Revolutionize Your Production Efficiency: The Benefits of Innovative Bottle Holders for Filling Machines

clear drinking bottle filled with water
Discover how innovative bottle holders enhance filling machine efficiency, boosting productivity and ensuring bottle integrity.

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Filling and packaging machines are crucial equipment in the food packaging industry, and their performance and accuracy can significantly impact the production and packaging process, bottle quality, and product safety. One of the essential parts of the bottle filling machine and packaging machine, is the bottle holder, which plays a significant role in packaging and in supporting bottles during the bottle filling process, and packaging and manufacturing process and ensuring they are correctly positioned.

The function of the bottle holder is to lift the incoming liquid fillers and bottles into the filling position, allowing the filled bottle and liquid fillers and itself to come into contact with the filling valve and create a seal that prevents future leaks and contamination. The bottle holder opens the filling valve enabling the liquid fillers and solution to be dispensed into and fill the bottle, and after completion of the filling process, the bottle holder lowers the filled bottle to complete the process.

Role of Filling MachinesRole of Bottle Holders
Maximize productionSupport bottle position
Ensure product safetyPrevent bottle damage
Increase packaging qualityCreate a tight seal
Reduce bottle damageControl liquid dispensing
Minimize product wasteEfficient filling process

As a result, it is essential for companies to invest in high-quality bottle holders designed to sustain long-term and weighty use. Premium bottle holders can minimize the company’ need for frequent maintenance, saving time, money and labor costs. Investing in high-quality bottle holders is a sustainable solution, reducing waste and optimizing waste and production efficiency with benefits for companies in the long run.

The requirements for the bottle filling support are: the height of the bottle filling the support on a machine should be consistent. The rise and fall of the bottle filling the support should be smooth, and the force applied to the bottle after the seal is tight should be moderate. The force on sixteen fill heads should be a manageable size. Excessive force on sixteen fill heads can damage the whole bottle filling machine or cause the bottle fill heads to break, while insufficient force on sixteen fill heads can affect the sealing and filling quality of plastic bottles.

Bottle holders can be classified into two different types, based on their material properties: rigid bottle holders and elastic bottle holders. Elastic bottle holders can further be classified into three different types of:

  • spring-loaded,
  • pressure-loaded,
  • and air-pressure-loaded.

iBottling has been producing full filling stations and equipment since the 1960s. The equipment they produced back then was a two-in-one machine that included a single-cylinder gravity-fed 24-head filler and a 6-head crown capper and was capable of filling non-carbonated liquids. The machine’s bottle support was made of a rigid steel structure. This machine was one of China’s earliest full filling stations and capping machines, designed by the Light Industry Design Institute based on foreign products. While this machine worked very well for customers abroad, its performance could have been better in China due to differences in bottle sizes and specifications between manufacturers.

The bottles used domestically do not meet the standards. We investigated the quality of the bottles. We found that they can deviate up to 30mm from the center, and their actual inner diameter at the mouth is sometimes only 11mm, while the standard requires 16mm. This severely affects the cost effectiveness of the automatic bottle filling machine used. We conducted experiments on this automatic bottle filling machines machine at the Huanghelou Distillery in Wuhan. If standard bottles are used, the automatic bottle filling machines machine operates normally and the quality of the bottle filling process and capping meets the design requirements.

Steel bottle holder:

The main feature of the steel bottle holder is its simple structure. It mainly comprises a bottle holder tray, bottle holder shaft, shaft seat, roller shaft, and roller parts. The ascending bottle guide pushes the roller up through an ascending curve. The roller then drives the bottle holder shaft and tray to move up simultaneously. If the roller rises by 100mm, the tray must rise by 100mm and cannot decrease. Therefore, it is called a steel bottle holder. (Refer to Figure 1)

Figure 1 (Schematic diagram of steel bottle holder)

Figure 2 (Schematic diagram of compression spring elastic bottle holder)

Advantages of Steel Bottle Holders

  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • Appropriate for large-scale production
  • Require minimal maintenance

Disadvantages of Steel Bottle Holders

  • Limited adaptability to different bottle shapes and sizes
  • Allowance for variations in bottle height requires extra space in the valve lift travel.
  • Problems arise when bottles have excessive center deviation or bottle neck diameters that are too small, resulting in possible damage to components or breaking the bottle.

In conclusion, despite the limitations and benefits of steel bottle holders, they continue to be used in high-volume production lines due to their reliable performance. Careful selection is needed when purchasing and using steel holders to ensure production line safety, accuracy, energy efficiency benefits, and quality.

Compression spring-type elastic bottle holder

The iBottling Filling Machine manufacturing company has produced 20-head and 30-head dual-cylinder low vacuum automatic bottle filling machines, with spring-loaded elastic bottle holders since the 1970s. These empty filled machines have flexible bottle holders that can compress over 100 millimeters, allowing the automatic bottle filling machine to continue operating even if the bottle filling the tube is pressing against the bottleneck without damaging the filled bottle or the bottle filling machine.

It comprises several parts, including the holder plate, upper and lower slides, roller shafts, rollers, levers, springs, and outer casings.

