Manufacturers across the globe put a lot of effort into production, from idea visualization, design to manufacturing. Their products intend to meet the market demand for consumer goods and special orders from specific industries. After production, marketing is the next step to introduce consumers to your products. Packaging is a fundamental aspect of marketing as it contributes to whether the products are appealing or not.
Solid packaging machines fill this gap by providing packaging solutions to a variety of products. This guide takes you through all you need to know about solid packaging machines and the considerations when buying. Let’s dive in!
A solid packaging machine is a machine utilized in packing solid products through various processes like filling, labeling, sealing, etc. The manufacturers then deliver these products to their retailers and other clients. Some of the products that benefit from solid canning machines are food, i.e., pickles, tuna, cookies, meat, fruits, vegetables, and pharmaceutical products.
There are different types of solid packaging machines; they include:
A filling machine is a device used to fill a variety of products into containers. The machine uses volume or quantity to fill up these containers. Solid filling machines are specifically for solid products. The receptacles come in different forms like bags, jars, tanks, tins, bottles, sacks, pots, pouches, boxes, etc. Can filling machines are the only machines in a packaging company that interact with the product directly.
Sealing machines are used in the packaging industries to seal products in containers. It is also known as a seaming machine. The machine seals the body of the container to its lead to prevent any leakages or contamination. The container is usually cans( aluminum, glass, paper, plastic, etc.), jars, and pots. The sealing process is in three stages; compression, first roller operation, and second roller operation.
A packaging line is an organized system with the packing of finished products for shipment and delivery. Packaging lines involve various machines to fulfill the end goal. Some packaging lines have integrated a coding system to mark products to ascertain accuracy during shipment and delivery and track these products in case of misplacements or delivery confusion. Today, packaging lines are either semi-automatic or automatic.
You can also classify packaging machines according to their automation mode. They are classified as;
Automatic packaging machines are entirely machine-driven, and only monitoring of the apparatus is required. Automatic machines eliminate human errors that are usually inevitable in the case of manual or semi-automatic operations. Automatic Packaging machines deal with packaging containers like packaging cans and pouches. The machines come with an in-built PLC control system that permits the manufacturer to adjust settings according to the client’s specifications and manufacturer’s standards.
Every machine at a packaging factory can be fully automated.
Semi-automatic packaging machines are partially machine operated, where some processes are handled by machines and others manually. The operator usually starts the process by handling the products then letting the machine take over. The operator also monitors the processes to ensure everything is running smoothly. The machine is applicable in packaging goods in both pouches/bags and cans. Sealing machines, filling machines, canning machines, etc., can either be automatic or semi-automatic.
The filling machine comprises many parts that facilitate its working; they are as follows.
So, how does this machine work? The filling machine’s primary function is to fill containers before sealing. The product needs to be the right amount to maintain its integrity.
The process begins with putting containers in the conveyors for transportation. The solid filling machine can fill several containers simultaneously if it has more heads. Then, you put the product into the hopper, where it will go into the containers. The product quantity depends on the machine settings. Setting the filling machine uses weight or count, determining the amount of the final packaged product.
Customization of these machines is possible if you choose the proper manufacturer. You can customize according to the device’s size, production speed, filling capacity, solid filler electric parts, or the whole machine. Apart from solid filling machines, there are other filling machines; liquid filling machines and powder filling machines.
Seamer Head: the seamer head is also known as the chuck. The chuck is usually of different sizes depending on that of the container. The seamer head holds cans and turntables during the seaming process. Additionally, it acts to protect the container from the pressure exerted during roller operations.
Turntable: the seamer turntable or the base plate is a spinning disc in the can seamer machine. The shape depends on the container to permit accurate insertion. Its function is to support the container’s body when sealing. It works by adequately positioning the container’s body at the center and transmits pressure from its springs to the chuck.
Rollers: each seaming machine contains a pair of rollers or more. The rollers help in the creation of double seams.
Sealing chamber and vacuum room: the sealing process occurs in a vacuum chamber where oxygen is removed from the containers to prevent decomposition.
Ejector: it is a vertical moving rod at the chuck’s center that contributes to the proper positioning of the lid on the can.
Feeder caps: cap feeders select lids from closures and take them to the sealing area.
Transporters: sealing machines use conveyors to transport containers during the process from one point to the other.
