The Journey From Semi-Automatic to Automatic Packaging Machinery

As a company grows, the likely result of that growth is an increase in the production demand for product or products. Grow large enough, and demand can warrant an automatic packaging line to efficiently reach production goals in the desired time. However, not every company starts with production demands that warrant a fully automated system, and a good number actually start with the owners hand packaging products, including filling, sealing, labeling and packing for shipment. But changing packaging equipment every time production increases may not be economically feasible. Luckily, there are some options for packagers that allow equipment to grow with the company!

Some of the most basic pieces of packaging equipment are manufactured as tabletop packaging systems, yet even some of these machines can be upgraded to allow for a longer life with the company. For example, tabletop filling machines may start as simpel two head machines, but as production grows, additional heads can be added. Doubling the number of fill heads, for example, allows twice as many bottles to be filled in nearly the same amount of time.

Still, tabletop equipment will only take a growing company so far. This is why Liquid Packaging Solutions offers different varieties of semi-automatic packaging equipment. In addition to the tabletop machinery, semi-automatic equipment, from bottle fillers to capping and rinsing machines, can be built on the same frame as the automatic machinery produced by LPS. The semi-automatic equipment on the full frames allows packagers to use labor to meet production demands while allowing for the option of automating equipment in the future, either one machine at a time or as a complete system.

For example, a packager may have a semi-automatic filler and a semi-automatic spindle capper in their facility to meet production demands. The filler would require an operator to place bottles and initiate the fill by using a finger or foot switch. The capping machine would require the operator to place caps on each bottle before sending those bottles through the machine. If demand increased, a power conveyor could be added to the filling machine and connected to the spindle capper. In addition, the filler would require a PLC and indexing system. An automatic cap delivery system could be added to the capping machine and the system would now fill and cap bottles automatically. A turntable may be added to the beginning of the filler conveyor to allow the operator to load empty bottles, but the need for an operator for each cycle would be eliminated and output would increase dramatically.

Of course, each packaging project may require different modification or additions to turn semi-automatic equipment into fully automated machines, depending on the machinery being used by the specific packager. However, almost all systems can be manufactured to allow for future growth to extend the useful life of the packaging equipment.