visit a packaging facility of an established packager or a corporation packaging a wide range of products and most likely you will be confronted with one or more automatic packaging lines, including equipment for rinsing, filling, capping, labeling and more. However, even these large packagers likely started with something less than multiple fully automatic lines. New packagers, or those packagers a product for a local or regional customer base, may find that complete, automatic lines are overkill or simply do not fit the current budget.
At Liquid Packaging Solutions, packagers both large and small are served by the different levels of automation available on a range of different machines. Semi-automatic packaging machinery gives new and smaller packagers an option to increase efficiency without breaking the bank. Nearly every machine that is available on an automatic line can also be manufactured to run semi-automatically, using an operator to assist in the process.
These machines can be built with a small footprint such as tabletop versions of fillers and cappers, or they can be manufactured on a full frame, often giving a packager the ability to upgrade equipment should the demand for their products grow. Regardless of frame or footprint, semi-automatic machinery typically functions in the same manner.
Semi-automatic machines will require an operator to assist with each cycle run on the machine. For a rinsing machine, the operator will place bottles on the rinse nozzles and use a finger or foot switch to initiate the rinse. An operator of a filling machine will place bottles under fill nozzles and initiate the fill cycle. Capping machines will normally require the operator to place a cap on the bottle and present the cap and bottle to the sealing mechanism, be it a chuck, corking head or spindle disks. In each case above, the operator works with the machinery to complete the necessary task. Semi-automatic machines add precision, consistency and reliability to the packaging process over hand rinsing, filling, capping or other processes. In most cases, semi-automatic machinery will also add speed to the processes as well.
As noted above, using semi-automatic machines built on a full frame often leaves room for packagers to upgrade in the future, in some cases to fully automatic equipment by adding a conveyor, PLC and indexing system. But even some tabletop equipment, such as liquid fillers, can be upgraded without adding automation, by adding additional heads. Depending on the type of filler, some tabletop machines can run up to six heads with each cycle.
While LPS equipment is typically categorized as automatic or semi-automatic, there are numerous ways to manufacture these machines, with custom solutions available for custom packaging needs. To learn more about semi-automatic packaging equipment and find the best solution for your own packaging needs, contact a Packaging Specialist at LPS today.