Principles of Filling Machines – Learn how Filling Technologies Work

Very many products have to be filled into packaging containers or pouches before distribution. You will require specialized machines to carry out such tasks.

Filling machines are the best tools we can use to achieve such tasks. We are going to have an in-depth look at the different types and how they operate.

Digital Liquid Fillers

Digital Liquid Filling Machine
Digital Liquid Filling Machine

This filling machine heavily relies on a gear pump to fill up the liquid into containers. This means that the movement of your liquid from the reservoir to the containers is through gears in fixed volumes.

It is designed with a silicone pipe and a syringe on it that is responsible for the liquid filling. The flow and dispensation of the liquid is regulated using a programmable logic controller.

It also contains a tank at the back of it that has the liquid to be filled. The amount of liquid to be filled is input in the PLC and the time gap of each container is fed into the machine’s human-machine interface (HMI).

The machine then uses sets of gear pumps to get the liquid from the tank and fill it into the containers. The filling quantity is very precise and specific hence all containers have equal amounts of liquid.

These machines have several sensors that can halt the liquid filling if a container is not detected. If you incorrectly place your containers, the sensors will also stop the filling process.

Here are some of the benefits you will get while using this filling machine:

  • It is easy to operate since it is fully automated with an easy-to-use HMI
  • It is very fast and efficient hence increasing production
  • You can use it to fill up various types of liquids since it is very versatile and flexible
  • It has a high adaptability so you can use it independently or incorporate it into an existing processing line
  • Very clean and hygienic since there is no contact between the nozzle and the container surface being filled

Vial Filling Machine

This is the type of filling machine most preferred when pharmaceutical firms are placing medicine in vials. We can look at its operating principle using the basic design of a conveyor and filling head having nozzles.

Remember, the vials are placed on the machine and are moved to the filling station using a slat conveyor. The filling station has heads containing several nozzles used to fill up the medicine into the vials.

Besides, the heads on these machines can vary between two to twelve depending on your process requirements. After the nozzles fill the vials with precise amounts of product, they go to the next station to be fixed with stoppers.

This preserves the integrity of the medicine by ensuring that it is tamper-proof. The stoppers on the vial heads also ensure that your medicine does not encounter any form of contamination before use.

Filling Vials
Filling Vials

The benefits we can derive when applying this machine include:

  • It assures you of consistency in terms of the dose and volume of your vial drugs
  • Automation can greatly reduce your production costs since vials are small and manually processing them is tedious
  • You can easily achieve quality control since you can easily configure and set up the machine. This means that all vials are uniformly filled throughout every cycle
  • This machine gives you rapid scalability since automation can easily increase production on demand

Ampoule Filling Machine

Ampoules
Ampoules

We use this filling machine majorly in the pharmaceutical industry to fill ampoules. The machine has a hopper where empty ampoules are loaded and taken to a traveling rack.

The ampoules are then passed through a hydrogen unit where the gas is flashed inside them. They are then filled with the content fluid using needles that inject them in precise volumes.

More nitrogen is then filled into the ampoules in a nitrogen purging unit. The filled ampoules are then pre-warmed using a low-pressure flame in the sealing unit to facilitate easy sealing.

These machines have special rollers at the sealing unit that ensure they are perfectly sealed all around. You can collect the finished ampoules from a collection tray placed beneath the sealing unit for further processing.

This filling machine gives you various benefits when you use it. We can go through a few of them like:

  • It has a very high production capacity as it operates efficiently at very high speeds
  • You can easily integrate it into an existing production line since it has a very high adaptability
  • It is very precise and accurate in terms of the quantity of material being filled into ampoules
  • You can easily operate it since it is fully automated with a human-machine interface (HMI)

Net Weight Filling Machine

Net Weight Filling Illustration
Net Weight Filling Illustration

Just as the name suggests, this machine fills your product into containers until a pre-set weight is achieved. The product weight is monitored using a load cell placed underneath the filling point.

There is a holding tank above the filling machine with the product. An empty container is conveyed onto the load plate and its tare weight is recorded and compared with the set tare weight and its tolerances.

If it does not match up, a signal is sent to the PLC to reject the bottle and move to the next filling cycle. An accurate bottle is filled with product using gravitational force or laminar flow.

The weight is constantly monitored by the load cell that sends a signal once the weight is achieved. This signal triggers the PLC to stop the actuation of the nozzles and end the filling.

The machine has a record of all the weights it has filed and compares their standard variations. This logarithm helps it to adjust the subsequent fillings to ensure accurate repeatability.

Some of the benefits we can get from the net weight filling machine include:

  • It can provide you with processed statistical data such as the standard deviations and the mean weight. This will assist you in tracking your cycle information and analysis.
  • You can easily find your way around them while operating since they are fully automated with an HMI screen.
  • You are assured of excellent weight repeatability since they are highly accurate and efficient
  • They have high operational speeds with an equally high product output

Volumetric Filling Machine

Volumetric Filling Illustration
Volumetric Filling Illustration

You can use this filling machine for packaging containers that require a specific substance volume. It has various sensors and valves among other components for precise measurements and dispensation.

You first place your containers on the conveyor belt which transports them to the filling station. The automated mechanical and pneumatic controls then positioned under filling nozzles.

These nozzles are connected to a hopper that contains the product to be filled. Only a specific amount of the product can be filled into any container based on the set parameters.

From here, the containers are then sealed to prevent leakages and spills. They are then taken for labeling and packaging and then dispatched for shipping or storage.

Let us have a brief look at some of the benefits of this type of filling machine:

  • They are highly accurate since the substances dispensed have precise automated measurements.
  • They offer you high operating speeds with efficiency therefore increasing productivity
  • They are very flexible as you can use them to fill a variety of containers in various industrial applications
  • Since they are automated, you can operate them with ease and with minimal training
  • Since they are efficient and accurate, they will save you a lot of money in the long run.

As you can see, there are many filling options that suit both powder filling and liquid filling. For custom filling machines, contact us now.

More Resources:

Filling Machines – Source: LOM

Importance of Filling Machines – Source: LOM

Filler Machines – Source: Wikipedia

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