“Economy in production can only be achieved where there is efficiency”, this applies in every aspect of production. Process efficiency is a key objective among manufacturers. Achieving high process efficiency enables an organization to save on cost elements such as power, labor and even quality. Using efficient equipment enhances efficiency in packaging.
Selection of Best Filling Equipment
In equipment selection, time spent on putting in the right equipment is equivalent to savings on efficiency of the process. The best filling machine is determined by first understanding the product characteristics as well as target marketing system of the product. The target market helps you determine the containers to use, sealing operations and even the filling environment.
Types of filling machines
Filling machines are classified as;
- Powder filling machine sthey have agitating systems for continuously agitating material as it flows. They are applied for fine or course powdered substances. They consist of a hopper with an agitator used for dispensing products into bags or plastics.
- Liquid delivery machines; used for filling bottles or containers in a continuous moving system.
- Displacement pumps filling systems for wide variety of applications including gels, lotions, as well as low viscosity products.
Product Features and Liquid Filling Machine Selection
Product characteristics determine the delivery system; a high viscosity liquid may need a slower release nozzle. Product loss is another key consideration when selecting machinery to install. In liquid filling machine system, positioning the bulk-holding container at lower level than the filling equipment gives adequate air displacement from the conducting lines hence a purer product.
The volume of the product filled must be considered when selecting a vial. Low volume of fills may require a conical shaped bottom rather than normal cylindrical bottle. Light sensitivity of products determines the color of vials and even the regulations of the market.
Determining Appropriate Stoppers
The stopper material or rubber is also determined by the physical and chemical characteristics of the product. Products derived from mineral oils are incompatible with butyl stoppers. The length of time of contact between stoppers and product also affects the type of stoppers used.
The primary function of seal is preventing contamination of product. It is not exposed to product so reaction with product is not a major concern. Seal used must always pass the microbial or dye access, integrity test to show their suitability.
Machinery Cleaning Consideration
When purchasing any filling machine, Cleaning and flushing/backwashing considerations must be made. Surfaces in contact with product are sources of contamination especially for perishable consumable liquids. Where contamination is a challenge, use of disposables is recommended with every change in batch.
Efficiency in production leads to greater profitability of the organization. In packaging, efficiency is achieved through adequate planning and installation of filling machines according to functionality. Product characteristics are a major determinant of the filling system used. The intended packing containers influence the configuration of the filling lines. In filling of beverages, contamination can be a serious problem and using disposable parts can solve this problem.