Do you need to purchase a filling machine? The process of buying a filling machine can be quite complex as there are numerous options available, and it can be challenging to determine which one is best suited for your business. Below are 9 questions that you should ask before making a purchase, which will hopefully assist you in selecting the equipment that best fits your production needs.
What do you need to fill with the filling machine?
While some bottle filling machines are designed for filling dry goods such as powders or pills, others are better suited for handling liquids. Therefore, if you are considering purchasing a filling machine, the first important factor to consider is the viscosity or consistency of the product. The viscosity of your product will help you determine which type of filling technology the machine utilizes to effectively handle the specific attributes of your product. For products with high viscosity, such as molasses, it is important to choose a filling machine that can handle the physical characteristics of the product.
Has your product been carbonated?
Carbonated beverages, such as beer, soda, and champagne, require unique filling technology and specialized equipment. Therefore, it is important to consider purchasing a filling machine that can accurately fill carbonated products. This type of machine is known as a back pressure filling machine. The back pressure filling machine maintains the carbonation of the liquid during the bottling process through a method called double pre-evacuation. This method involves extracting air from the bottle and pressurizing it with carbon dioxide to remove 99.99% of the oxygen in the bottle. These repeated pre-evacuation cycles ensure that bottled carbonated products have a longer shelf life.
What type of containers do you need to fill?
Another factor to consider when purchasing a filling machine is the physical characteristics of the containers you will be using. Determining the type of container that needs to be filled is crucial as it helps determine which type of filling technology the machine utilizes. The properties of the container must be compatible with the filling method of the machine for optimal performance. For example, some automatic filling machines grab containers from the top, while others grab them from the side. If your bottles have unique designs, a filling machine that grabs containers from the top may not be suitable. Similarly, if your bottle diameter is large, a side-grabbing filling machine may not be the best choice. Additionally, the material of the container, whether it is glass, plastic, or aluminum cans, requires specific filling techniques. It is essential to understand the physical properties of your containers and share this information with your suppliers to help you choose the most suitable filling machine for your operation.
What is your desired output?
When considering the efficiency of a filling machine, it is crucial to consider your current and future production needs. Upgrading your machine may not be feasible when expanding your business. Smaller machines typically measure filling speed in bottles per hour (BPH), while larger and faster filling machines measure in bottles per minute (BPM). Manual filling machines are suitable for startups or very small companies but may not meet the needs of medium-sized enterprises or small businesses planning to expand production. Semi-automatic filling machines are a middle-ground option for most small breweries and breweries with growth plans. They offer greater production efficiency than manual machines but still require some manual operations. Automatic filling machines are the best choice for large breweries with higher output requirements as they have significantly faster filling speeds and minimal manual processing.
How automated do you need the filling machine to be?
Determining the level of automation is critical when purchasing a filling machine. Manual filling machines are suitable for home brewing, entry-level brewing, or small companies with few employees and no plans for growth. They are designed for relatively low output and are not suitable for small or medium-sized breweries or those with expansion plans. Semi-automatic filling machines are a good choice for most small breweries and those with growth plans. They offer greater production efficiency than manual machines but still require some manual operations. They are also more affordable than automatic filling machines. Automatic filling machines are best suited for large breweries with higher output requirements. While they take up more space, they have significantly faster filling speeds and generally require minimal manual processing. They are the most expensive option in terms of purchase and maintenance costs.
What is the required filling capacity/volume?
The size and capacity of the container can significantly impact weight changes during filling. Some liquids may require overfilling due to their characteristics. Setting the filling capacity is important as it affects your bottom line. Having a machine with precise capacity size control can help reduce product waste.
Is the filling machine scalable if the composition changes?
Over time, the composition of the liquid products you produce may change. You may find cheaper alternatives or higher quality ingredients. If your filling machine is scalable, you won’t need to make drastic changes to accommodate new ingredients.
Does the filling process affect the characteristics of the liquid?
Understanding the characteristics of the liquid before it enters the filling machine is important, as any changes that occur as it passes through the equipment components should be considered. If the liquid undergoes undesirable changes during this process, it is advisable to avoid using that particular filling machine.
How complex is the maintenance and cleaning of the filling machine?
Accumulation of liquid in the components can negatively impact the filling machine’s operation and the quality of the finished product. It is essential to choose a machine that is easy to clean and maintain to prevent contamination and ensure product quality.
After considering these 9 questions, you will be better equipped to choose a filling machine that suits your brewery. Custom-designed equipment provides high-quality processes, helps avoid waste, and maintains product quality throughout the production process. You can consult a professional filling machine manufacturer to assist in building a filling machine that best suits your requirements. This collaboration will enhance your brewery operations.
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