New bottle filler gives a dose of customization

By Jenni Spinner in Fillers on January 08, 2019

As many production runs continue to get smaller, some product manufacturers have been looking beyond expensive, fast changeover systems to semi-automatic or even manual solutions. And packaging machinery manufacturers are responding. Here’s one example: A new custom gravity filler enables users to hand-fill personalized bottles in a visitor center, tasting room or production setting.

Susan Lamar, media relations manager, Fogg Filler, says the manufacturer originally designed the custom filler for a distillery client, permitting customers to select and fill their own bottles of spirits.

“I can’t name customers, but I can say that the spirits industry has taken a liking to this model,” she says.

But, in addition to spirits, the product can handle a range of other flowable liquids, including pharmaceuticals. This machine could capitalize on the trend of manufacturing personalized pharmaceuticals in small lots or even a lot of one.

To use, a visitor (to a distillery tasting room, for example) pulls a handle on a filling station; a valve inserts into the chosen bottle and fills to a set height. Minimum bottle size is 50 milliLiter, and maximum is 5 L.

According to the manufacturer, the unit offers a range of configurations. For example, users can choose to have one product in the filling bowl, with four stations that each fill the same-size bottle. Another puts a single product in the bowl, with each of four stations filling a different bottle size. Additionally, the bowl can be split into four sections, accommodating multiple products and a different sized package for each station.

The machine is designed to be cleaned manually. However, says Lamar, the manufacturer’s line of fillers range from totally manual cleaning to nearly totally automated, depending on a customer’s requirements.

 

Jenni Spinner

Freelance writer and former Packaging Digest senior editor Jenni Spinner is a trade journalist with two decades of experience in the field. While she has covered numerous industries (including construction, engineering, building security, food production and public works), packaging remains her favorite.

 

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