How Liquid Filling Machines Benefit the Paint and Coatings Industry
Using Filling Machines to Increase Efficiency and Profitability
Liquid fillers are integral to liquid packaging lines, with automated models capable of maximizing efficiency. Without this equipment, the filling process wouldn’t be reliable enough to ensure that no product loss occurs because of inaccurate fill levels.
Technological developments that are creating more automation and computerizing many of the components in filling machines have made them more dependable than ever before, with many of the best models designed to allow for full customization and user friendliness.
One type of liquid filler that can meet the needs of the paint and coatings industry is the net weigh filling machine. Designed to handle products of low to high viscosity, net weigh fillers are ideal for filling liquids in bulk quantities, such as 5-gallon pails, with consistent weight levels for each container.
Net weigh fillers work by using independently timed valves with custom programming through the filler’s computer. They can then fill precise amounts of liquid by gravity into containers, stopping once the liquid reaches the specified weight.
These fillers can fill many different types and sizes of containers, with many of the top models capable of lasting for many years.
What is a Piston Filling Machine?
At Liquid Packaging Solutions, there are a number of different types of filling machines manufactured to handle different product viscosities, different fill sizes and other variations in packaging projects. The piston filling machine can solve many issues for products with particulates or high viscosity liquids, though it can also handle thin and medium viscosity products as well.
As product sits in the hopper, the valve, which sits between the hopper and the nozzle, will be open from the hopper to the cylinder. The piston will begin to withdraw from the cylinder, typically after an operator activates the fill by stepping on a foot switch. As the piston withdraws, product from the hopper will fill the empty cylinder. Once the piston has withdrawn to the desired point, the valve will rotate to allow product to move through the nozzle. At this point the piston push back in to the cylinder and move product through the nozzle and in to the waiting bottles or other containers. This process creates a highly accurate volumetric fill as the interior volume of the cylinder will never change, meaning the volume of product released to the bottles will never change.
The hopper sizes can vary from project to project based on the size of the containers or fills. Not all piston filling machines, and in particular, the automatic piston fillers, will use a hopper from which to pull product. Automatic lines will likely include a tank or pull from a bulk source. The cylinder and piston combination are also available in different sizes to accommodate different projects. The speed with which the piston moves can be adjusted, different piston sizes can be used to meet volume requirements and even multi-piston, automatic filling machines can be designed for use with inline packaging systems. LPS piston fillers allow the operator to adjust the length of the piston stroke, which in turn adjusts the volume of product that is pulled in to the cylider with each fill cycle. This way a single piston size can handle a range of container sizes. While multiple strokes of the piston can also be used for larger fills, at some point the efficiency of using multiple strokes will become low enough that simply changing out the piston for large containers will be the better solution.
The nozzle used on any piston filler will be chosen to meet the needs of the particular project at hand. For instance, a product with large chunks of fruit or vegetables will not work well if a narrow nozzle is used to move product in to the bottles. On the other hand, a very large nozzle will be cumbersome with a small mouthed bottle. There is virtually no limit to the type of nozzles that can be used, including custom manufactured nozzles where special projects are concerned.
Though a simple concept, the piston filler can be an ideal solution for many projects and for liquids thick and thin. Though these machines are known for handling viscous products, in the right circumstances they will handle free-flowing liquids as well. For assistance finding the best type of filling machine for your own packaging project, contact Liquid Packaging Solutions today.
Overflow fillers, gravity fillers, automatic 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.