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Full Service Fill Up

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: August 26, 2008, from the September 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 6

Cleanability and ease of changeover remain high on customer requirements when purchasing new liquid and tube filling equipment, according to John Erdner, director of the liquid and cosmetic division for IMA North America.

“As cosmetic companies continue to expand and diversify their product lines to meet consumer demands, the ease in being able to package a wide range of products and container sizes becomes crucial,” said Erdner. “Liquid fillers such as the IMA Libra Flexifill F940 use an interchangeable filling assembly or carriage, that can be removed from the filler when changing products or flavors and swapped out with another carriage.

This creates more uptime for the customer as the entire section is removable and can be cleaned off-line, leaving the machine still in production to fill another product.” The design changes in liquid fillers that have been made over the past few years have focused on making the machines easier to clean and change over between products, as well as simply being made faster. Some lines of tube fillers, for example, offer machines that can fill and seal or crimp both plastic and metal tubes on the same frame.

“These filling machines are also designed to make it easy to access every part of the machine, from every angle, to simplify the cleaning process and to facilitate changing components when introducing a different product or tube size,” said Lee Villeneuve, marketing director and liquid product manager for IMA Nova, which handles sales and service for the CO.MA.DI.S. product line, which Villeneuve cites as an example of a tube filling line that offers the multiple functions noted above.

“Present day filling machinery offers advancements in electronics and further use of pneumatics,” said Drake Chocholek, vice president and CIO, Accutek Packaging Equipment Companies. “This makes our filling machines more affordable, easier to operate, virtually maintenance free and much easier to clean. Gone are the days of the big mechanical beasts with gears, cranks and pulleys. Companies that are purchasing these new machines are gaining benefits from having to do less maintenance. We have continuously worked on improving and simplifying our designs to make it easier for the end user to operate, maintain and clean.”