How do I Choose the Right Filling Machine

A filling machine is an automated device tasked with the function of outleting products into their designated packaging. The device is perfect for commercial operations of all levels, providing a quick and efficient packaging solution.

Different factors should be considered when selecting a filling machine. These factors include the following

Filling Machine
Filling Machine

Product Characteristics (Characteristics of Products to Fill)

Your product attributes are one of the main determining factors that will dictate the kind of filling machine that best suits your needs. Pairing a machine with a product it was not meant for could lead to a breakdown or result in permanently damaging your machine.

Liquids

The main parameter used to gauge and categorize liquid filling machines in relation to product characteristics is the viscosity of the liquid. Thick or sludge textures liquid tend to stick into and clog pipes and may require additional parts to thin it out. Different filling machines are designed to handle liquids of different viscosity without risking complications

Powders

When it comes to powder-filling machines the texture of the powder is equally of importance. Not every machine can process every kind of powder, they are adapted to a specific range of powders. For example, there are machines manufactured to process free-flowing products while others are designed for non-free-flowing.

Filling Accuracy

The accuracy of the filling machine is another key consideration that should be taken into account. This is an important parameter as it not only describes the products in terms of quantity. There are fields such as pharmaceuticals and other chemicals where quantity is a key factor. There are different systems incorporated into the filling machine to help achieve the desired filling accuracy.

Vacuum Level Filling System

This type of system is better suited with clear packaging that allows you to monitor the level of the product. It is an efficient and effective method that functions by filling all containers up to a certain level regardless of the size of the container

Volumetric Filling Systems

This type of system is dependent on the set parameters and as such delivers more accurate results. The system only dispenses the set quantity of liquid regardless of the size and shape of the container. It is ideal when processing different liquids with varying viscosity and container options.

Liquid Filling Machine Technology

There are multitudes of liquid-filling machine configurations available in the market. These variations include;

Manual Liquid Filling Machines

These are dependent on human labor and are cheaper to purchase. This type of system is better suited for small-scale enterprises as it has low output.

Manual Liquid Filling Machine
Manual Liquid Filling Machine

Semi-Automatic Liquid Filling Machines

This type of machine requires very limited input from human labor. Besides, the machine functions on its own for the most part and may only require intervention when feeding the product into the system and in some cases offloading it.

Semi Automatic Liquid Filling Machine
Semi Automatic Liquid Filling Machine

Fully Automatic Liquid Filling Machines

These devices function independently of any human input. The system parameters are set and the machine executes all its required functions and produces mass output.

Fully Automatic Liquid Filling Machine
Fully Automatic Liquid Filling Machine

Inline Liquid Filling Machine

Usually, this type of filling device relies on a conveyor belt to move the containers along which aids in the filling process. The machine is for general purposes and can therefore be used for liquids with different viscosity.

Inline Liquid Filling Machine
Inline Liquid Filling Machine

Rotary Liquid Filling Machine

The device has a rotary mechanism that is responsible for shifting containers so that they can be filled.

Besides, this machine comes in various sizes and can have more than one station with each station processing from as few as four containers at once to as many as eight containers. Some are equipped to perform other functions such as sealing the container once it has been filled.

Rotary Liquid Filling Machine
Rotary Liquid Filling Machine

Paste Filling Machine

Paste filling machine is a specialized device designed to be compatible with very thick liquids. They come in different variations suited for different scales of production.

Paste Filling Machine
Paste Filling Machine

Pneumatic Filling Machines

Equipped with limited moving parts this machine is the most suitable choice when packaging flammable liquids. It does not use electricity which for this kind of applications may pose a hazard.

Pneumatic Filling Machine
Pneumatic Filling Machine

Types of Containers to Fill

There are different types of containers used for packaging different products. The containers differ in size and shape and some machines are better suited for specific types of containers while others function regardless of the type of container used.

Parameters that should be taken into account when it comes to your choice of container include;

Material

Containers are designed from different materials including aluminum, plastic, and glass. Some machines are specifically designed to package in a way best suited for a specific type of packaging material.

Shape Of The Container

Depending on the intricacy of the shape of the container, there can be additional features required to properly fill these containers. While thin liquid can easily take on the shape of a container, thick liquids or different powders may not automatically fit into any container. The different machines also employ different mechanisms to fill the containers some of which may not be ideal given the different shapes of the bottles.

Ease of Integration with Other Production Machines

Depending on your scale of production and other application requirements you may need to incorporate additional equipment to better streamline your production process.

It is therefore vital that you inquire and ensure that on the level of integration, a machine is capable of.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to confer with your supplier before making any final decisions. The supplier can guide you on the most compatible systems that can easily be integrated with your device. It is also important to note that not every machine can easily be integrated with supplementary systems.

Rate of Filling (Filling Speed)

The filling speed of a filling machine can be quantified in terms of the number of bottles filled per hour which is used for small-scale devices or in terms of the bottles per minute for large-scale productions. While the idea of a faster machine is appealing you must take into account your scale of production.

Faster machines tend to be more expensive which may not be economically suitable for small-scale businesses. The speed of the machine can also be influenced by other external factors such as the type of product getting packaged, the volume of product getting dispensed, and the type of container among others.

Ease of Filing Machine Upgrade

If you intend to upscale your business in the future you must consider if the machine you want to purchase can undergo future upgrades when the need arises. Most business owners upgrade their filling machines in phases swapping in newer features only if the need arises. It is therefore important to ensure that your filling machine is capable of undergoing an upgrade.

Conclusion

Depending on the type of product you are producing and your target market, it is important to purchase a filling machine that takes all your present and future production requirements into consideration.

Although prices may differ filling machines are an investment into your business. As such you should select the best one that will give you the maximum return in terms of productivity as well as longevity. This is why you should consider all the mentioned factors to ensure you get the most suitable filling machine.

More resources:

Liquid Filling Machines – Source: CBDMACHINERY

Filler Machines – Source: WIKIPEDIA

Packaging Material – Source: SCIENCE DIRECT

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