The sealing process is a combination of three strategies to guarantee tight and correct sealing. The process involves;
Compression: in this stage, the machine generates the pressure necessary to hold the body against the chuck holding the lid. The turntables push the body up towards the chuck where the cap is. The cap is now on top of the body.
First roller operation: in this stage, the roller pushes the lid and body flanges together. However, the two are loosely attached. This stage determines the integrity of the final seam.
Second roller operation: this is the stage where it tightens the seam. Also, the seamer squeezes the sealing compound on the space left on the double seam ensuring no leakages and contamination.
A packaging line is a system of organized machines that operate to fill, seal, label, and package products for the market. A packaging line reduces the time taken to finish the whole process due to the organization. Making the system automatic comes with even more benefits as this eliminates human errors, and packaging more products will be possible since the system will be faster. Various components make up the automatic packaging line; they include;
The first component is the rotary can infeed tables. It is a machine that controls and introduces bottles into the packaging line. You set the bottle turntable using frequency to control the speed at which the bottles/cans enter the line. It connects to the conveyor where the bottles will move. The device has several size tops depending on the size of the bottles they are handling. Moreover, some turntables can change from one container size to another fast.
The conveyor is the transport machine transporting cans, jars, bottles, etc., to the filling machines from the rotary infeed tables. The workers set the conveyor system according to the speed of the rotary table or according to the most appropriate rate for maximum efficiency. The power conveyors have different sizes and materials.
Solid filling machines are the next step in the packaging line. Here, the conveyors introduce containers to the filler. The filling machine has various parts that assist in filling up containers like hoppers, nozzles, measuring cups, PLC control system, sensors, and mechanical drive system. Filling machines work precisely to ensure that the intended amount of products is accurate.
The sealing process then begins after filling; the filled containers go to the sealing machines. The sealing process has three stages; compression, first roller operation, and second roller operation. All these processes contribute to the final seal’s integrity. Sealing removes oxygen from the container containing products to give them a longer shelf life. The process occurs in a vacuum chamber in the sealing machine.
When the sealing process is over, the resulting product obtains a tight seal, preventing contaminations and any leakages.
The sealed containers then go to the labeling machine. Here, labeling takes place by accurately sticking labels or stickers to the cans. The adhesive on the labels can stick to different surfaces. The labeling machine can perform its work differently: front labeling, wrap labeling, or back labeling, and sometimes more techniques are applicable.
The machine has components such as feeding hoppers, a drive mechanism, a control panel(touch screen), and a labeling station.
The above machines are vital for any packaging line, but some companies have additional devices to make their work more efficient and pleasing. These machines include;
Sterilizer/rinser: it is a machine that disinfects containers before putting in products. It uses UV light and blowing devices to sterilize the containers before being sent to the fillers. The machine rotates to increase the rinsing accuracy.
Rotary can outfeed unscrambler: this machine removes the containers from the conveyor after the whole process. It is beneficial as it reduces labor costs and time.
Solid canning machines, solid filling machines, and other packaging machines have several applications, especially in food, pharmaceutical, chemical, and beverage. Different industries employ different machinery to package their products. For the food and pharmaceutical sectors, they use the following machines.
Vacuum machine: food vacuum packaging machines are very efficient in packing foods. It removes air from the container making the food remain fresh for an extended period. The microorganism that spoils food is rendered inactive when using vacuum machines as they need oxygen to survive. Examples of these machines are tomato canning machines, sardine canning machines, and vegetable canning machines.
Closing machines: they are prevalent in food factories to tie metal wires to close the pouches and bags.
Accumulation machines: they are used to bring order and alignment of containers for food filling.
Bundling food packaging equipment: it is a machine that stores a massive amount of food before bundling.
Bagging machines: a bagging device packs food like cereals and powder in bags, pouches, and sacks.
Sealing machines: these machines form a tight seal between the lid and the body of cans to preserve the food inside and prevent leakages.
Labeling machines: after filling and sealing food into cans, labeling machines stick labels for easy identification at stores and during shipment. An example is a tuna can label maker.
The pharmaceutical sector complies with specific regulations to meet the safety standard of their products. They use several pharmaceutical packaging machines that enable meeting these standards. The machines include;
Pharmaceutical filling equipment: these are machines used for filling different containers with medicine and other products. They include capsule filling machines, ampoule filling machines, vial filling equipment, syringe filling equipment, etc.
