Step by Step for a Rinse Fill Cap Packaging Solution
Packaging lines come in many different shapes and sizes. With a nearly unlimited combination of machines that could be used to create a solution, including custom machinery, packagers may not always know exactly what will work best for their project. Three common machines often found on packaging lines, however, are bottle rinsers, filling machines and capping equipment. Each of these machines offer a number of options for packagers of all sizes, and Liquid Packaging Solutions will work with any packager to find the ideal solution.
Before getting to the individual machines, a packager will first want to analyze their production demand and labor capacity. Almost all packaging equipment is available in both automatic and semi-automatic models. Automatic machinery will normally run with power conveyors, requiring an operator only for set up and monitoring. Semi-automatic equipment will require an operator for each cycle run on each machine, meaning for every bottle or set of bottles rinsed, filled or capped, an operator will have to interact with the bottles, caps and other components. Semi-automatic machines will only produce finished products as fast as the operators can rinse, fill or cap, while automatic machines can run a hundred or more bottles per minute. Knowing the production needs will help a packager decide between automatic and semi-automatic equipment.
The type of rinsing machine chosen will depend on several factors, including the bottle types and the rinse type desired. Inverting rinsing machines can clean debris from containers using air, water, product or other liquid. These machines clamp bottles and turn them upside-down over a basin that collects the debris. However, heavy bottles, oddly shaped bottles and other unique containers may not be amenable to inverting. For these types of containers, a bottle vacuum, which uses special nozzles that allow containers to stay on the conveyors during the rinse will be a better option. Wet rinse, air rinse and bottle vacuums are also available in semi-automatic models.
Different liquid fillers work better with different product types. Thin products are often run on gravity and overflow fillers, while thicker products will be more easily filled using a pump or piston filler. While there are exceptions, analyzing the product will help to identify the best filling machine for any project. The type of fill desired is also a factor to be considered when choosing a filler. Some machines fill by volume, while the overflow filler fills to a level. For clear containers, an overflow filler helps to create an aesthetically pleasing view when the product reaches the shelf. Other fill principles, such as filling by weight, also exist. Like rinsing machines, almost every type of fill is also available with a semi-automatic model.
Choosing a capping machine will be quickly limited by the type of closure chosen for a packaging project. Spindle and chuck cappers work with continuous thread caps, while bottle corkers will secure corks, T-corks and similar closures. Capping machines also exist for ROPP caps, snap caps, crimpers and more. Custom capping machines may be able to handle more than one cap type, but as a general rule, the bottle capper will be built for a single type of closure. Again, all of the different types of cappers are available in both automatic and semi-automatic models.
Finally, packaging systems are not built in simply automatic or semi-automatic lines. The different types of equipment can be combined to work to meet the needs of the individual packager, allowing semi-automatic production for some processes and automatic for others. Equipment is often upgradeable, and integration is always possible, allowing a packager to grow without losing the ability to productively use current equipment.
To learn more about rinsers, fillers, cappers or any of the other equipment manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, simply browse the LPS website or contact LPS to discuss your own project, obligation free, with a Packaging Specialist today.