Understanding the Accuracy of a Piston Filling Machine

Piston filling machines are versatile in that they can offer solutions for thick products, thin products and even products with particulates. In addition, the piston filling principle allows for a highly accurate volumetric fill for products in a number of different industries.

Speaking in general terms, the accuracy of the piston filler stems from the cylinder into which product flows before being pushed in to bottles or other containers. Obviously, the cylinder does not change from cycle to cycle, which in turn means the amount, or volume, of product that enters the cylinder will not change from cycle to cycle. So that each time the piston moves product out of the cylinder, the same amount of product is being moved.

Of course, not every container that is filled will be filled with the exact volume of the cylinder. Many packagers will fill a range of container sizes using a piston filling machine. So that cycles may consist of partial strokes of a piston or, in some cases, multiple strokes of a piston. Using reed, or position, switches, the piston filling machine can be set to perform partial strokes to achieve different volume fills, allowing multiple containers to be filled with one piston size.

In addition, the piston fillers can be manufactured to work as semi-automatic or automatic bottle fillers. Semi-automatic piston fillers require more operator interaction than their automatic counterparts. Operators of semi-automatic machines will normally place the bottle under the fill nozzle and activate the fill cycle with a foot or finger switch. The most common semi-automatic piston filler is a tabletop version of the machine that will use a hopper for product supply or pull directly from a tank.

Automatic piston fillers may often include more than one piston and fill head, allowing for multiple bottles to be filled with each cycle. Operators are not needed to initiate each cycle, but instead would set up the machine, including indexing, fill times (or strokes) and other components of the machine before starting production. A power conveyor system would then index bottles in and out of the fill area repeatedly until production was complete. Automatic piston fillers can be used as a stand alone filling station, as part of a new packaging system or the machine can roll up to an existing conveyor system as replacement or new equipment.

To learn more about piston filling machines, or any of the other filling equipment manufactured by Liquid Packaigng Solutions, visit the piston filler page or call our offices to speak with a Packaging Specialist today.