What Packaging Machine Options Do I Need?
Packaging machinery - from liquid fillers to capping machines, rinsers and more - manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions is always built to work with the bottles, product, caps and other components of the specific packager at hand. Browsing the website, packagers may notice that almost every product offered by LPS includes a number of different options. So how does a packager know which options are necessary or best for their own project?
LPS works with packagers to help answer that question. A quick look at the Automatic Overflow Filler will help explain the path to choosing the best options, if any, for a given project. There are quite a few options listed under the product. Some of these include Bottle Grabbers, Alternative Indexing Systems, Clean In Place Systems and Bottom Up Filling.
In looking at a project, it can actually be pretty easy to determine if bottle, or neck, grabbers will be necessary on a machine. If a packager uses tall or tapered bottles, or otherwise oddly shaped bottles, this option will need a closer look. Bottle grabbers are used to steady bottles as they are being filled. While conveyor guide rails will often be enough to ensure bottles remain in the same position, bottle grabbers will be employed when extra stability is necessary. The grabbers extend once bottles are in place under the fill heads to ensure the bottle opening stays under the head during the entire fill, avoiding splashes and spills and ensuring consistent fills.
Indexing systems are used to move bottles into and out of the fill area. Most liquid filling machines will use pin indexing to allow bottles in and out. However, again some bottles may require a different type of indexing to ensure proper placement. Alternative indexing may also be used to hit desired production speeds. Looking at the bottles and the desired speed, LPS can determine if pin indexing will work or if other options should be considered.
Clean In Place Systems, or CIPS, are used to wash out the product pathways and tanks after a production run. Depending on the number and type of products being used, the CIP system may not be a necessity. However, if a packager is performing short runs of multiple products where cross contamination is a concern, a CIP system provides a quick and easy way to clear one product from the machine before the next is introduced. Some packagers may also include a CIP simply for convenience, allowing for quick and easy maintenance and assisting in keeping the machine clean during downtime.
Whether or not bottom up filling is an option to consider stems from the type of product being filled. Some products tend to foam during fills. Others may create air pockets that can lead to inconsistent fills. Employing bottom up filling can help to stem both of these issues by diving heads into the bottle and slowing rising throughout the fill, resulting in less product agitation and a more reliable process.
As noted, each machine manufactured by LPS will include the ability to modify the machine through the use of options, all of which help handle the specific issues of a packaging project. Not all, or sometimes any, options will be necessary on every project. For questions about any of the options on any of the LPS machinery, contact a Packaging Specialist at 219-393-3600.