What is a Filling Machine? A Beginner’s Guide

Everything about the filling machine: types, use and price in today’s market.

The filling machine has many different (and important) applications in the manufacturing sector. These devices allow businesses to quickly and easily fill containers with a variety of products. This can include everything from liquids to powders and even small pieces of food or any other product. Read this article to learn more about filling machines and how they’re used.

What is a Filling Machine?

Let’s start off with the filling machine definition: a filling machine is a piece of industrial machinery used to fill containers with a variety of different materials. Filling systems are mostly used in manufacturing and production settings, sometimes also in research facilities or no-commercial places.

Any person or business looking for a filling system today will come across a range of filling machine design options. These will mainly be operation based, where we have the following: manual, semi-automatic, and automatic filling machines.

Manual Filling Machine

Manual filling machines are mostly tabletop units, although some can be floor standing. As their name suggests, these machines require manual operation, instead of electricity or any other power source, to fill containers with product. This can be a time-consuming process, especially if you are filling multiple containers.

Manual filling machines are, therefore, typically used for smaller production runs or for businesses that do not have a high volume of products to fill. Outside of the business environment, a manual filling machine can be found in research laboratories and other places where filling needs are low.

Semi-Automatic Filling Machine

Semi-automatic filling machines are a slight advancement from manual filling type. These machines still require some level of manual operation, but also have automated features that help to speed up the process. A semi-automatic filler is often either a small device that you can use from a tabletop but can also be a larger unit on own legs.

The semi-auto filling machine is mostly used by businesses that have moderate product volumes to fill. These machines are affordable when compared to the fully automated systems while still allowing a business to package a considerable number of containers per minute.

Fully Automatic Filling Machines

Automatic filling machines are the most advanced type of filling machine. These are normally completely automated, meaning that they do all the work for you. They can quickly and easily fill containers with a variety of different products, making them ideal for high-volume production runs.

An auto filling machine will mostly be found in facilities that have a high volume of products to fill. These include medium to large beverage companies, food canning factories, and other businesses. Their main advantage is high filling speed and lower labor costs.

Rotary vs. Inline Filling Machine

Fully automated filling machines are, like many other machines, either inline or rotary. Their main difference lies in the mode of operation, with inline systems using conveyors while rotary machines are designed with rotating centers.

Rotary machines are also mainly meant for use with round containers, while inline machines are designed to package containers with different shapes. Read more about the inline and rotary filling machine below.

Rotary Filling Machines

Rotary filling machines are the most common type of filling machine in the beverage industry. These machines are designed for use with round containers, such as bottles and in production lines that involve packaging lots of containers.

A typical rotary filling machine for example, can dispense product into hundreds or even thousands of containers in an hour. But in addition to their high filling speeds, rotary fillers are among the most expensive and complex systems.

Inline Filling Machines

Inline filling machines are commonly designed for use with irregular containers, such as boxes or bags. They typically have a conveyor belt to transports containers to a filling station/head, where they’re filled with product a section of containers at a time.

Inline fillers are less complicated in design and operation than the rotary types. They’re also less costly when it comes to price. However, they’re slower than rotary systems and generally not best for very high production or busy manufacturing lines.

Filling Machine Parts

Different filling machine manufacturers design and build different fillers. In spite of that, the fillers will usually use similar working principles and, therefore, mostly identical components. Their number and types depends on various factors such as the type of product, level of automation, and others such as size. Filling machine parts can be divided into three main categories:

Filling Machine Hopper

The filling machine hopper is the section of the machine that holds product. This can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the type of filling machine. For manual and semi-automatic machines, the filling machine hopper is mostly located on top of the machine. However, for automatic machines, this part may be elsewhere and often includes two separate hoppers: in-feed and discharge hopper.

Filling Machine Nozzle

This is the part that directly dispenses the product into the intended container such as bottle, jar, or tube. The filling machine nozzle is held in the filling head, or the section that sits above containers in a filling system. Filling nozzles regulate the rate of product flow, and can be controlled to ensure the required amount of product. Automated systems use more than one nozzle at a time.

Filling Machine Drive System

The drive system powers the filling mechanism. In most filling machine equipment today today, the drive consists of an electric motor, a series of gears, and a drive belt. The electric motor powers the gears, which in turn power the drive belt. The drive belt is attached to the filling mechanism and used to move parts. The filling machine conveyor in automated lines depends on the drive system t work.

Filling Machine Controller

The filling machine controller is the part of the machine that controls the filling process. It consists of a control panel, a display screen, and a set of buttons or switches. The control panel is used to input information into the machine, such as the type of product to be filled and the desired fill level.

The touch display, common in latest filling systems, is used to view information about the filling process, such as the current fill level and the amount of product remaining in the hopper. It also lets the filling machine operator change and monitor different filling settings. The buttons or switches are used to start and stop the filling process.

Filling Machine Price

The filling machine price cannot be said to be a constant figure. It varies considerably based on the type and size of the machine. For example, when compared to inline systems, rotary fillers are way more costly. Additionally, larger machines are, without doubt, more expensive than smaller machines.

The filling machine cost also depends on the features of the machine. For example, a machine with a higher fill capacity will be more expensive than a machine with a lower fill capacity. On the other hand, machines with an automatic system are more expensive than machines that include human-operated steps such as container loading.

The range of prices, depending on the filling machine design and type, is illustrated below (note that these are estimates and price tags may be different across manufacturers).

  • Manual filling Machine Price- the manual filling machine price lies in the range $500 to $1,000
  • Semi-Automatic Filling Machine Price- a semi-automatic filling machine will usually go for between $2,000 and $10,000
  • Automatic Filling Machine Price- fully automatic filling machines are the most expensive, with prices starting at around $10,000 for most models.

Conclusion

Filling machines are an essential part of many businesses, and they come in a variety of different types as well as variety of sizes. The price of a filling machine depends on the type and size of the machine, as well as the features it has.

When selecting a filling machine for your business, it’s important to consider the type of products you will be filling, the size of the containers you will be using, and the speed at which you need the machine to operate.

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