The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Liquid Filling Equipment for Your Production Line.
In the packaging industry, piston fillers are a versatile type of liquid and paste packaging equipment that is commonly used in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, and beverage. They work by drawing liquids or pastes into a cylinder, and then using a piston to dispense the product into containers. The piston mechanism allows for precise control over the amount of liquid being dispensed, which is ensuring that each container is consistently filled with the same amount of product.
Choosing the right piston filler can help streamline your packaging operations, improve productivity, increase accuracy, and reduce costs. There are several common mistakes that should be avoided to ensure that you make the right choice. Not sure how to choose the right piston filler for your product? In this post, we'll discuss 11 mistakes to avoid when choosing a piston filler machine for your business.
1. Ignoring the Viscosity of Your Product
The viscosity of a product refers to its thickness or resistance to flow. A high viscosity piston filler is designed to handle thick or paste-like products - such as gels, creams, peanut butter, and honey - while a low viscosity piston filler is better suited for liquids such as water or oil. If you have a highly viscous product, look for a machine with a larger piston and possibly a hopper, like this high viscosity tabletop filler. In addition to their standard functionality, some piston fillers are equipped with a heated hopper. This feature is particularly useful when filling highly viscous liquids that can become more manageable when warm, such as melted chocolate, caramel, or honey, into containers. The heated hopper helps to keep the liquid at a consistent temperature, which makes it easier to fill the containers without the liquid solidifying or becoming too thick to handle. Overall, considering the viscosity of your product is an important factor when choosing a piston filler machine, as it can affect the performance and efficiency of the machine as well as the quality of your product.
2. Not Checking the Machine's Nozzle Compatibility with Different Types of Closures
To ensure a smooth and effective dispensing process for your product, it is crucial to select a machine with a nozzle that caters to your specific needs. This includes considering the size and type of closure on your product's container.
When liquid is dispensed into a bottle, it displaces the air that was previously occupying the space inside. In order to avoid splashing and ensure a smooth flow of liquid, it is important to allow the air within the bottle to escape easily. This can be achieved by selecting a nozzle with an outer diameter that is at least 4-6 mm smaller than the internal diameter of the bottle opening, allowing the air to escape as the liquid takes its place inside the bottle.
Different nozzle types are designed to work with different closure types. Choosing the wrong nozzle can result in leakage, spills, and other dispensing or product-related issues. It is advisable to consult with your packaging equipment provider to ensure that the piston filler you choose has a nozzle that is compatible with the closure type you will be using. This will help you avoid issues with product dispensing, minimize waste, and reduce the risk of contamination.
3. Not Considering the Size of Your Containers
Piston fillers come in many shapes and sizes. Some machines, like this 50ml Piston Filler, were specifically built to handle only smaller volumes of product. These machines are great for small containers and limited workspaces. Other filling machines, like this one, are meant to handle larger capacities of product in one single motion. The size of your containers is an essential factor to consider when choosing a piston filler. Make sure to choose a machine that is compatible with the size of the containers you'll be filling. If you have containers of varying sizes, look for a machine that has the appropriate capacity and can handle a range of volumes and sizes.
4. Not Considering the Type of Filling Mechanism
When selecting a piston filler machine, it is crucial to consider the type of filling mechanism that's most suitable for the product you'll be packaging. Products that foam easily, for example, such as soaps or shampoos, require special considerations to avoid spills and overflows. In contrast, chunky products like sauces require a high viscosity mechanism that can handle their consistency without clogging.
For foaming products, consider a machine with a diving or extended nozzle filling mechanism that can reach the bottom of the container and reduce air pockets. Alternatively, a bottom-up filling mechanism can also help minimize foam. Packaging equipment providers often offer machines with customizable options to adapt to different kinds of products. Take the time to assess the needs of your product and choose a piston filler machine with the appropriate filling mechanism to ensure the best results.
5. Choosing the Cheapest Option
When it comes to choosing a piston filler for your business, cost is an important factor to consider. While choosing the cheapest option might seem like a smart move in the short run, it could end up costing you more in the long run.
Low-quality materials, poor construction, and inferior components can all lead to breakdowns, repairs, and replacement costs in the future. In addition, a poorly built machine may not perform as well as a higher-quality machine, resulting in inaccurate fills and other problems that could affect the quality of your product.
Don't sacrifice quality for price. Look for a machine that is well-built, durable, and reliable - even if it costs a bit more upfront. Investing in a high-quality machine will save you money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs and replacements, minimizing downtime, and ensuring consistent, accurate fills that meet your production standards.
6. Not Considering the Speed of Your Machine
Speed is an important factor to consider when selecting your filling equipment. Choosing a piston filler that is too slow can lead to production delays and bottlenecks, which can have a negative impact on your bottom line. On the other hand, selecting a machine that is too fast for your needs can result in wasted resources and higher costs. The machine you choose should be capable of keeping up with the demand on your production line - particularly if it's a high-volume operation.
