The Benefits of Including Installation and Training for Packaging Machinery
At Liquid Packaging Solutions, ease of operation is one of many benefits that are built in to the machinery manufactured by the company whenever possible. More times than not, semi-automatic machines, from bottle rinsers to liquid fillers and capping machines, simply require an operator to step on a foot switch or press a finger switch. In these cases, the machines can be set up and put in to production in minutes by the packager, with both set up and changeover a quick and simple process.
Automatic packaging machinery, and completely automated packaging lines, will also be simple to use in that they normally do not require any operator assistance once properly set up. However, the set up of the equipment, as well as the changeover from one product, bottle or cap to another, requires an understanding of how the machinery communicates to prepare products without human interaction on every cycle. In these cases, packagers can benefit from having LPS technicians assist in the installation of the equipment as well as in training those employees that will be using the equipment.
While semi-automatic equipment entails placing a bottle and hitting a switch, automatic equipment requires the PLC to send signals at precise times to allow the equipment to consistently and repeatedly rinse, fill, cap and otherwise prepare product. A filling machine using pin indexing, for example, can include several key times to ensure efficient and accurate fills. In addition to the fill times themselves, indexing times, delay times and other duration times must be correct and specific to ensure the gates are opening and closing at the right time and that nozzles are releasing product correctly. In addition, certain sensors will be used to send signals to the PLC and communicate when these times should start and stop.
By adding installation and training, the packager and those running the automatic equipment receive several benefits. First, the equipment will be set up properly from the beginning of the production, and any issues upon first start up can be quickly assessed, solved and explained by the technicians. The equipment will be leveled and dialed in, so to speak. Physical adjustments and the reason for making them can also be explained.
On equipment with touchscreen interfaces, such as container cleaning machinery and bottle fillers, each screen can be taught comprehensively to those that will operator the machinery. From the Main Screen to Manual Toggle, Filler Set Up, Auto Indexing and more, the employees of the packager that will deal with the machine each day will learn how to use the interface for set up, changeover, troubleshooting and more.
In addition, one significant way that LPS makes operating machinery much easier is through the inclusion of a Recipe Screen for certain automatic machines. The Recipe Screen allows the packager to save and recall all the settings necessary for a specific set up. In other words, if a packager has a repeat run of 16 ounces of a certain product into the same bottle every week, the machine could be set up for that product and bottle at the touch of a button! Of course, this can only be set at the factory is LPS is supplied with samples of product as well as all of the components that will be used by a packager. However, by supplying the samples, automatic equipment becomes nearly as simply to run as the semi-automatic machines described above.
Installation and training helps to ensure that equipment is properly set up and used from Day One. Even where Recipes are pre-loaded, operators will have a keen understanding of the equipment and procedures necessary to keep the packaging process running efficiently, while also being able to set up machines for new products and bottles in the future. While not every piece of equipment or packaging line will require these services, especially where veteran operators are in place, LPS always recommends both Installation and Training for new, automatic machinery.