Pharmaceutical automatic capping machines: capping is a step in the pharmaceutical packaging of products to ensure the product is intact all through until its usage. Capping also promotes quality by preventing product loss which may interfere with safety and quality.
Homogenizer equipment: homogenizer reduces particle sizes to make them stable and more suitable for clinical uses. High pressure is vital for homogenization.
Solid packaging machines have some benefits to your business; they are as follows.
Quality improvement: automated packaging machines are entirely computer-operated, and this eliminates errors that laborers would have made using laborers. The machines are preset to specific standards and specifications; hence, every final product will be according to the specifications.
Lowers employee injury risks: when handling machines manually, there is always the probability of injury, but with the packaging line, machines do all the work. The workers only monitor the devices to ensure they are working well.
Reduces labor cost: if you have packaging machines in your factory, you only need a few workers to maintain the efficiency of the devices. Also, the hired workers will not work for a long time, and their job description will also have less work; hence, payment will be lower than working full time.
High production speed: the time taken to fill and seal every container will reduce tremendously. Hence, these machines work together, increasing the production speed while reducing the time taken to complete the process. Furthermore, machines work tirelessly, unlike humans, meaning there will be no resting time or exhaustion that may lead to quality issues.
Reduces wastage: packaging machines have settings that allow them only to use the appropriate amount of material or product, reducing wastage. It creates a ripple effect on your finances as you will be spending less on materials and also, the environment will also appreciate few disposals.
Uniqueness: packaging machines can be customized to include specialized packaging that many people don’t know. When the packaging is unique, it entices more people to buy your products, improving profits by a considerable margin.
Packaging machines are beneficial as they serve a couple of industries. Although they have many advantages, the devices have some limitations that may hinder their efficiency. Some of these limitations are;
Overused parts: when the machines are operational, workers frequently use them, leading to wearing some components. These parts contribute to the effectiveness of the operations; hence when they wear out, the process has to stop. Wearing out of machines is inevitable, but you can delay this by buying more machines so that you don’t overwhelm one machine. Also, replacements are essential when a part is no longer in use.
Improper machine settings: automatic machines operate via a digital setting that allows them to work with no human intervention. These settings are, however, preset before the process begins. When the settings are incorrect, then the machine will still operate without distinguishing the problem. For quality production, you must ensure to double-check all the settings before the start of the operation.
Machine failure: during operation, some machines can fail without any warning. It occurs due to improper or absent maintenance. You need to inspect devices regularly to guarantee that they are in excellent working condition. Moreover, the quality of machinery also contributes to its abrupt failure. When the quality is poor, the life span of the machine reduces. It is crucial to do a background check on your solid packing machine supplier before purchasing to save yourself from avoidable expenses.
The packaging sector requires the best machines to optimize its products. If you want to popularise your products, the packaging is one of the elements you need to consider. With this information, it is clear that you need to consider some aspects before purchasing the packaging machines.
The type of product you are packaging: Different forms of products are packaged, such as solids, liquids, and powder. The products have various characteristics that will influence the type of machine to buy. Consult your supplier and explain the specific products you are handling so they can recommend the best device for you.
Machine cost: although it is advisable to use the best machine you can get, sometimes cost can hinder what you want. Various devices have different prices depending on the brand, quality, efficiency, etc. Always work with your budget while also considering long-term investments. If you have a low budget, choose a machine that needs little maintenance, as this is also a significant cost factor.
Factory space: space, where the machine will be must be sufficient. Some devices require only a tiny space and still deliver quality work. Choose according to the room you have, and don’t go overboard and end up with a packaging line that won’t be in use since there is no space.
Safety issues: whether the machine is automatic, semi-automatic, or manual, safety concerns are paramount. At some point, the device will need human intervention when monitoring for progress or handling. Ensure you choose a machine integrated with sensors, override abilities, etc., that guarantees workers’ safety during operations.
It is clear that packaging is an essential process as it serves other industries in supplying their products to their customers. The industry has been growing over the years, and more technology that improves its efficiency is coming up. If you are a manufacturer dealing with any products that need quality packaging, then Levapack got you. We offer a complete line of packaging machines from canning, filling, labeling, sealing, and capping machines.
We can customize our machines according to your preference. Contact us for more information.