Automatic Liquid filling machines are found throughout all types of industries including food, beverage, chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical. These industries typically require filling speeds of 10-60 containers per minute, but can sometimes necessitate speeds up to 100 or more. Going beyond 100 containers per minute most user will be looking an a high speed rotary style filler.
While some fillers can handle a large range of liquid types, in most cases it is best to match the filler type to the product. A machine that is best suited for filling bottled water may not be capable of filling a thick facial mask. Nor would a filler setup to fill a chemical cleaner be a perfect match for chunky salsa. Ultimately your products characteristic will dictate what type of filling machines is best for your particular needs.
Overflow fillers are one of the most widely used machines in bottle filling operations because of its ability to fill a wide range of thin to medium viscosity free flowing liquids. Overflow filling equipment is also referred to a “fill to level” filling machines. This is because overflow fillers fill to a target fill height in the container rather then volumetrically. This also mean that regardless of a containers shape or size each will be fill to the exact same level for a very eye pleasing cosmetic height fill. Overflow fillers are also very accurate when it comes to volume filling as long as container specification do not very greatly.
During its fill cycle an Overflow filler creates a closed loop making it the ideal filler for handling foamy products. Bottled water, thin liquid soaps, cleansers, and even light oils are all good examples. These fillers come constructed from sanitary stainless steel and can also be custom outfitted for specialty chemicals.
Overflow fillers are relatively low cost and are very easy to use. They are generally not suitable or products exceeding 2000 centipose or products with particulates over 1/16” diameter.
Piston filling machines is best suited for viscous products such as paste, creams, and even chunky products with large particulates. Piston fillers are built to meet food grade standards and are commonly used in the food industry to fill heavy sauces, salsas, salad dressings, and other similar products. They are also used in other industries to fill cosmetic creams, shampoos, gels, wax, glue, grease and additional viscous products.
Piston fillers work by pulling a piston back in its cylinder which also draws in product from the supply tank or hopper. A check valve then changes position so that on the pistons down stroke the product is pushed out of the piston chamber, through the fill nozzle, and into the container. The volume of product is determined by the size of the piston cylinder and how far back the piston is drawn. This method of filling is very precise each and every time.
There are a number of advantages to using a piston filler. As a conventional mechanical filler it is one of the easiest to understand an use. It is also one of the more cost effective solutions for accurate filling of thick products. And because of there simple design they are easy to clean and maintain.
Generally speaking Piston filler are not typically used for thin free flowing products. While Accutek Piston Fillers are capable of handing free flowing products, its not recommended. Other considerations for piston fillers is that there fill cycle is limited by there cylinder size. A smaller cylinder can fill a larger container with multiple dose cycles but that will slow down the filling process. On the other end of the spectrum a larger cylinder can be made to deliver a smaller dose but the bigger the variance the less accurate the delivered volume becomes. Most customers typically look for piston fillers with an 8oz or 16oz piston. Accutek can build piston fillers with larger 32oz, 64oz, or 128oz cylinders should the project require it.
Positive Displacement Fillers are one of the most versatile filling machines available. They are capable of filling nearly any type of product that can be pumped. Each fill nozzle has a dedicated servo controlled pump that can move thin liquids, medium to heavy viscosity liquids and semi-solids, and products with large particulates. Soaps, pharmaceutical products, greases, oils, cosmetics, heavy sauces, frosting, peanut butter, and other similar products are all great examples. Because Positive Displacement Fillers are flexible they are often used by contract packagers who are constantly changing they type of product they are working with.
While Positive Displacement Fillers are one of the most adaptable they also require a larger technical know how in order to properly maintain and a larger capital investment. However if affordable these fillers are an outstanding choice for virtually any type of liquid filling operation.
Timed Flow Volumetric fillers are the most economical type of filling equipment available for thin viscosity liquids. Sometimes these types of fillers can also be referred to as “Gravity fillers” or “Pressure Fillers”. A Timed Flow filling machine is also well suited for applications where recirculation is not desirable, such as with corrosive chemical filling like acids and bleach. Additional example products that are typically filled with a Time Flow Filler include water, solvents, alcohol, paints, and inks. While this type of filling machines is usually used for non-foaming products it can be upgraded to handle some of these projects.
Timed Flow Volumetric Filling machines work with the understanding that the amount of liquid flowing down a fluid path will be constant for a fixed amount of time. When you know that flow amount you can adjust the volume of the fill by increasing or decreasing the time the pump is turned on. The overall product flow can be adjusted as well as individual nozzles for fine tuned results.
Even though Timed Flow Fillers have a limited range of products they can fill they are still one offer excellent value for their performance.
Vacuum fillers are a cost effective filling solution for customers that want visually appealing and consistent small volume fill levels regardless of their containers shape. Vacuum fillers are often utilized for filling small rigid containers in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries where clean aesthetic appearances are important. Good example of products that may be filled on a Vacuum filling system are essential oils, perfumes, enamels, solvents, cleansers, or other similar liquids with low to medium viscosities.
Net Weight Fillers are best suited for filling liquids in bulk quantities such as five gallon pails or drums. They are also sometimes used for smaller quanties products that have a very high manufacture value. Finally certain products must be sold by weight for commercial reasons and a new weight filler is the only choice. Examples of bulk products may include, cleaning chemicals, enzyme solutions, oils, specialty adhesives, paints, or dissolved metal acids.
Operating Net Weight filling equipment is very easy. A container is placed on a weigh scale and product from the bulk supply is pumped until the target weight has been achieved. Once the target weight has been hit the machine automatically closes the pump valve.
Overall net weight filling machines are specific to bulk filling project or operations that weight filling is the only practical (and sometimes legal) type of filling available. Jobs that requiring small fills or higher production volumes should consider an alternative filling method.
Auger Fillers are well suited for the filling of dry products, powders, granules, glitter, or seeds. In some special cases Auger Filling Systems can also be used for filling viscous or chunky liquids. Any application that requires a small to medium measured amount of free flowing dry product be put into a bottle or container a Auger filling machines is usually the most cost effective choice. Auger filler feature simple designs that allow for easy cleanup, maintenance, and rapid changeover. These machines are suitable for the food industry with all contact parts made of food grade materials and sanitary stainless steel.
The fillers deliver product by way of a spinning auger screw inside a supply hopper. Each revolution or partial revolution of the auger moves a set amount of product through a nozzle to the container. Once initially setup the augers revolutions can be increased to deliver more product or reduced to deliver less.
While sometimes capable of handling special liquid projects auger fillers are best suited for accurate, repeatable filling of dry products. Auger fillers are not the fastest way to fill dry materials, but often times are the most cost effective solution for low to medium production jobs.
Tablet Counters or Pill Counters are used to sort, count, and fill tablets, pills, capsules, hard candies, or other similar sized products. These sorter, counter, fillers are utilized in a number of different industries such as pharmaceutical, food, and nutraceutical. Asprin, anti-acids, hard candies, candy coated gum, and even gel capsules are all good examples of products that are filled via Tablet counter.
These machines work by moving product into channels via vibrating plates. As the product falls of the end of each channel into a dispensing receptacle it is counted by an infrared sensor. Once the receptacle has received the designated tablet count it dispenses the product to the container.
Any job that requires getting pills, tablets, or similar products into a container it going to be utilizing a Tablet counter. The machines come in a number of different sizes and output speed that can handle a range of production rates.