The Basics of Liquid Filling Machines - Finding the Right Solution
At the heart of most packaging lines, the liquid filling machine is responsible for consistently and efficiently moving product into the bottles or other containers. Whether foods, beverages, chemicals or pharmaceuticals, one major aim of the packaging line is to fill bottles using one of a selection of principles that works for the industry or specific product. Liquid filling machines ensure that the correct volume, level or weight is reached to optimize the process of getting items to the consumer.
Choosing the Correct Filling Principle
The meaning of precision can change based on the needs of the packager. Bottles can be filled by volume, to a specific level or by other means, such as weight. The right solution for any project will depend on a variety of factors, including the industry, the product or products, the range of viscosities and any unique components. Certain industries may require a specific volume or weight, for example, making certain filling machines almost required for packagers in those industries. The most common fillers are those that fill by volume, such as piston, pump and gravity fillers, and the overflow filling machine, which fills containers to a specific level regardless of volume.
Customizing the Liquid Filler for the Individual Project
One size simply does not fit all in the world of liquid filling machines. With the differences not only in products, but bottles, closures, labels and other components, customization of bottle fillers is key to enhancing efficiency as well as cost-effectiveness in the packaging process. Customization may be as simple as choosing between a semi-automatic or automatic machine or choosing the number of fill heads on the filler. However, machines can be modified to add stability through the use of bottle neck grabbers or allow for corrosive liquids through the use of HDPE and special tubing. Each filling project is likely to present unique traits that will require modification or customization to allow the machine to reach maximum performance for the project at hand.
Operation of the Filling Machine
As noted above, liquid filling machines can be manufactured to perform semi-automatically or automatically, meaning the machines can optimize production for packagers both large and small. Deciding on the level of automation that will be used for any project means understanding how the machines work. Semi-automatic fillers will require an operator for each cycle of the machine. In other words, the operator will interact with the machine each time bottles are filled, moving bottles in and out of the fill area and starting the fill for each set of bottles. When using automatic machinery, the operator will simply set up the machine to run the specific product and bottle, then ensure bulk components such as bottles and product are available to the machine. Power conveyors and indexing systems ensure bottles are moved in and out of the fill area. With automatic equipment, the operator does not need to interact with every cycle, adding speed to the process. Understanding the manual labor that will be necessary to run the filling equipment will aid the packager in finding the right filling solution.
Liquid filling machines can increase productivity, improve accuracy and consistency and add the versatility necessary to prepare a range of products for the consumer. Selecting the right filling machine for any given project helps to maximize all of these benefits. Visit Liquid Packaging Solutions Filling Machinery today to learn more and explore the different filling machines and principles offered to liquid packagers.