PLC Control Based Automatic Bottle Filling Line Design Improving Efficiency

Designing a PLC-Integrated Beverage Filling Line
PLC beverage filling line design can greatly improve efficiency by using photo sensors for empty bottle detection for waste detection.

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In recent years, with the rapid development of the industry, the variety of beverages such as juice, tea, bottled drinking water, vegetable juice, and carbonated drinks has increased. Consequently, people’s demand for higher living standards is gradually expanding. Therefore, most manufacturers in the filling production control system use advanced filling production technology to enhance production efficiency and achieve automated electrical control.

This leads to the developing of beverage filling control systems towards automation and intelligence [1].

PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) is an industrial control device with a microprocessor at its core. It combines a computer’s functionality with the control device system of relay contractors that have been in use.

It addresses the shortcomings of low reliability, poor flexibility, poor versatility, high power consumption, and complex wiring in relay contact control systems.

Thus, using PLC to control beverage filling production realizes automated, efficient, and intelligent production lines. It significantly improves production efficiency and output, having a massive impact on beverage production.


Hardware Design

1.1 Control requirements of the beverage filling production line

The control requirements for the filling production line are as follows:

(1) Set the control switch to manual and automatic modes. When the motor starts normally and drives the main conveyor belt to run, the related electrical components begin to detect the arrival of empty bottles.

(2) When the bottles are sensed, the conveyor belt stops and pauses for 1 second. The filling equipment starts filling the empty bottles with beverages. After 5 seconds, the filling stops, the conveyor belt starts running, and the bottles are transported to the designated conveyor belt based on the position detection device.

(3) Use relevant components to detect and record the number of empty and full bottles, distinguishing between finished and defective products. Start recording a series of related data when the system begins to operate.

(4) The recorded data can be manually cleared or reset.

1.2 Basic structure of the beverage filling production line

The structure of this production line consists of filling equipment, the main conveyor belt for the production line, positioning sensors, conveyor belts for regular and defective products, defect detection sensors, and defect-pushing equipment. Photoelectric sensors detect new bottles for filling, while microwave position detectors distinguish finished and defective products. A pushing cylinder pushes defective products onto the defective conveyor belt.

1.3 System Flowchart

The flowchart of this system is shown in Figure 1. The control system is designed for two modes of operation for beverage filling machines: manual and automatic.

iBottling Beverage Filling Line

Two operation modes for beverage filling machines: manual and automatic.

(1) Manual operation mode:Press button SB3 to start the motor and drive the conveyor belt, allowing the main conveyor belt to operate normally in the beverage filling production line.

  • Release button SB3 once the empty bottle reaches the designated filling position.
  • Press button SB4, which controls the beverage filling equipment, filling the beverage into the empty bottle and starting a timer.
  • Release button SB4 when the specified filling time is reached, stopping the production line until button SB1 is pressed again for regular operation.

(2) Automatic operation mode: Press button SB1 to start the motor and drive the central conveyor belt to run generally in the beverage filling machine system.

  • The central conveyor belt stops when the photoelectric sensor detects a beverage bottle pauses for 1 second, and then the filling equipment fills the beverage into the bottle.
  • The timer starts counting, and upon reaching the predetermined time, the filling equipment automatically stops filling, and the timer stops counting.
  • The motor drives the central conveyor belt to continue running in the beverage filling machine system. The central conveyor belt stops when the microwave position detector starts detecting the filled beverage bottles.
  • After detection, differentiate between finished and defective filled beverage products, which usually flow on their designated conveyor belts in the beverage filling production line.
  • The conveyor belt continuously operates while the production line runs, only stopping when the system requirements are met.
  • During the filling process, an alarm device will activate. The alarm signal will start when filling begins and end when the filling is completed.

1.4 Electrical schematic design

As illustrated in Figure 2, the electrical control principle of this system draws three-phase power through five circuit breakers that also protect against short circuits. In addition to this, the three thermal relays protect against motor overloads.

iBottling Beverage Filling Line

1.5 Selection of PLC

When selecting the appropriate model and specifications of PLC to meet onsite and product requirements, it is crucial to understand its machine specification, storage capacity that satisfies our needs, maximum expandable input/output modules available, power supply capacity, and available options for specialized modules. As we choose a suitable model of PLC considering cost-efficiency but also guaranteeing the system’s required functions and reliability, the SIMATIC S7-200 series from Siemens seems like an ideal choice for this control system.


Software Design

Several methods can be employed in the bottle filling machine industry when designing and writing programs for PLC. These methods include:

  • Design based on experience
  • Design using logical reasoning
  • Design according to the control requirements and sequential function charts
  • Design by converting control circuits into ladder diagrams

Each design method has its advantages and disadvantages. When selecting the appropriate way, consider the specific requirements of the controlled object, control system, and tasks. Choose based on the actual situation to make the design process smooth and straightforward.


Configuration Programming

Configuration King is a popular intelligent software package for industrial automation control systems, replacing traditional closed systems with standard industrial computer software and hardware platform. Key features include:

  • Powerful communication capabilities and excellent scalability
  • Direct communication with standard I/O devices, including PLC, intelligent modules, boards, and innovative instruments
  • ActiveX technology for driver programs, ensuring high efficiency in system operation
  • Strong adaptability, openness, easy expansion, affordability, and short development cycles

After debugging and simulation testing with Configuration King, the control system can:

  • Sensitively detect empty bottles and perform filling
  • Accurately differentiate between finished and defective products
  • Efficiently fulfill the system’s control requirements

Furthermore, this system boasts anti-interference solid capabilities, high reliability, convenient operation, and practicality.



The design of this control system consists of hardware design, software design, and configuration programming debugging. The PLC control system for beverage filling production lines provides significant convenience for various beverage-filling industries.

As the level of social production continues to improve, the PLC control system for bottle filling machines is not only applied in the beverage filling industry but also in chip packaging, footwear manufacturing, product packaging, and other industries requiring assembly line operations. It has a broad application and promising future.

Fact Data
Production Efficiency Up to 30% increase
Error Reduction Up to 50% reduction
Cost Savings Up to 40% savings
Market Growth 4.5% CAGR (2021-2026)
Versatility (Types of beverages) 5 types

iBottling is a leader in the beverage filling industry and has extensive experience in designing and manufacturing automated production lines, including bottle filling machines. Our robust design and cutting-edge technologies guarantee efficiency, accuracy, and high quality standards while providing your business with long-term cost savings. Contact us today to see how we can help make your beverage filling operations more productive and efficient.

Picture of John Lau.
John Lau.

John Lau, oversea project manager, an engineering graduate with expertise in optimizing beverage production equipment during his university studies, is now at the helm of global projects in the industry. Committed to educating clients on the benefits of customized equipment solutions that notably boost operational efficiency, Lau views this specialization in tailoring bottling machines as a key facet of his professional commitment.

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