The Twelve Days of Packaging
The Twelve Days of Packaging
OK, so we know there are closer to 365 days of packaging in a year than twelve, but in the spirit of the season, we will present some of the features and benefits of packaging machinery. Also in the spirit of the season, we will NOT sing it for you.
Twelve Filling Heads
Or two filling heads. Or sixteen filling heads. Filling machines can be manufactured with anywhere from one to sixteen heads to meet the production demands of the individual packager, and to provide room for future growth through the addition of more nozzles.
Both automatic rinsing machines and automatic filling machines normally come equipped with a recipe screen. This recipe screen allows all of the settings for a single bottle to be saved for later recall. In other words, the recipe screen saves hours of set up time, letting the machines do what they do best - rinse and fill.
Ten Foot Conveyors
Most automatic packaging machines will include a ten foot conveyor to be incorporated into the packaging line. However, automatic bottle rinsers, liquid fillers and capping machines can also be rolled right up to most existing conveyor systems.
Nine Second Cycles
Cycle time refers to the time it takes for bottles to move into a machine, complete the fill (or rinse) and then exit the packaging machine. Cycle time is used to figure out how many bottles per minute or bottles per hour a machine can produce. Though we refer to a nine second cycle time here, the actual cycle time can vary greatly depending on the product, indexing type, the package size, the type of machine and a number of other factors.
Eight Spindle Wheels
Spindle cappers are one of the most popular capping machines. Automatic spindle cappers will typically use four sets of spindle wheels, or eight total wheels, to consistently and reliably tighten screw type caps. Some machines may use less than four sets depending on the cap and bottle type.
Seven Days a Week
Automatic packaging machinery from Liquid Packaging Solutions is built to run at a high capacity. In a crunch or just received a huge new order? Not a problem, conveyors, fillers, rinsers and cappers are built to run seven days of the week.
Six Container Sizes
As most of you know, packaging with one bottle size is not the norm. Most companies will offer a number of different size containers, even if only one product is being bottled. Packaging machinery needs to be change over friendly. If moving from one container size to another is quick and easy, then more finished products are produced on a daily basis. LPS packaging machinery is built with changeover in mind.
Five Seconds of Rinsing
Rinsing machines allow the operator control of the duration of the rinsing or cleaning process. Again depending on the bottle size and production demands, the rinse time can be changed to last anywhere from a fraction of a second to several seconds.
Four Filling Principles
While there exist more than four filling principles, four general principles work for a majority of products. Overflow, gravity, pump and piston fillers will cover almost all of the projects taken on by LPS. The filling principle used for any given project will depend on the needs and desires of the packager as well as the product viscosity.
Three Second Indexing
Indexing is one portion of the fill or rinse cycle on automatic packaging machines. In general, indexing ensures that the right number of bottles are in the right place for the function to be performed. The indexing time refers to the movement of the bottles in and out of the rinse or fill area, and will actually vary depending on bottle size, shape and other factors.
Two Vision Systems
Automatic packaging machinery will normally include a couple of standard vision systems, though additional sensors are available for other tasks. First, a count eye will ensure the correct number of bottles are indexing and send a signal to the PLC when properly prepared for the rinse or fill. Second, most systems include an anti-back up sensor that will stop machine production if a problem is detected downstream, allowing the issue to be resolved and avoiding bigger, messier backups with more down time.
And an Operator Interface on a Control Box...
Automatic packaging machines will normally include a control box with a touchscreen operator interface, though the cappers will not usually require this type of interaction. The interface allows the operator of the machine easy access to each and every setting that makes the machine perform. Delay and duration times can be changed, pump speeds can be set, indexing times can be set. As noted earlier, however, the most important screen on the operator interface is probably the Recipe Screen, allowing the operator to save all settings for a given bottle for easy recall in the future.
This of course in no way encompasses every feature or benefit of packaging machinery. However, whether during the holiday season or not, LPS is always here to answer packaging questions or assist in finding ideal solutions. From our family of employees to your family, we hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.