Using Both Semi-Automatic and Automatic Packaging Machinery

Many of the pages on the Liquid Packaging Solutions website, including Complete Filling Solutions and a number of News articles, talk about completely automated filling systems. Other pages discuss the benefits of using a complete semi-automatic system. However, in between these two solutions, there exist many other solutions, including packaging lines that take advantage of both types of machines.

For a variety of reasons, such as space, demand or even budget, companies may choose not to automate every single component of their packaging line. At the same time, one or more tasks on the packaging line may simply take too much time to remain efficient when tackling it by hand or with semi-automatic equipment. Remember also that semi-automatic equipment, including tabletop machinery, will require operator assistance for each cycle run. Choosing to automate one task in the process can free up an operator to focus on other tasks where labor is limited.

As an example, some companies need to fill product to a specific volume within a specific tolerance range. Filling by hand would make it difficult to ensure that each and every bottle would fall within the necessary or even desired range. Using an automatic liquid filler would allow this component of packaging to proceed quickly, efficiently and consistently within that range. In this example, the packager may not have the need for high speed filling, but the benefit of the consistent and reliable fill makes the automatic machine a good solution.

With the fill done by machine, the same company may use a manual or tabletop chuck capper to allow an operator to work with the packaging machinery to ensure a good seal, again consistent without the need to worry about overtightened or loose caps. Semi-automatic labeling machinery would also let an operator place bottles into a nest to apply labels more quickly than could be done by hand.

The choice to automate one or more tasks on a packaging line may also come from analyzing the tasks to see which takes the most time when being performed by hand or on a semi-automatic machine. If one task takes longer, a packager may choose to automate that task to save time and speed up the entire process. A company similar to that in the first example may decide that rinsing bottles to remove debris by hand simply takes too much time, slowing down the processes of filling, capping and labeling. This company may choose to start the packaging process by automatically rinsing containers while using semi-automatic equipment and labor to fill, cap, label and pack product.

At LPS, our packaging specialists can help you analyze your packaging needs and find the best solution to add efficiency, consistency and reliability to the process as a whole. LPS also offers semi-automatic equipment built on automatic frames to allow for upgrades to automatic performance in the future, letting the machinery grow with your company. For more information, browse the website or contact LPS today!