The demand for manufacturers and food beverages packed in glass and plastic bottles increases continuously. We need a proper strategy and technologies to sustain cost and increase sales with this short continuation. Many manufacturers use the same technique in glass and plastic bottles to face a mounting pressure range. As food safety and hygiene requirements increase, the cost per unit is becoming more critical.
These all scenarios are the reasons why the choice of filling technology is becoming critical. But we want to provide such technologies which help facilitate the efficient, hygienic filling of bottles. So, here we are providing you with the best quality article on “the art of filling the glass and plastic bottles”.
Researching on glass bottles
Glass is to be known for its trustability regarding our health and environment. It is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly with nearly no loss in quality or purity. This famous benefit of glass; 85% of the recovered glass is made into new glass products. In addition, there are legislations such as container deposit measures. These are responsible for increasing the benefits associated with glass packaging.
It is famous for no exchange between glass packaging and products to affect the flavour of food and beverages. And that is the reason glass is impermeable and nonporous. Results in no nasty after taste-ever. Glass ability for zero rates of chemical interaction ensures that the product inside the glass bottle keeps its strength, aroma, and flavour. ****
Many experiments and research have shown that glass is considered the perfect packaging material**. So how is glass able to maintain its demand in the market?** Of course, there are many scientific reasons behind it. But the functioning that catches our focus is its quality, purity and natural products such as bio food and organic drinks.
Survey Fact – According to the European Container Glass Federation survey in 2017, European consumers believe the glass is the most environmentally friendly packaging material.
Researching on plastic bottles
Over a generation, lifestyle is changing rapidly. Dependency on processed and packaged food is increasing the sales of plastic packaging. The construction of plastic bottles involves either high density or low density. And indirectly, this process helps plastic bottles owing to its convenient format. End up having superior barrier properties and high-quality printability.
We are known that plastic bottle packaging leads to a significant contributor to the plastic packaging market. This is because plastic bottles are polyethene terephthalate, commonly known as PET. This substance becomes very useful when using bottles for food and drinks. And this is because of the importance, as this material helps make bottles lightweight and robust.
PET is generally recognized as 100% recyclable raw material. It functions to provide an excellent barrier against carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2). You should be amazed by knowing that packaged water accounts for more than ⅓ of the total global consumption.
To conclude this part, we can state that PET will present an increasingly persuasive case regarding sustainability, technical performance, and aesthetics.
Factors of filling technology
When we talk about filling machines, these machines become the core of your filling line as these are the only machines in direct contact with your product. Therefore, they are directly helping you manage your food safety, food quality, yield and throughput. Now, we are going to discuss factors of filling technology.
There are four factors of filling technology which is as follows –
- Faster line/ production speed
- Filling accuracy
- Increasing labour costs
- Increased quality standards
Let’s discuss them in detail to know what these terms represent in the real world.
Faster line / Production speed
When we look at our past decades, there was no quality development in production. They were providing their best to the market at that time. But if we compare this scenario with today’s development process, our past production becomes somewhat slow.
If we look down at our present situation, the standard speed of today’s bottling line is far better than our past decades. You can see statistics like the average for past rate of the bottling line comes down to 100 bottles per minute. It is now as good as five times of previous manufacturing.
It makes manual inspection impossible and increases the potential number of defects equating to multiple retailers.
If you are looking to ensure product quality, having a correctly filled container is considered the tremendous key element. It would help if you were accurate in your filler. Because under-filler bottles will not provide you good quality and hence, results in consumer complaints. And at worst part, it can lead a company to court. In contrast to this, overfilling is considered a costly and wasteful process. So all we mean is we have to be accurate when it comes to fillers to meet accuracy over the decades.
Increasing labour cost
Productions are increasing day by day, so are the labour cost. So as we look at the statistics, we see a trend of labour costs; they have gradually increased over the past years. And this scenario results in difficulty to train labours and keeping a quality labour staff.
Increased quality standards
This famous saying – Quality brings customers; customers get sales, sales will profit your business. Nowadays, local consumers are more concerned about the quality of products and food safety issues. Today’s generation is willing to purchase more reputable brands for their quality. Nowadays, manufacturers are now implementing inspection programs as a standard practice to help protect their valuable brand image and reputation for quality.
