While viscosity level will always play a part in the filling principle used for any given packaging project, it is not as important when it comes to choosing the automation degree. The beginning automation level for a packager will most often be contingent on the production requirements and the available space to execute the packaging.
First of all, starting production amounts will play a large part in deciding on the correct level of automation for a filling machine. If a business is only seeking to provide a regional or local area, tabletop or un iframe packaging systems may be the perfect solution. Tabletop filling machines make it possible for operators to make a filling station on pretty much any tabletop surface. These machines will often include a slide trail and the operator will transfer bottles under the fill nozzles – that can range anywhere from one to four nozzles. After below the nozzles, a footswitch, finger switch or other similar forms of activation allows the operator begin the filling cycle. Once bottles are filled, they are moved from under the fill heads and replaced by empty bottles to start the process again. Tabletop machines are easy to use and are a cost-effective tool for short-run goods or low production needs.
Uniframe packaging systems can be manufactured as tabletop systems or onto a portable frame for easy mobility. These filling systems incorporate other packaging functions to make a packaging system which has a small footprint, saving space and time while allowing for consistency across several packaging platforms. For instance, an overflow filler might be built onto a mobile frame for a merchandise such as bottled water. But with the uniframe system, a manual wet rinser, handheld chuck capper, and semi-automatic tagging system will be added to this same frame. Rather than have a station for each and each of these functions, e liquid filling machine the uniframe system incorporates each stage on the exact same machine frame. Or two users might split the packaging responsibilities, 1 rinsing and filling while the next labels and caps. The packaging machinery allows for increased consistency and in most cases more efficient packaging than once done manually.
As production rates grow, the majority of companies will begin looking toward semi-automatic and automatic filling machines on mobile frames. The semi-automatic machines will still require an operator to either place bottles onto a conveyor or slide the containers under the fill heads manually. Semi-automatic liquid fillers can use easy indexing, but in the majority of instances will still need some type of activation from the operator of the packaging machine. Semi-automatic filling machinery can be used with other packaging machines onto a line or can act as stand-alone filling machines.
Automatic filling machines will be fabricated using the exact same framework as the semi-automatic machines but will incorporate a PLC using a touchscreen operator interface. This attribute allows semi-automatic fillers to be updated in the future should production rates increase. These machines can roll up to any existing power conveyor system to begin running production. Of course, most automatic liquid filling machines will be part of an inline packaging system, which will incorporate a conveyor system and other machineries such as container cleaning equipment, capping machines, labelers and some other machinery necessary to mechanically prepare a item and bundle for the customer. This means, as a general rule, as production rates grow, so does the space necessary to perform the packaging.
However, there are choices to keep to save space. To start with, even automatic machines can function as a stand alone filling channel (or capping, labeling or some other purpose ). This can allow 1 portion of a packaging process to be automated to boost the overall efficacy of a packaging line whilst still saving space. The downside, of course, is that other packaging functions will nevertheless be performed manually or using tabletop machines, restricting the legitimate efficiency of the automatic filler.
A second option to conserve space and increase automation would be a monoblock packaging system. On the other hand, the monoblock system will place the various packaging elements around a starwheel to allow for automatic packaging in a more compact footprint than one would find with an inline system. As an example, a monoblock system may include a bowl to form vials, drop them into position in the starwheel, then fill and cap the vial as it moves around the starwheel.