To ensure that you choose a machine with the right speed for your business, it is important to consider your production needs and the volume of products you need to fill. You should also consider the size and type of containers you'll be filling, as this can affect the speed at which the machine can operate. Single-piston machines are a suitable choice for filling low to medium volumes, but for high-volume production, you might want to consider machines equipped with two, four, or even six pistons. Such machines can effectively handle larger volumes of liquid, improving your overall production efficiency.
7. Forgetting About Spare Parts and Maintenance
Selecting a piston filler that is easy to service and maintain is essential to avoid downtime and minimize production disruptions. It is equally important to choose a reputable manufacturer that offers excellent customer support. This will ensure that any issues or maintenance needs can be quickly and efficiently resolved, minimizing the impact on your business.
In summary, opting for a piston filler with accessible parts, good customer support, and ease of maintenance will keep your production line running smoothly and reduce expensive downtime. At Technopack, we have a dedicated technical support team and a fully stocked in-house parts department ready to help you with any maintenance or repairs. Please don't hesitate to contact us for any assistance or questions you may have.
8. Not Taking Into Account the Machine's Automation Capabilities
Automation plays an increasingly important role in the world of product packaging. By choosing a machine with advanced automation features, you can improve productivity, streamline your packaging process, and reduce labor costs, resulting in a more efficient packaging process.
Piston filler machines have a range of capabilities and automation levels - from simple pedal-activated controlled machines to fully automatic systems that can operate without any human intervention. These automatic machines can improve productivity by increasing filling speeds and reducing the risk of errors that can occur with manual operation.
Moreover, automated piston filler machines can also integrate with other machines in your packaging line, such as labeling, coding, and conveyorized machines. This integration can create a seamless and efficient packaging process that results in a more streamlined and profitable operation.
Automated machines also minimize the need for operator intervention, reducing the likelihood of human error and increasing the accuracy of the filling process. Additionally, automation can reduce labor costs by reducing the number of workers required to operate the machine.
When selecting a piston filler machine, it's crucial to consider both its output capacity and compatibility with your existing production line. Choosing a machine that can handle your output levels and integrate seamlessly into your production process, regardless of the size of your production, can lead to a more efficient and profitable business.
9. Failing to Assess Your Production Needs
Before investing in a piston filler machine, it is essential to assess your production needs carefully. Factors to consider include the type of products you'll be packaging, volume of production, available floor space, and any regulatory requirements, such as food safety regulations. For instance, if you're packaging food products, you'll need to select a machine with food-safe components and stainless steel, easy-to-clean surfaces. Similarly, if you have limited floor space, you'll need to choose a machine that's compact and easy to maneuver. Piston fillers offer a plethora of options for businesses looking for compact and space-efficient machinery. With a variety of models available, including compact tabletop designs and self-standing machines, piston fillers are an ideal choice for small businesses and locations with limited floor space.
By evaluating your production needs before purchasing a piston filler machine, you can ensure that the machine you select aligns with your requirements, optimizes production efficiency, and ultimately leads to increased profitability.
10. Failing to Assess the Machine's Compatibility with Your Existing Production Line
To ensure seamless integration between your new filling equipment and your production line, consider the machine's size, configuration, and compatibility with your existing machinery. Also, consider the type of containers and products you'll be filling and ensure that the machine can handle them.
Additionally, take note of the electrical, mechanical, and safety requirements of the machine and ensure that they align with your setup and capabilities. A pneumatic piston filler, for example, is powered by compressed air, which makes it a good choice for industries where electricity is not readily available or may pose a safety hazard. Pneumatic piston fillers also have a high level of accuracy and can handle a wide range of viscosities and textures of liquids, including those that are thick or contain particulates. Additionally, these types of fillers can be more durable and require less maintenance compared to electrically powered fillers, making them a cost-effective option in the long run.
It is also essential to consider any necessary modifications to the production line, such as conveyor height adjustments, to accommodate the new machine.
By assessing the machine's compatibility with your existing production line, you can avoid costly installation delays and minimize disruptions to your production processes.
11. Not Asking for Help
Selecting the right piston filler machine can be a complex and challenging task, but you you don't have to navigate this process alone. There are many industry experts who are ready to provide valuable assistance and guidance.
At Technopack, we have a team of experienced professionals who have extensive knowledge of the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in the packaging industry, and can help you select the right machine to meet your specific budget and production requirements. We take pride in our ability to listen to our customers and provide tailored recommendations that maximize efficiency, minimize downtime, and reduce costs.
Whether you are looking for a standalone piston filler machine or a fully integrated packaging line, our team is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about our range of piston filler machines and how we can assist you in finding the perfect solution for your production line.