The Unique Technique - Overflow Filling Machine
While several different filling machines and methods can be used to fill liquids, the overflow filler is unique in the technique that it uses to fill each and every container to a specific level. Built for packagers both large and small, the overflow filler uses a special nozzle to achieve the level fill that is especially beneficial to those using glass or clear plastic containers.
The overflow nozzle includes a fill port and a return port. To begin the fill process, nozzles dive into the waiting containers, creating a seal over the bottle opening. Liquid then enters the containers through the fill port and continues to run into the bottle until the level reaches the return port. The product being filled then exits through the return port, typically "overflowing" back into a holding tank, leaving each bottle filled to the same exact level, even where slight inconsistencies exist from bottle to bottle.
The fill-to-a-level principle can be used for thin to medium products, as thicker products do not flow into bottles or overflow through the return port with the efficiency necessary to create a useful fill process. In addition to creating level fills the overflow process is also used as a means to control foam on certain products during the filling stage.
Automatic overflow fillers can fill up to sixteen bottles per cycle and are easily adjustable to handle a range of container sizes. Operators use a PLC and Touchscreen Operator Interface to allow for simple setup and changeover from one bottle to another. Once setup is complete, operators will only need to monitor the machine and supply bulk bottles and product supplies. Semi-automatic versions of the overflow filler still fill to a level and help control foam, offering an aesthetic benefit for clear bottles once they reach the shelf, but require more operator interaction to fill containers. Operators of a semi-automatic bottle filler will need to place bottles under the fill heads and initiate the fill with each cycle to be run, as well as remove bottles once the fill is complete. These smaller versions of the overflow filler, which are available in a tabletop design as well, are tailored to those smaller packagers that may produce a craft product or limited runs of products.
While each project must be analyzed to find the ideal filling solution, the overflow filling machine offers benefits to a wide range of packagers, including those with clear containers or foamy product. These benefits and the unique fill principle make the overflow filler a popular choice among packagers.