Uniframe Packaging - A Turnkey Solution With A Small Footprint

The term turnkey packaging system will normally bring to mind multiple automatic packaging machines with a power conveyor system connecting all of the equipment, allowing a packager to rinse, fill, cap, label, pack and otherwise prepare products for consumers. But turnkey systems can take on a number of different forms. For those packagers with production demands that just don't warrant a completely automated system, or for those who do not have that kind of space available, a uniframe packaging system can offer an alternative, yet still efficient, solution.

Uniframe packaging systems, as the name suggests, are built on a single frame, but the frame allows for multiple packaging machines, allowing packagers to rinse, fill, cap, label and otherwise package their products, just as they could with an automated system. However, the uniframe system will require more interaction from the operator of the system. These type of systems may be manufactured on a single, free-standing frame, or they may be built to incorporate several different packaging machines on a single tabletop. To demonstrate how a uniframe system might work, assume that a new packager is preparing bottled water for a local market with a need to rinse, fill, cap and label bottles.

The frame used for such a set up would likely house the filling machine in this situation, and with bottled water, a simple semi-automatic overflow filler would work for the packager. The machine may have anywhere from one to six fill heads, and could be upgraded to six in the future if fewer heads were used initially. In general terms, the operator would place bottles under the fill head, usually using a slide track to assist, and press either a foot switch or finger switches to activate the fill. Once filled, the operator would remove the bottles. In other words, the uniframe system starts as a simple semi-automatic filling machine.

However, before the bottles are filled, many companies will first want to rinse the bottles to rid them of dust, debris and other contaminants. To accomplish this, a simple semi-automatic wet rinser can be attached to the filler frame, normally to the left side of the filler to create a logical flow for the bottles. The same operator can place bottles on the rinse nozzles and activate the rinse cycle with a footswitch, thus cleaning the bottles before sliding them under the fill heads for the introduction of product.

After the rinse and fill, the bottle will need to be securely sealed, and most bottled waters use a simple screw on type cap as a closure. A simple handheld chuck capper can be added to an extension or support and hang from the right of the filling machine. This allows the operator to simply slide the bottles from under the fill head, place a cap on the bottle and tighten the lids with the chuck capping machine. This leaves the labeling machine, which can also sit on an extension of the frame or on a tabletop next to the filling machine. Once rinsed, filled and capped, the same operator can introduce the bottles to the labeling machine to wrap a label around each bottle in a consistent, wrinkle-free manner.

While not as fast as a completely automated packaging line, this type of system can still add efficiency over hand packaging a product. Not only does the set up allow a single operator to perform all packaging functions, but the equipment helps to ensure that each of the functions will be consistently and reliably completed, from clean bottles to fill levels to cap tightness and label application. For more information on uniframe packaging systems and other equipment for production both big and small, check out our website or call toll free to speak with a Packaging Specialist today.