When beginning your liquid filling equipment search, you must look for different aspects of your product and the demands of your project. Five characteristics will help in determining the filling machine you will need:
- The liquid’s nature or characteristics
- Fill volume
- Fill temperature
- Container dimensions
- Production rate
Types of filling we can work with
While working with glass and plastic bottles, we can go for three types of filling – volumetric filling, level filling, weight filling. We will discuss these fillings in detail right after this section. But first, understand some basic tendencies of glass and plastic bottles.
Glass bottles tend to show slight variations in volume. But this is the outer part of the bottle. The actual reality is that the internal volume is the spine that varies very often. So these glass bottles give you a different perception when filled volumetric, even though the volume you serve is the same.
But you must be thinking why it must be short? Let me go through this for you. It is because of the slight volumetric difference between the volume. And not because of the volume or weight, which is a common mistake newcomers think of in the beverage industry. This is not a good impression mark on your customers.
But while working with level machines, all the bottles will appear to have the same volume. It is because of the same level of volume or fills. But what happens, in reality, is that there will be slight differences in fill volume. Remember no short fills.
You need to make this decision beforehand: whether go for volumetric, weight or level filling.
Before going into the mainstream, you can think of level filling for some liquid products. And the reason being is that it is faster and cheaper than volumetric filling. Also, it has the advantage of evenly filled bottles.
But what if your product is costly per weight? Or the little bit of giveaway could cost you dearly, especially in a high production environment. Then which machine will be your selection. Think about it. Our research proves that you must go for volumetric or weight filling machines in this type of case.
Volumetric Filling machine
When we hear volume, the only thing that comes to our mind is something related to liquids. And if an average person without prior business work think what volumetric filling is, he will feel like filling containers with liquid. So, yes, in simple language, the volumetric filling machine works.
This filling machine works on the principle of time-based filling direction. A volumetric machine fills a container. It fills containers with a consistent volume of the product.
It is common for this machine to ask for manual adjustments or guesswork on behalf of the operator. It will come in handy when you go through a volume-based approach. Volumetric fillers are perfect for products in containers with varying interior volumes because, regardless of shape discrepancies, the machines deliver a consistent volume.
Level Filling machine
They are commonly known as flow filling machines. To eliminate any product waste, this machine uses a special nozzle. The functioning of this special nozzle involves sealing both containers’ openings and allowing the liquid to flow back to the tank. This type of machine is commonly seen in the beverages industry. It dispenses the exact amount of liquid-based products needed for different containers such as bottles.
As the fill nozzles seal over the containers, the fill port opens to allow the product to flow to each container. Once the fill reaches a pre-set level in your containers, the product withdraws from them through the return port. Thus, “overflowing” from each container and back to the holding tank. Liquid fillers in semi-automatic and automatic designs work the same way. The main difference is the activation of each fill cycle – semi-automatic machines use switches while automatic ones use PLCs.
Liquid filling machines use the overflow principle. It helps to provide cosmetic fills. And that’s the reason why packagers who are using plastic bottles prefer these machines. This is because the consistent fill levels give an aesthetically pleasing appearance to your containers once on the shelves.
Net Weight Filling machine
This filling machine uses scales to weigh containers. Their filling is based on weight. When the required amount of weight is reached, the packing will stop. If we compare this filling machine with the volumetric machine, this machine is easier to clean.
This machine has the speciality of less product contact. You must know this concept that this machine will typically return about half the speed of a volumetric machine for a one-gallon container 1 gallon and smaller.
There are different net weight filler machines available in the market. But we have found the Star Auger net filling machine quite useful. This machine works on the principle of auger filling technology. This technology is most commonly used in applications that require portioning of powders and chemicals. This machine is made of stainless steel construction and has easy to remove tooling.
In addition to this, the machine is equipped with a custom design screw. This will help determine our desired weight based on the volume, which allows for more straightforward cleaning and maintenance. With the latest technology, our net weight filling machines are ideal for customers who require data tracking or highly accurate fills.
We have discussed the art of filling the glass and plastic bottles. It serves as a tool for better visualizing a business portfolio and providing a good starting point for discussing resource allocation.
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