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The Features of an Automatic Filling Machine
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Overflow fillers, gravity fillers, piston filling machine and other liquid fillers all vary in the way that they move product into a bottle or container. However, the automatic versions of these machines almost always have certain features in common. These features are intended to add efficiency, consistency and reliability to the packaging equipment. Below are a few of the most common features of found on Liquid Packaging Solutions' bottle fillers.

    Heavy Duty and Portable Stainless Steel Frame

    For consistent and reliable fills, the machine must be stabile throughout the process. The heavy duty stainless steel frame protects against shifting, vibrating and other movement that might effect the volume or the level of the fill, while also avoiding splashes and spills. The stainless steel material is compatible with a vast majority of products, though there are exceptions. When corrosive liquids are run on the machinery, other construction materials may be used for the frame, including HDPE. Ultimately, the material used will be that material which will better extend the useful life of the equipment.

    Easy Adjustments From Height to Heads

    Many packagers fill more than a single product, or at the very least fill into bottles of multiple sizes and shapes. Changing over from one product or bottle to another means stopping production on the liquid filler. These machines include simple adjustments to minimize downtime and maximize production. Fill heads can typically be moved using simple fingertip adjustment knobs, while power height comes standard on automatic equipment, allowing up and down movement with the flip of a switch. Even auxillary equipment such as power conveyors include knob adjustments or other simple components for railing and other changes. Other adjustments, such as time and delay settings, can easily be made from the operator control panel, discussed in more detail below.

    PLC with Touch Screen Controls

    Along with easy adjustments to the components of the liquid filler, the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and operator interface allow the operators of the equipment to quickly and easily set up indexing times, fill times and other settings for the machinery. The panel allows controls to be centrally located and may also include controls for other equipment such as power conveyors, turntables and more. One of the best features of the PLC is the ability to record recipes for product and bottle combinations. Once all settings have been input for a combination, the combination can be saved and recalled at a later date, making changeover that much easier.

    Vision Systems

    Automatic fillers are normally one of many machines on an automated packaging line. So in addition to performing efficiently and effectively, these machines must work with other equipment such as the conveyor system noted above, capping machines, labelers and any other machine on the system. An anti-bottle back up vision system helps the filling machine with communication. These vision systems are used to ensure jams and back ups downstream do not have a negative impact on the filler. If a jam is detected, the liquid filler will usually complete the current cycle and then cease cycles until the issue is cleared. In addition, automatic machines include a no bottle, no fill vision system to ensure that the cycle will only begin when the correct number of bottles have entered the fill zone. Depending on the filler, this vision system can help to avoid messy spills while also ensuring maximum efficiency. Other custom vision systems may be used with the filling equipment if the need arises.

    Two to Sixteen Heads with an Upgradeable Design

    Automatic liquid fillers will normally be manufactured with anywhere from two to sixteen fill heads, depending on the production demand for the product or products being run. The design of the two head filling machine, however, will usually include the ability to easily add heads in the future. In other words, the machines are upgradeable to up to sixteen fill heads, regardless of the number of heads on the equipment when delivered to the packager's production floor. This design allows the equipment to grow with the packager, extending the useful life of the machine and saving the packager from needing new equipment every time sales increase.

    While there are many other features that may be added to a used filling machine, the features noted above are normally standard on all equipment. To learn more about the different filling machines and custom equipment offered by Liquid Packaging Solutions, jump over and browse the filling machinery section our the website.

    Homogenizer, equipped with a set of motorized blades, combine wet grinding/shredding/shearing of the sample matrice together with extraction by swirling/agitation of the sample solution. They are popular in Karl Fischer analyzers, robotic systems and tissue homogenizers.

    HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAW APPLICATOR

    A straw and spoon applicator is an automatic machine. It works in a relatively simple way:

            ●    the belt conveys the products from the filling machine at the start of the line
       
            ●    the applicator sprays the glue
       
            ●    the application head secures the straw in the desired position
       
            ●    the product is conveyed to the case packer or the shrink wrapper at the end of the line.
       
    Thanks to its photocell system, the automatic straw applicator works autonomously, detecting products and downtimes.

    The straw applicator can apply up to 10,000 straws per hour; in the high speed version, the amount increases up to 18,000 straws per hour.

    By adding another drum unit, straws/spoons can be applied on multi-pack formats on a double line, thus doubling machine performance.

    The machine's flexibility enables the application of different types of straws - U-shaped, telescopic, straight - without having to replace mechanical parts. To modify the pace of the straws, a simple and quick replacement of the drum unit is needed instead.

    STRAW APPLICATOR: IT'S ALL ABOUT VERSATILITY

    The best straw applicator on the market is the one perfectly fitting your needs!

    Versatility is therefore key when choosing a straw applicator. The automated system must handle spoons and straws coming in different dimensions and formats (straight, telescopic, U-shaped), providing the option to choose direction and application side. It must also accommodate packages differing in height and volume, as well as multi-pack formats.

    In view of potential product integrations, a must-have feature is the bypass function, which enables alternate applications (one pack comes with a straw, one without).

    FURTHER CRITERIA TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A STRAW APPLICATOR

    Straw and spoon applicators are automatic machines requiring very low maintenance.

    Proper planning is crucial to streamline standard processes, in particular for complex components, such as the glue unit, both for refilling and maintenance operations.

    When handling packed liquids, which require aggressive cleaning to avoid the risk of contamination due to leaks, machines should be equipped with high-quality electronic components, to guarantee safety and reliability over time.

    Ultimately, application precision is another important aspect. The applicator must guarantee a perfect positioning of the straw or spoon over time, to avoid waste and downtimes.

    ARTEMA PACK STRAW AND SPOON APPLICATORS

    The philosophy guiding Artema Pack in the planning and production of straw applicators is clear: the machine must adapt to the client's processes and not the other way around.

    Thanks to this approach, the company was involved in complex projects, coming up with innovative solutions, such as applying straws on non conventional materials or positioning them in unusual areas.

    With an Artema Pack straw applicator, you can count on a high-performing and reliable machine, and also on yearlong expertise, which enables us to turn specific needs into solutions.

    Tetra Pak packaging solutions for food and beverages

    Every day, across the world billions of litres of water, milk, juice and other liquid foods are consumed. At Tetra Pak, we have developed a range of packages to protect both the nutritional value and the taste of the products inside. Thanks to tetra pak packer, the packaging and distribution of liquid and food products to the consumer has been greatly facilitated.

    We provide integrated processing, packaging, and distribution solutions for food manufacturing, and offer packaging machines for different packaging alternatives. From our network of production facilities, we also supply packaging material to more than 8,800 packaging machines across the globe.

    Digitalisation is changing the role of packaging. The Connected Package allows food and beverage producers to turn their packages into full-scale data carriers offering increased traceability, and value for each stakeholder in the entire value chain.

    No longer is packaging only about product protection and functionality – it is about connectivity and unleashing unlimited possibilities.


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