Liquid Filling Machines :-
One of the most often asked questions regarding liquid fillers is how many bottles can be filled per day, hour or week with this filling machine. The speed of filling equipment will depend on a number of different factors, including bottle size and product viscosity. The easiest way to determine any of the numbers noted above is to figure out how long each fill cycle will last and find the number of bottles per minute run by the filling machine. Also, keep in mind that on an automated packaging line, the filler will only run as fast as the slowest piece of packaging machinery!
A number of factors will have an effect on how quickly a liquid filler will complete a fill cycle. First and foremost is the bottle size. Common sense tells us that a two ounce bottle, or bottles, will be filled quicker than a one gallon bottles or bottles. The less time taken to fill an individual bottle, the more bottles the filling machinery can complete in an hour, day or week.
The product itself will also have some effect on the speed of a liquid filler. Products that flow freely, such as water, will also fill with more speed versus thick products like paste or gel that may literally ooze into waiting containers. Similarly, the filling principle used can have an effect on the speed of the filling machine. Pumps and pistons may assist in moving a product through the bottle filler, and tanks may occasionally need to be refilled. But as a general rule, free flowing products will fill with more speed that highly viscous products.
Finally, the type of filling equipment used will help determine the speed of the filling process. A semi-automatic filling machine will only fill as fast as the operator running the machine, while an automatic machine will be limited only by the other automatic packaging machinery working with the filler.
So how do we determine the rate at which bottles are filled by a liquid filler? We simply determine the amount of time for each fill cycle. As an example, we will use an Automatic Overflow Filler with six fill heads and pin indexing. (Pin indexing on a filling machine simply uses an entry gate and exit gate to position bottles under fill heads and release them once the fill is complete). The fill cycle will start when the entry gate opens and bottles begin to move under the fill heads. Assume that this process takes 3 seconds. Once in place, the overflow filler nozzles will descend and fill the bottles. In our example we will say the filling process takes 6 seconds. Once the heads have retracted, the exit gates open and the bottles move away on the belt conveyor system. Assume this takes another 3 seconds. The entry gate on the overflow filler is now ready to open and let another set of bottles index under the fill heads and the filling machine has now run a complete cycle.
The total time for one fill cycle in the above example was 12 seconds, meaning that in 60 seconds, five cycles could be run. Six fill heads times five cycles per minute equals a total of thirty bottles per minute! From here, simple math tells you that 30 bottles per minute would be equal to 1800 bottles per hour or 14,400 bottles in an eight hour day. Again, this is the approximate number of bottles run by the liquid filler only. The filling machine may be limited by a semi-automatic labeler, for example, that only allows for 1200 bottles an hour to be labeled. In this case, the liquid filling machine would only be able to work as fast as the slower component on the automated packaging line.
Other factors affecting the productivity of filling machines can include set up and clean up time, the number of different products run throughout the day (changeover time) and certain machine options, such as drip trays, that may help with clean up and changeover. If all of the numbers, factors and options seem just a little confusing, just pick up the phone and call a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions.
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