The demand for powder packing or packaging machines is increasing with the rising popularity of powdered baby food, spices, and drinks. New powder packaging businesses are also emerging to keep up with the trend. Having a good knowledge about the fundamental aspects of packaging can ensure the success of your business.
The purpose of this blog is to help you understand the basics of how powder filling/dispensing equipment and powder sealing machines work. So if you want to know more, keep on reading!
A powder filling machine is used in the effective filling of a wide range of powder products may they be free-flowing or non-free-flowing.
Cohesive powders, such as table salt, are called free-flowing and will not compress and maintain their shape even when you apply pressure to them. Meanwhile, you can compress non-free-flowing powders, like milk powders, because they are non-cohesive and they will retain their shape when you manipulate their particles.
Powder filler machines come in different automation levels and machine designs. The type of machine you will need will depend on whether you want to quantitatively or volumetrically fill your powder product or whether you are handling free-flowing or non-free-flowing powders. Not all powder fillers can handle both types of powders.
To help you better understand how powder filling machines work, let us discuss the 6 major components of these machines first below.
The hopper holds bulk quantities of your powder product before they are dispensed into the containers.
The filling head is installed below the hopper and dispenses the powder product into the waiting containers.
This drives the moving components of the powder filler. It includes mechanical motors, gears, and conveyors.
Sensors make sure that the containers are accurately filled by ensuring that they are positioned properly below the filling heads. If the sensors do not detect the presence of a container, the machine will stop dispensing the product.
This is where the operator controls the settings of the whole filling process including the parameters. Some machines will come with touch screen control panels.
To ensure that the containers are filled with precise amounts of the powder product, a powder filler will be equipped with a measuring cup or a weigher.
How a powder filler works will depend on the machine’s automation level. Below is a short video showing how a powder filling machine works.
Automatic powder fillers are equipped with the latest technologies to provide packagers a more efficient, robust, and cost-effective packaging machine. The points below summarize how these machines work:
Semi-automatic powder fillers work the same way as automatic powder fillers. The only difference is that these machines will require help for the filling process.
Whereas automatic powder fillers use conveyor systems to automatically fill the containers, operators of semi-automatic fillers need to manually place each container to be filled under the machine’s filling head and initiate the filling process using a finger or foot switch. Once the container is filled, the operator needs to remove it manually again and repeat the same process until all containers are filled.
Manual powder filling machines work similarly to semi-automatic powder fillers. These are small powder filling machines that do not require a power source and are only used for very small production demands.
A powder sealing machine, also known as a powder seaming machine, hermetically seals your filled powder container. It can seal aluminum cans, paper cans, PET cans, plastic cans, glass cans, jars, pots, and others. Below are the 4 major components of a powder can seamer.
A powder can sealing machine’s seamer head will hold the can’s lid during the sealing process and supports it from the seaming rollers’ pressure. It has a customizable dimension to accommodate any can diameter you will use for your powder product.
The majority of powder can seamers will only have a single set of seaming rollers. However, high-volume powder can sealers will have more. These are the parts of the machine that connect the lid to the can’s body to create a tight seam.
The base plate is a spring-loaded disc that spins during the sealing process. It provides support to the filled powder can’s body while it is being sealed.
Some powder can seamers are equipped with vacuum and nitrogen flushing devices to eliminate the oxygen inside the filled cans to help extend the product’s shelf life.
The working principle of a powder can sealer depends on its design and automation. Below is a short video showing how a fully automatic powder sealing machine works.
A powder can sealer can either be rotary or non-rotary and automatic or semi-automatic.
Rotary powder can sealers spin the can during the sealing process. Automatic powder can sealers will usually have these types of designs for faster sealing especially in high productions.
The filled can is stationary during the sealing process of non-rotary powder can sealers. Only the seamer turntable spins. Semi-automatic powder can sealers are normally designed as non-rotary.
These machines perform the sealing process automatically with minimum human intervention. The operator just needs to feed the filled containers into the machine through the conveyor, set the parameters via the control panel, and let the machine do the rest.
Meanwhile, semi-automatic powder can sealers will require the operator to manually place each filled container into the machine for the sealing process and remove it again by hand. These machines use a finger/foot switch to start the sealing process.
Manual Sealing Machines work the same way as semi-automatic can sealers. The only difference is that they do not need a power source. These are usually used for smaller production demands.
Once a filled container goes in the powder can seamer, the machine performs the sealing process in three stages: compression, first operation roll, and second operation roll. If the machine is equipped with a nitrogen flushing device, the machine displaces the oxygen inside the filled containers first with nitrogen gas before the compression stage.
This stage will provide the force needed to hold the filled can’s body against the seamer chuck during the sealing process. While the seamer chuck holds the lid in place, the base plate lifts up the filled can upwards against the seamer chuck.
This is a crucial stage because it will influence the integrity of the resulting seam. It ensures the prevention of leaks and wrinkles on the cans.
This stage irons out the loose seam formed by the first operation roll to ensure a tight seam.
No matter what type of product you are packaging, it is always good to know how various packaging machines in your production line work. This helps you easily determine the source of the problem in case you encounter issues in the packaging process. We hope that this guide was able to help you get a good grip on how powder fillers and powder fillers work. You can also find more well-performed packaging machines here in Levapack.