Tabletop Filling Machines - Filling Principles
Just like automatic filling machines, tabletop bottle fillers can use a number of different principles to get product into the bottles. The principle used will depend on a number of different factors, including the product, the container and other variables that will be analyzed on a case by case basis. A few of the most popular principles are described below, along with some examples of the types of projects that would be likely to use each principle.
OVERFLOW FILLER - FILL TO LEVEL FOR FREE-FLOWING PRODUCTS
The overflow filling principle is unique in that it allows containers to be filled to the same level, even when the interior volume varies slightly from container to container. Overflow fillers use a unique nozzle that dives to create a seal on the container opening. As product is released, it will hit a level where it "overflows" back to the holding tank or product supply tank. By overflowing when a specified level is reached, the level fill is achieved. These machines are ideal for products that are packaged in clear containers such as bottled water and certain household cleaners. While best for free-flowing products, overflow fillers are an excellent solution for products that foam as well.
GRAVITY FILLER - VOLUME FOR THIN PRODUCTS
The gravity filling principle works just as the name suggests. Product is held in a tank over the fill heads, and valves will open to allow product to flow down in to the containers. Rather than filling to a level, gravity fillers allow the heads to be set to release a certain volume of product each cycle, based on the time that the valves remain open. Gravity fillers can be used for a wide range of products, including a number of different beverages, chemicals and cleaners, but is best for consistent viscosity, free-flowing products where volume is more important than a level fill.
PISTON FILLER - VOLUME FOR THICK PRODUCTS
The piston filling principle, like the gravity, is based on a volumetric fill. However, a tabletop piston filler can handle viscous products where a gravity filler may fail. Generally speaking, the piston retracts, allowing the cylinder to be filled with product. As the piston re-enters the chamber, product is pushed out of the cylinder and into the waiting containers. As the volume of the cylinder does not change from cycle to cycle, neither will the volume of the product released change. The advantage of piston fillers, as noted above, is the ability to handle thick products such as pastes, gels and sauces. The piston filler can also be manufactured to handle sauces like salsa, which may include chunks of vegetables or other particulates.
Of course, other filling principles do exist for tabletop or other semi-automatic filling machines. However, given the range of products handled by the three principles mentioned above, they tend to make up a majority of the tabletop machines manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions. However, every filling project is unique, and the ideal solution for any given project may fall outside of the popular machines mentioned above. To discuss your project with a Packaging Specialist, contact Liquid Packaging Solutions today.