Using an Automatic Overflow Filling Machine
Automatic overflow fillers are one of several types of filling machines manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions. This liquid filler is unique in that rather than filling by volume or weight, the overflow filler fills each bottle to the same exact level, regardless of small differences in the internal volume of each bottle. The level fill is achieved by allowing the pump to run long enough to overfill each bottle. However, when the liquid reaches the desired level, the excess liquid will return to the holding tank via an overflow port in the nozzle, meaning no product will be wasted during the fill!
The overflow filler will require some adjustments for different bottle sizes or shapes that are run during production. In order to ensure both consistent fills and an accurate level, spacers are used on each fill head on an automatic machine. Adjusting the spacers will change the depth at which fill begins to overflow. This simple process simply requires an operator to remove the nozzle washers and seals on each fill head and add or remove spacers as necessary to adjust the fill level. Keeping a record of the spacers used for any given bottle will make this process quick and easy when changeover is necessary.
The overflow filler also includes a power height adjustment that makes setting up the heads for the fill simple as well. Overflow fill heads dive into bottles and seal over the opening to allow liquid to return to the tank, rather than spill out the top of the bottle. Placing bottles under the fill heads and manually diving the heads until the springs found on the heads are compressed to a point where a fingernail fits between coils will ensure a reliable seal, fill and overflow.
Along with other controls, the manual control of the fill heads can be achieved using the simple operator touchscreen interface found on each automatic filler. Depending on the bottle size and shape, the fill and indexing times may need to be changed when different bottles are used in production. Operators can quickly and easily set fill time and indexing times on the touchscreen, as well as activate different components of a machine, such as bottle grabbers or drip trays. As noted above, different functions of the machine can also be controlled manually, such as head dive, indexing pins and more, which can save time when performing maintenance on the machinery. This screen also includes many different delay and duration times that allow the fill to remain accurate and consistent with each cycle.
While the specific controls for each machine may differ based on the project at hand, each machine will also include a Recipe Screen on the operator interface. The Recipe Screen allows all of the settings for a specific bottle and product to be saved for easy recall when changeover occurs. Even better, when product and bottles are provided to LPS for in-house testing, these recipes will be set at the factory, leaving the operator to simply press a button to pull up the settings and make the simple physical changes to prepare for a production run!
Training is typically provided during the installation of an automatic overflow filling machine to ensure the operators of the machine understand how to set up the equipment and changeover from one bottle to another. However, the existence of the Recipe Screen greatly shortens the time necessary to changeover from one bottle to another and allows for more production time during each shift.
The level fill of the overflow filling machine is ideal for a range of different industries and products, but can be especially beneficial to those packaging in clear containers to provide an aesthetically pleasing line when products are placed on the shelf. To learn more about automatic overflow fillers, visit the Product Page for the machine or contact a Packaging Specialist at LPS today.