Filling machines

Finding the ideal filling machines for any packaging project should be a joint effort that includes not only the company doing the packaging but also the manufacturer of the packaging machinery. Instead, that question must be answered anew with each filling project based on the unique and individual characteristics of that specific project. The two companies must also consider the future of the product and packaging, as the ideal filling machine at the present time may not be ideal in the future. The journey to the perfect machine, therefore, should include several stops.

To find the ideal bottle filler for any packager the specific and unique needs of the project at hand must be analyzed. Is the product being filled with a thin, free-flowing product? Or is it a thicker, highly viscous product? Some packaging projects may need to fill both types of products. The product viscosity or viscosities will generally lead to the correct filling machines, be it overflow, gravity, piston, or pump, though there will be exceptions to the general rule. However, choosing the correct principle for the filling machines is only the first step in the process.

Another factor to consider is the desired speed of the packaging line. The speed of the filling machine must match or exceed the speeds of other filling machines that make up the entire system or the desired production will not be met. Will a tabletop machine capable of filling a couple of hundred bottles an hour meets current needs? Or will a fully automatic, sixteen head liquid filler be necessary to keep up with an automatic capping machine and labeling equipment? As will be discussed below, this is also a good time to consider the future goals and growth of the product and the company in general.

Finally, the packager and the manufacturer should analyze any additional features that may be necessary on the filling machines. Do any of the products to be filled include particulates, such as tomatoes in spaghetti sauce or seeds in a salad dressing? If so, a special pump may be included to handle the particulates, or a different filling principle may be used. Does the product change inconsistency at different temperatures? In some situations, such as this, heating the product to fill it may result in a more reliable filling process. There is a multitude of possible adjustments coming from special or unique characteristics that can be made to a filling machine. As this final step of the analysis is completed, the ideal filling machine for any given project should start to take place, but, as noted above, there is still more to consider.

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