Guest Column | July 30, 2015

Filling Machine Options Are Based On Volume Or Fill Level

By John Henry, www.changeover.com

John Henry

Some people go off on liquid filling adventures without getting all the answers first. One reason this happens is because they may not know the right questions beyond, "How fast does it go?" It may be true that speed is a question of money, but if you don't get the right filler for your needs, it won't matter how much money you spend. You won't go anywhere.

There are 10 to 15 common liquid filling architectures made by over 100 machine builders in the U.S. alone. Picking the right one is critical to success.

The first thing to know is that there are two major classifications: Volumetric and level fillers. Some applications could use either system, but, in most cases, one or the other is clearly going to be the better choice, depending on the product, container, workforce, speed, and other reasons.

A volumetric filler measures the quantity of liquid dispensed without regard to the size of the container. A volumetric filler will dispense one pint of product whether the container is a pint bottle or a 5-gallon bucket.

Volumetric fillers are typically more precise than level fillers. Precision is always desirable since underfilling will bring customer, and perhaps regulatory, complaints. Overfilling is costly. A plant producing 1 million bottles per month with a 1 percent overfill is giving away the equivalent of 10,000 bottles of product each month.

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