Tabletop Piston Filling Machines and Smaller Bottle Sizes

Often when we discuss tabletop piston fillers at Liquid Packaging Solutions, we focus on the fact that the machines can handle thick products more efficiently than some other equipment. With the spread of COVID-19, however, the fact that piston filling machines can accurately dispense smaller amounts of product provides another advantage to the machinery.

In our current, and strange, atmosphere, it is not unusual to see people carrying small bottles of hand sanitizer or hand wipes. LPS has seen an influx of new questions and requests for information regarding filling sanitizer and similar products to clean hands, products or surfaces. Piston filling machines can be ideal for some packagers preparing these smaller bottles and containers of sanitizers and cleaning products.

Piston filling machines consist of a cylinder, valve, nozzle and, obviously, a piston. Many tabletop machines will also use a hopper to hold bulk product. Product will typically move from the hopper into the cylinder. As the piston moves into the cylinder, product is then pushed through nozzle to the waiting bottle. The valve will rotate to allow product to flow from hopper to cylinder, then from cylinder to container.

Cylinder and piston combinations can vary in size, allowing a packager to fill both small and large containers with the machinery. Generally speaking, a specific cylinder and piston size will be able to fill a range of containers. For instance, an eight-ounce cylinder and piston could be used to fill two or four ounces by using a partial stroke of the piston. In some cases, the piston could also be cycled twice to fill sixteen-ounce containers. At some point, the cycles necessary to fill one bottle will reach a number that makes the fill inefficient, so the correct cylinder and piston size must be chosen to meet the needs of each individual project.

Tabletop piston fillers will usually fill a single bottle at a time, with operator assistance. So in the case of smaller bottles of hand sanitizer, the operator would simply set the correct piston stroke for the bottles to be run. Once set, the operator places the bottle under the nozzle and steps on a foot switch to begin the fill. This procedure allows smaller bottles of hand sanitizer, or any other product, to be filled efficiently, reliably and accurately by volume.

To learn more about these filling machines, visit the Tabletop Piston Filler page of the LPS website or contact LPS today to discuss your own project.