Are you in need of purchasing a filling machine? The process of buying a filling machine can be quite complex due to the numerous options available, making it difficult to determine which one is most suitable for your business.
What to Consider Before Buying a Filling Machine
What Will You Be Filling with the Filling Machine?
While some bottle filling machines are designed for dry goods such as powders or pills, others are better suited for handling liquids. Therefore, when considering the purchase of a filling machine, it is crucial to first assess the viscosity or consistency of the product. This information will help determine the appropriate filling technology required to handle the specific attributes of your product. If your product has high viscosity, such as molasses, you will need to select a filling machine capable of dealing with the physical characteristics of your product.
Is Your Product Carbonated?
Carbonated beverages like beer, soda, and champagne require special filling technology and dedicated equipment. Therefore, it is important to choose a filling machine that can accurately fill and bottle carbonated products. This specific type of machine is known as a back pressure filling machine.
A back pressure filling machine ensures the carbonation of the liquid is maintained during bottling through a process called double pre-evacuation. This method extracts air from the bottle and pressurizes it with carbon dioxide to remove 99.99% of the oxygen in the bottle, thus extending the shelf life of the bottled carbonated products.
What Type of Containers Will You Be Filling?
Another consideration when purchasing a filling machine is understanding the physical characteristics of the containers you intend to use. Identifying the type of container that needs to be filled is crucial as it determines the appropriate filling technology for the machine. Certain filling machines grab the container from the top, while others grab it from the side. Therefore, if your bottle has a unique design, a top-grabbing machine may not be suitable. Similarly, if your bottle has a large diameter, a side-grabbing filling machine may not be the most suitable choice to meet your production needs.
Furthermore, the choice of material for the container, such as glass, plastic, or aluminum cans, also affects the selection of the appropriate filling technique.
Prior to purchasing a filling machine, it is important to understand the physical properties of the containers you will be filling. These properties ultimately determine the optimal filling type for your production needs. It is essential to communicate this information to your suppliers, as they can help you choose the most suitable filling machine for your operation.
What Output Do You Require?
When considering the efficiency of a filling machine, it is important to consider your current and future production needs. Upgrading your machine may not be feasible once you decide to expand your business. Smaller machines typically measure their filling speed in bottles per hour (BPH), while faster and larger filling machines usually calculate the filling speed in bottles per minute (BPM).
For instance, manual filling machines are suitable for start-ups or very small companies. However, they may not meet the requirements of small and medium-sized enterprises or small businesses with plans for expansion.
What Level of Automation Do You Need in a Filling Machine?
When purchasing a filling machine, it is crucial to determine the desired level of automation. Manual filling machines are suitable for home brewing, entry-level brewing, or small companies with few employees and no growth plans. They are designed for relatively low output and may not be suitable for small and medium-sized breweries or those with expansion plans.
Semi-automatic filling machines are a middle-ground choice for most small breweries and are ideal for breweries planning to grow. These machines offer greater production efficiency compared to manual filling machines, although some manual operations are still required, which may slightly decrease filling efficiency. In terms of price, semi-automatic filling machines fall between manual and automatic machines, making them an affordable investment.
Automatic filling machines are the best choice for large breweries with high output requirements. These machines have significantly faster filling speeds than manual or semi-automatic machines. Although automatic machines require more space, they generally do not require manual intervention. However, they are usually the most expensive option in terms of both initial purchase and maintenance costs.
What Filling Capacity Do You Require?
The size and capacity of the container can affect the weight change during filling. Due to the characteristics of certain liquids, you may need to slightly overfill the container. Therefore, setting the filling capacity is crucial, as it directly impacts your business’s bottom line. Additionally, investing in a filling machine with more accurate capacity sizing can help minimize product waste.
Does the Filling Machine Allow for Scalability If the Composition Changes?
Over time, the composition of your liquid products may change. You may find cheaper alternatives or higher-quality ingredients, which could require a new filling machine. However, if your filling machine allows for scalability, you can adapt to new ingredients without making drastic changes to the components.
Does the Filling Process Affect the Liquid’s Characteristics?
It is important not only to understand the characteristics of the liquid before it enters the filling machine but also to consider any potential changes that may occur as the liquid passes through the equipment components. If the liquid undergoes adverse changes during this process, it is advisable to avoid using such a filling machine.
How Complex Is the Maintenance and Cleaning Process of the Filling Machine?
The accumulation of liquid in the components can negatively affect the filling machine’s operation and the quality of the finished product. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a machine that is easy to clean and maintain to prevent contamination and ensure product quality.