Today’s equipment simply must be designed to accommodate a diverse range of products in order to be viable.
When choosing a beverage filling machine, a good place to start is to know the exact characteristics of the liquid product.
Product specification is the most important parameter that we can identify a suitable piece of beverage filling equipment for our customers, We need to talk about product characteristics, such as filling temperature, particulates, tendency of the product to splash or froth, etc.
For products that need special attention paid to minimizing microorganisms and ensuring food safety, such as juices, hot-fill technology for hygienic bottles will be needed. This was the case when carbonated beverage factory started bottling iced tea, sports drinks and juices, due to the high-pulp content of the juice, a new line was needed.
When bottling a product like beer, which has a tendency to foam, gentle filling is paramount. Breweries want to limit the amount of oxygen picked up by the beer as much as possible during the filling process, but also want to maximize throughput. the filling valve is equipped with two different filling speeds so that a gentle filling process with low turbulence and less foaming behavior.”
Having accuracy filling is one of the key elements to ensure product quality and control giveaway. Under-filled bottles can result in consumer complaints. However, overfilling can be costly and wasteful. This means a filler must be accurate and consistently maintain that accuracy over the years.
Because the filling accuracy depends on so many factors, such as technology used and varying product characteristics, one method to improve performance is increasing automation. Programmable logic controllers (PLC) can control and consistently make adjustments to the filling parameters and product flow.
The key to increasing accuracy during the filling operation is control of the flow rate. The beverage filling machine adjusts the flow rate via a servomotor controlling the opening and closing of the valve and a stepper mechanism to maintain a constant flow rate.
Fillers with automatic clean-in-place (CIP) capabilities have long been identified as a way to speed up the cleaning process. However, this is only possible if the filler bowl and valves have a self-draining design, which traditional piston fillers did not have.
Increasing the general sanitary design features of fillers continues to be another area of improvement. More equipment is incorporating sloped surfaces for increased drainage and avoiding usage of hollow bodies, which can facilitate product buildup.
Even though filling machines are trending toward more automation, equipment must be easy for operators to use. More attention is being paid to designing intuitive human machine interface (HMI) with panels that are easier to use and read.
A proper set-up of the HMI is vital, if show photos on touch screen of some machines so operators can detect a problem with just a glance, also without needing to overcome any language barriers, this helps operators monitor performance more closely and prevent potential downtime.