Taking Care of My Packaging Equipment
One concern for packagers when acquiring new machinery for filling, capping, labeling or otherwise preparing product is obviously the reliability of the machinery over the long term. In most cases, testing at the manufacturer's facility prior to shipping the machinery to the packager ensures the packager that the equipment will do the job that it was built to perform. But for how long? While the design and construction of Liquid Packaging Solutions equipment helps to ensure a long, productive life for the machinery, the care and maintenance of the equipment also contribute significantly to getting the most out of the machines.
As an example, we will quickly go through some of the most common machines to show some simple tasks that can prolong the consistent, reliable functioning of packaging equipment:
POWER CONVEYOR SYSTEMS
Power conveyors are crucial to the efficient performance of the entire packaging system, in that they are the tool used to move containers from one packaging process to the next. Conveyor systems also seem to be the most overlooked piece of equipment when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. With a constantly moving belt, these systems can quickly accumulate dust and debris in corners and at the ends of the conveyors. This build up of debris can make motors work harder, while also putting undue stress on sprockets and other components. In other words, simply wiping down the conveyors and the belting on a regular basis can go a long way toward extending the useful life of the system.
AUTOMATIC LIQUID FILLERS
The obvious difference between filling equipment and other machinery on a packaging line is that the fillers come in direct contact with the product in a way that the other equipment does not. The product typically runs from a tank, through a manifold, through the tubing, onto the nozzles and, finally, into the containers. Depending on the product itself or the number of different products being run by any packager, keeping this product pathway clean will help preserve the tubing and in some cases the nozzles and components while also ensuring that no cross contamination exists when multiple products are run. Some automatic machines come equipped with clean-in-place systems, which allow for quick and easy cleaning of the product pathway, while others may require some disassembly for thorough maintenance. Again, the product and filler type will determine the maintenance necessary but cleaning the path will help to extend the life, efficiency and reliability of the equipment.
AUTOMATIC CAPPING MACHINES
Like automatic liquid fillers, automatic capping machines will vary in design and construction based on the type of cap being used to seal bottles or other containers. But most capping machines will include wear parts that come in contact with the cap for tightening or bottle for stability. Belts, disks and other wear parts will literally wear away over time due to the friction necessary to perform their functions.
Packagers must also be aware of their environment and atmosphere. Extreme heat, cold or corrosive fumes can have a negative impact on equipment, especially if the manufacturer was not made aware of the condition prior to the design and construction. As a packager, if there is any question as to what cleaning or maintenance should be performed on your equipment or components, do not hesitate to contact Liquid Packaging Solutions. Our service team will walk you through these and other simple tasks that will help get the most out of your packaging system.