The Importance of Upgrading in Packaging Machinery Design
Different levels of automation are available for many type of packaging machine manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions. Bottle rinsers, filling machines and capping machines can all be designed, not only to efficiently prepare product, but to grow as the company's needs grow.
There are many different ways to upgrade machinery, depending in part on what the level of automation is when the machine is first delivered. With filling machines, almost all levels of automation will allow some upgrade to the production output. This can be accomplished by simply adding additional fill heads, to allow each cycle to fill more bottles. For example, on a tabletop, semi-automatic or automatic filler, the machine can start with one or two heads. The design of the machines, however, will allow a packager to easily add heads up to a total of sixteen on full-frame fillers or typically up to six on tabletop equipment. Taking a two head filling machine to four heads more or less allows for double the production output in the almost the same amount of fill time.
Production speed is not the only benefit of LPS machinery designed for upgrades. Many machines will also allow for the introduction of new bottles and components, even if the shape and size varies. For example, spindle cappers can handle a variety of different threaded cap types. A company may use a simple screw off flat cap, like those found on bottled water. However, if for any reason they wanted to add a flip top cap, or different sized flat caps, the capping machine can normally accommodate these additions with little or no new components. Many times the spindles, belts and cap delivery system can simply be adjusted to handle the new bottles and caps. In some cases, new stabilizers or a second set of belts may be necessary, but upgradeable equipment can allow package choices to expand as well.
For a number of machines, changes in automation are also available. For example, a packager may start with both a bottle rinser and bottle filler manufactured on a full sized frame, but running in a semi-automatic manner. In other words, manual labor will be used to load and unload containers on the rinser or filler, and will typically initiate the rinse or fill cycle (via a foot switch, finger switch or some other manner). When manual labor can no longer keep up with production demand, these machines can be modified to run automatically. This will require some on-site changes, such as the addition of an indexing system and a PLC with vision systems at a minimum, but it allows a packager to move from semi-automatic to automatic production without purchasing all new equipment.
Finally, LPS equipment is designed so that a packager can automate over time, rather than all at once. Even automatic equipment can be used as stand alone machinery, allowing a packager to automate one or two parts of the packaging system that may save the most time. In the future, other equipment can be added to form a complete, turnkey packaging system. In other words, automatic packaging machinery from LPS comes ready to roll up to any conveyor to start or add to a packaging system.
To learn more about the different options available from LPS, browse our website, or call the LPS offices today to speak with a Packaging Specialist.