Filling Machines and Dosing Machines
Filling machines (sometimes called dosing machines) measure a product for packaging by volume, level in a container, weight or count. They are an integral part of the FMCG manufacturing and packaging process.
Filling machines can be based on a single head mounted on a bench. Rotary fillers can incorporate scores of filling heads and are able to fill and seal thousands of cans every minute.
With significant experience in multiple sectors, PPMA Member companies can provide you with advice and expertise on different kinds of Filling Machines.
What are the different types of filling machine?
The principal types of filling machine are:
- Liquid filling machines
- Volumetric filling machines
- Weigh filling machines
- Auger filling machines
- Pocket filling machines
- Piece filling machines
Liquid filling machines use a set volume of product for bottles or cartons. The same approach extends to volumetric or level filling machines for powders, granules and pet foods. Semi-liquids, such as gels and pastes are also filled by a set volume, as are products which are normally solid at room temperature, like fats, lipstick and stick deodorants.
Weigh filling machines use mass to define the amount of product. In conjunction with check weighing equipment, they can provide a high level of accuracy, which is particularly useful for high value products where overfilling can involve significant costs.
Auger filling machines make use of a mechanical screw to fill packages. Many products can be easily filled with these machines. These include sugar, salt, detergent, spices, coffee and tea. Auger machines are also used for doughs, food items or cosmetics in cream or powder form, as well as ready-to-eat foods like stews and liquids.
Piece filling machines and tablet counters determine the number of products by counting them. They are particularly useful for filling small bottles with the appropriate number of pills or for sweets in pouches.
Powder Filling Machines
The filling of powders and free-flowing solids poses particular problems because of the generation of dust and variations in bulk density. Very dusty products are typically filled using auger fillers or vacuum fillers, but where the bulk density of product varies significantly, it will usually be necessary to combine this with a weight correction mechanism like a checkweigher because, typically, these products are sold by weight.
Filling of Carbonated Drinks
The filling of carbonated drinks, like soft drinks or beer, or products like liquid detergents which have a tendency to foam also poses significant problems. These are typically solved using a technique called "bottom up filling", where the filling nozzle is inserted into the container. The nozzle is slowly raised during the filling process so that the mouth of the nozzle is always kept below the level of the liquid.
What are fill and seal machines?
Fill & Seal machines undertake the filling function as described above, but incorporate a sealing mechanism to close the container in a variety of ways. They are specific to a particular type of container or package, but they can incorporate different types of filling heads and different closing mechanisms depending on the type of closure or method of closing the package, e.g. cap, cork, heat seal, crimp or fold.
Access a list of PPMA members who can supply the know-how and equipment you need for your next project here: Filling Machines
Common Filling Machine Terminology
- Filling Head
- In Line
- Crown Cork
- Product Geveway
- Bulk Density
- Bottom-Up Filling
- In-Flight Material
- Net Weight
- Gross Weight