Which Filling Equipment Is Best for Powder Products?
May 17 2017
Businesses with specialized equipment needs often run into challenges with powder product filling equipment. Filling solutions must meet accuracy, efficiency, and maintenance goals to deliver an investment return. Any business looking for high-quality filling equipment needs the right fill type and machine design to meet customer expectations and financial goals.
Types of Powder Product-Friendly Filling Equipment
Do not agree to the first powder filling machine that comes across your desk for review. Take some time to evaluate the product consistency and performance among fill equipment types. Some of the most common filling equipment types used in powder product packaging include:
- Semi-automatic auger filling machine. The auger type, one of the most widely used filling machines, features a vertical, spinning auger that continuously moves to release the appropriate amount of powder into a package. The powder fill remains consistent in each package because the auger revolves at a consistent rate.
Augers are versatile filling machines, so many product manufacturers use them for fine powder and granular filling needs. Semi-automatic machines give operators more control over each fill cycle and use volumetric or weight-based filling limits. Automatic augers, on the other hand, work independently and follow compression and vibration filling limits.
- Automatic vertical form-fill-seal machines. These popular machines combine three packaging steps. Automatic vertical form-fill-seal machines may cut down on steps, but companies must choose them based on the amount of powder product they need filled. The larger the package, the bigger the machine. A cost-effective vertical form-fill-seal machine maximizes the process for powder products that require the highest level of automation.
- Net weight fillers. Any filling machine that weights commodities prior to fill is a net weight filler. These semi-automatic or automatic fill machines can handle heavy powders and granular products and can offset inconsistencies in irregularly shaped granules. A net weight filler may not provide the consistency companies expect for fine powder products, and these systems may perform more slowly than augers and cup fillers.
- Volumetric fillers. Volumetric cup fillers release product from the bottom of a cup-like funnel in even increments. They are fast, accurate, and relatively inexpensive to operate. Cup fillers do not work well for non-free-flowing powders.
- Capsule filling machine. Companies use capsule filling machines for small-scale and pharmaceutical filling activities. These machines can only handle a small amount of powder fill at once and do not offer scalable options. A capsule filling machine is one of the most limited-use fillers available on the market today.
Those searching for an appropriate filling solution must consider product properties, product demand, and maintenance considerations. Each of the listed powder-oriented filling machines accommodates powders and granules with varying properties. Some of the most versatile filling machines are the semi-automatic and automatic auger filling machines. They can handle a range of powder filling needs, including fine powders and larger granules. The auger filling machine setup traps fine particulates for air quality and uses a couple of different measurement styles (volumetric or weight based) to give companies accurate fill measures.
For others, the net weight filler may provide the best results. In each case, discuss your needs with an equipment manufacturer and consider partnering with a custom metal fabrication company to modify or create a powder filling machine designed to meet your business’s unique needs.
At Swanton Welding Company Inc., we support original equipment manufacturers and other filling industry companies with equipment design and development activities. Contact us today for industry-specific filling equipment information.