Automatic packaging lines can be a costly endeavor, especially when a new company is being formed or production demands do not call for non-stop filling, capping and labeling. In these situations, completely automatic packaging equipment may be overkill, until the product or products catch on and production levels increase. In addition, new companies may want to spend capital in other areas such as marketing and sales to grow the company. When these and other issues are of concern, semi-automatic equipment can provide an efficient and cost effective solution for packagers.
1. Container Cleaning Equipment
While container cleaning equipment may not be found on every packaging line, these machines are critical for a number of industries. In general, bottle washers and rinsers will be used in industries where products are ingested, injected or otherwise come in contact with the body. Medicines, foods, beverages and similar products that are concerned with contamination will almost always take advantage of some type of container cleaning machine. Rinsers and washers will normally be placed just before the liquid filling machine to remove dust and debris prior to the introduction of the product into the bottles or other containers. Semi-automatic container cleaning equipment will require the operator to place the bottles to be cleaned on rinse nozzles. These nozzles may use air, water or other cleaning chemical to loosen and remove contaminants, on occasion using a vacuum to pull out the debris as well. Once rinsed, the operator of the machine will remove the cleansed bottles and move them to the bottle filler for the introduction of product.
2. Liquid Filling Machines
Semi-automatic liquid fillers can use the same filling principles as automatic equipment. This means the semi-automatic machinery can handle liquids thick and thin, liquids with particulates, hot fills and sanitary products as well. Like the container cleaning equipment, these machines will require the operator to place the bottles or containers before the filling begins. Once the containers are in place, the operator will activate the fill cycle in some manner, most commonly by stepping on a foot switch or pressing a finger switch. Semi-automatic filling machines can not only speed up the process over hand filling, but can add consistency and reliability to the fill as well. Once the fill cycle completes, the operator will remove the bottles from the machine and move them to the next packaging phase, which will usually be the capping of the containers.