  • Holder Plate provides the base structure for attaching all other components to the bottle holder.
  • Upper and Lower Slides – These are designed to provide adjustable support for accommodating different bottle shapes and sizes.
  • Roller Shafts – This part connects the upper and lower slides to other components, such as levers or springs.
  • Rollers help guide bottles into place before they are lifted up for filling.
  • Levers – Depending on the type of bottle holder, there could be one or more levers attached to it that can be used to lock bottles into place more securely.
  • Springs – Springs automatically adjust bottles with different heights or sizes within certain limits to fit properly into the holder plate.
  • Outer Casings – Outer casings protect internal components from dust particles or debris that may affect their operation and provide additional rigidity for improved stability when holding bottles in place during the filling process.

During the fill heads installation, place the automatic bottle fillers support tray and upper sliding tube in the upper part of the bottle filling stations fill heads support, and install the roller axis and roller on the lower part of automatic bottle fillers. The more down sliding tube per the bottle size and fill heads size is connected to the upper sliding tube via a spring with a pull rod to limit the distance between the two. Adjust the nut under the pull rod to adjust the height of the bottle filling stations support. (Refer to Figure 2)

The bottle lifting speed guide pushes the roller on the lower sliding tube upward during operation. The more down sliding tube moves the speed move upward via the spring, pushing the upper sliding tube upward. The upper sliding tube stops moving when the bottle and speed move is blocked and the speed move cannot continue to produce a rise.

The sliding tube automatic bottle filling machine can continue to rise by compressing the spring until it reaches its highest position. The compression of the spring compensates for the distance that the sliding tube cannot continue to rise. Therefore, the automatic bottle filling machine, will not cause the automatic bottle fillers to burst or damage the cleaning machinery or equipment, ensuring the regular operation of the automatic bottle filling machine, and cleaning machine.

The iBottling Filling Machine has been in production for almost 30 years. This model automatic bottle filling machine can fill every bottle while minimizing bottle and alcohol loss, electricity consumption, and noise during the fill and packaging process. It accurately fills liquids and still has a prominent place in the market. It is widely used in industries such as soy sauce, vinegar, wine, liquor, and beverage production.

Figure 3 (Schematic diagram of spring type elastic bottle holder)

The upper end of the spring is fixed to the upper part of the seat shaft, and the lower end is set to the lower end of the bottle support shaft. The spring force lifts the bottle on the tray to open the bottle filling side valve for each bottle filling. After filling one bottle, the in line descent cam presses down on the roller to make the bottle support shaft move downwards so the filled bottle leaves the in line filling valve and enters the in line/out line replacement bottle station.

The cam force direction of this bottle fill the holder is opposite to that of the spring-loaded bottle fill bottles in the holder. This other bottle filler holder is mainly used on liquid bottle filling devices and machines that fill bottles that are not pressurized. The iBottling Filling Machine company has used this type of bottle filler holder since the 1980s on its volumetric bottle filling devices and machines.

Pressure-based elastic bottle holder.

The characteristic of a pneumatic elastic bottle container holder is that it applies the same amount of pressure to the bottle containers at any height of the bottle containers and holder tray. The bottle container holder is operated by compressed air and is mainly used in automatic filling machine or machines for carbonated liquids to ensure a tight seal between the bottle container and the automatic filling machine valve.

It consists of several parts:

  • Holder Plate: Provides base structure for attaching components to bottle holder
  • Guide Sleeve: Acts as adjustable support for different bottle shapes and sizes
  • Outer/Inner Sleeves: Houses pressure chamber which compresses air when assembled together
  • Piston: Controls pneumatic pressure when actuated
  • Seal Rings: Ensures effective sealing between components
  • Lower Slides: Adjusts height position based on size of bottles placed on it
  • Roller Brackets: Holds rollers in place and provides additional stability
  • Rollers: Guides bottles into place before lifting them up for filling
  • Guide Blocks: Allows components to move freely and keep all parts aligned properly

Figure 4 (Schematic Diagram of Pneumatic Elastic Bottle Holder)

The working principle is as follows:

Compressed air enters the bottle holder from the lower part of the inner sleeve. Using the energy of the pressure formed by compressed air in contact with the bottle filler, outer sleeve pushes the bottle holder tray, outer sleeve, roller bracket, and roller to the highest point. At the same time, the bottle filler itself is made to the sealing position of the filling valve for filling. After filling, the cam is lowered to press down the roller, overcoming the pushing force of compressed air on the bottle holder and reducing the filled bottle holder to the bottle filler exit position.

All three types of flexible bottle holders are suitable for different machines for various bottles and containers. They protect produce and store the plastic bottles, and containers from being crushed, protect machinery, packaging and the machine from damage, and ensure the regular operation of the containers, machinery, packaging and the filling machine.

Wrapping up

The iBottling Filling machine currently produces various filling machines, including double-cylinder and full automatic filling machines, single-cylinder full automatic filling machine, low vacuum automatic filling machines, volumetric automatic filling machines, and carbonated liquids automatic filling machines, all of which use elastic bottle supports to ensure their performance. Users have reported good experiences with long-term use. When bottles meet standards, the filling machines can achieve the benefits of no bottle or alcohol loss, high production efficiency, and easy maintenance with low repair and replacement costs, ultimately improving users and manufacturers’ economic benefits. This machine is popular among consumers.

Reference:

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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