Filling machines and packer machines fill containers such as bags, bottles, and cans with a predetermined volume of product, such as food, cosmetics, or medicine. Filling machines load previously formed packages with a specific product quantity, but do not provide closing or sealing action. Manual machines aid in the setting or holding of products. Operators are responsible for most controls and activities. Semi-automatic machines help with both packaging and placement, allowing a single operator to perform several activities with greater speed and accuracy. Automatic machines perform activities without operator intervention. In fully automatic applications, operator involvement is limited to the replenishment of packaging components. For example, operators load empty bags or cartons onto filling system magazines, load supply hoppers with bulk materials, place empty pallets on palletizer magazines, and remove completed cartons or pallets.
Filling machines are used to fill containers with liquids, granules, powders, and sprays for consumer, bulk and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supply shipments. Packaging materials include aerosol containers, bags and pouches, blister packs, bottles and jars, cartons and boxes, cans, capsules, cartridges, cases, cups and trays, drums and kegs, pallets and pails, intermediate bulk containers (IBC), and tubes and vials. Often, filling machine suppliers provide related packaging equipment. Equipment that can be used in conjunction with filling machines includes accumulators, batching machines, bagging machines, banders, sleevers, box making equipment, and machinery or devices for bundling, capping, combining, counting, forming and sealing.
Selecting a filling machine requires an analysis of specifications, features, and applications. Fully-automated filling machines list the rate, which is usually measured in pieces per minute. Some automated fillers and packers include an integral feeder and a computer interface that links to a control network. Other filling equipment is made from stainless steel for improved corrosion resistance. Aseptic or sanitary filling machines are easy to clean and designed in a manner that inhibits the growth or presence of pathogenic microrganisms. Portable filling machinery is lightweight or includes wheels or casters for ease of movement. In terms of applications, filling machines are used widely in the chemical, medical, and pharmaceutical industries. They are also used to process food, beverages, cosmetics, electronics, and semiconductors.
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