Which Filling Machine Do I Need For My Project?
With a range of filling machines to choose from, new packagers, or even veteran packagers with a new product, will often ask Liquid Packaging Solutions which filling machine they need for their project. The answer to this question will depend on a number of different factors, including the product to be filled.
While different filling machines use different fill principles - filling by volume, level or weight, for example - different machines also handle different viscosities as well. Taking a look at the product itself will provide a starting point for narrowing down the possible filling machines for any given packaging project. As a general rule, gravity and overflow filling machines work better with lower viscosity, free-flowing liquids. Piston and pump filling machines, on the other hand, give the higher viscosity products the extra push necessary to provide an efficient fill. This is, however, a general rule, with exceptions based on both need and desire.
The two filling machines typically used for thinner products, the gravity filler and the overflow filler, provide two different types of fill. Gravity filling machines fill by volume, placing the same volume of product in each container. Overflow fillers, on the other hand, fill each bottle to a specific level, regardless of slight differences in interior volume. While either machine may work for a liquid, a packager that wants a specific volume of product in each container may choose a gravity filler. On the other hand, a packager with clear containers may take advantage of the level fills of an overflow filler for an aesthetically pleasing look when the product reaches the shelf.
Similarly, those filling thicker products may be able to use either a piston or a pump filler, but other factors may make one machine a better choice for a project. For example, a product with larger particulates, like fruit or vegetable pieces in a jam or sauce, might take advantage of the large open space of the cylinder on a piston filler to efficiently complete the fill.
Of course, not all packagers are preparing a single product. Some machines, such as the piston filler, can handle both thick and thin liquids, making it a good solution for those with a range of products. Overall, the right filler is a combination of what a packager needs and wants, given the above factors and any other considerations that may be unique to the individual project. LPS can assist a packager in analyzing their own filling project and helping to find the ideal solution for the liquid or liquids being prepared by that packager.