Toolless Changeover and Upgradeable Packaging Machinery
When designing packaging machinery for any industry or product, Liquid Packaging Solutions will always consider machine efficiency and overall life. Many different components of LPS equipment help to reach high levels of efficiency as well as ensure that the equipment will work for packagers for years to come. Today we look at two of these design components and why they are so important to the packaging industry.
Anyone in the packaging industry knows that very few packagers will prepare one product in one bottle. Even smaller packagers of craft products are likely to have multiple products or flavors prepared in different bottle sizes. Packaging machinery such as inverting rinsers and filling machines must be set up for the specific bottle that will be running. Filling machines set-up may also change for different products where, for example, the viscosity of the products differs. Set-up takes time, and during that time production is put on hold.
For this reason, the overall efficiency of the machinery is dependent on how quickly the machine can be set-up and start production, both at the beginning of the day and during any changeover of products or components during the day. Changing from one bottle to another on a filling machine should be quick and easy, to avoid the above referenced downtime. Fill heads can be moved quickly and easily with simple hand knob adjustments, sliding the heads into position when bottle width changes. Most automatic filling machines will include a power height adjustment when bottle height changes, and semi-automatic models can also use a simple hand crank to adjust height.
Capping machines, like the spindle capper, will also use a power height adjustment for different sized bottles. Spindles and gripper belts can be adjusted with simple knobs and cranks as well, minimizing downtime when different bottles need to be sealed throughout the day. Each machine manufacture by LPS will be designed to make changeover as easy as possible to allow for maximum production throughout the work day.
For packagers large and small, one main goal is often to extend the reach and demand of the product. When considering packaging equipment, businesses must take into account that the demand for their product may grow in the future. Future growth can be estimated, but not with exact precision. For this reason, whenever possible, LPS manufactures equipment that can be upgraded in the future to accommodate additional demand.
Equipment upgrades can be achieved in a couple of different ways. Rinsing machines and filling equipment can often add rinse or fill heads to increase output. An eight head automatic filling machine will be manufactured with a fill bar that can accommodate an additional eight heads in the future, allowing for almost twice as much output as when originally put on the production floor. The same can be done with semi-automatic equipment up to six or eight fill heads. As demand for a product grows, additional fill heads can be purchased and put into play. These types of upgrades allow the equipment to grow with the company.
Additionally, semi-automatic equipment can be built on automatic frames. In these situations, the semi-automatic equipment will require an operator to position bottles and activate the fill via a foot switch or finger switch. However, if the demand for a product grows, these semi-automatic machines can be upgraded to run automatically with the addition of a PLC and an indexing system. This type of upgrade allows the company to move from semi-automatic production to automatic without purchasing all new packaging equipment.
While each packaging project presents different challenges, almost all packagers will look for easy changeover and set-up as well as the ability of equipment to grow with the business. To learn more about the benefits of using LPS packaging equipment, browse the different machine categories on the LPS website or call to speak with a Packaging Specialist today.