Many businesses are making use of liquid filling technology, taking advantage of the increase in speed and productivity. However, as with all technologies, liquid filling machinery is constantly evolving and improving, promising a host of additional future benefits. New systems are becoming more efficient and user friendly, taking their place at the heart of production lines.
Modern liquid filling technology is less labour intensive, and the new generation of machines will help businesses prosper in the face of fierce competition. Before looking at some of the improvements, we will explore the market and societal demands that are driving innovation in liquid filling machines.
Manufacturers are constantly improving liquid filling machines to help businesses cope with growing global competition and changing consumer habits. Across a range of industries, from beverages to cosmetics, companies need to produce more units while lowering costs, or risk competitors crowding them out of the market.
Accordingly, the drive to speed up production while using less labour has created a growing demand for automatic production lines. One catalyst for this is the COVID-19 pandemic, where producers need to cope with labour shortages caused by close contact isolation and lockdowns. Improved automation is one way of working around workplace precautions since these liquid filling machines work with very little human intervention.
Shorter Lead Times and New Products
In addition, due to the growth of e-commerce and market unpredictability, retailers want shorter lead times so that they can react to demand quickly. In response, production lines need systems that can ramp up production and shorten delivery times.
Flexibility is also important because many producers seek liquid filling machines that can adapt to new product lines, novel container designs, and different cap types. This particular trend reflects the growing demand from retailers for product designs that catch the eye and are easy to market.
New developments in liquid filling machinery include significant increases in productivity and efficiency. In other words, machines are able to fill more units per hour without lowering accuracy and consistency. In support of this, filling machines are becoming simpler to use and program. This promises fewer interruptions while changing over to different products, leading to significantly less downtime.
Easy setup also reduces labour costs because a company does not have to pay extra for dedicated specialist operators. With just a little training, anyone in the factory environment can service, set up and operate these machines.
Another area manufacturers are working on is straightforward access for maintenance and cleaning. It is much easier to ensure that everything runs smoothly, and the improved reliability of modern machines lowers the time lost due to repairs significantly. For example, some machines can be cleaned with hot steam rather than stripping down the entire piston assembly. With these advances, employees waste less time and can focus on other productive tasks.
Adaptability and Multi-Functional Machines
Another trend we are seeing is demand for increased adaptability, which is changing how liquid filling machines work. Modern production lines now tend to handle different production runs rather than stick with a single product type.
Newer machines make product changeovers much easier and, as the technology improves, operators will be able to make these changes with minimal downtime. For example, many filling machines include pre-set programs that let operators reconfigure with a press of a button and a simple swap of nozzles.
Ideally, producers should be able to set up and configure a machine for different product viscosity, and various shapes and sizes of containers. Machines may have to handle various cap types, hot and cold liquids, and foaming liquids, as well as operate in sterile environments.
Multi-functionality means that machines increasingly offer different functions such as pasteurisation and homogenisation. This saves space and time because you don’t need extra equipment, taking up room and money, elsewhere on the site.
Increasingly, filling machines will integrate seamlessly with capping machines to further improve product flow and lower labour costs.
Quick Delivery and Customisation
Another important area for many businesses investing in liquid filling technology is quick delivery for new machines. Many companies investing in machines cannot afford to wait months for a new system. They want new filling technologies delivered and installed quickly, in months rather than weeks, ready to start production as soon as possible. Any manufacturer unable to assess a customer’s needs and deliver a system quickly may lose out to competitors.
In addition, businesses often want the option to upgrade quickly, when needed, letting them cope with seasonal demands and one-off orders from customers. Other options include manufacturers offering filling machines for hire, which suits many businesses with fluctuating demand.
Finally, machine manufacturers are responding to business demand for machines customised for their needs. They are shifting away from building only generic systems shoehorned into production lines with little consideration of other systems or processes.
Energy Efficiency and Compactness
The new generation of filling machines uses much less energy, meaning they’re economic to run and help businesses match environmental regulations. Energy efficiency is especially useful for companies facing higher energy costs because of their location, helping them become more competitive in a global market.
Finally, many liquid filling machine manufacturers are now designing equipment and components that use recycled materials and energy-efficient manufacturing processes.
Filling machines are also becoming smaller, yet able to complete the same tasks, saving expensive floor space and reducing the need for moving to new premises. This is especially true when integrated with conveyors and accumulation tables that reduce the footprint significantly.
A Developing Technology
The future of the liquid filling machine industry is filled with promise as manufacturers improve their machines and their manufacturing processes. Thanks to advances in technology, manufacturers are able to provide machines that can handle a wide variety of liquids and packaging combined with reduced labour costs and less downtime.
Other important trends include multi-functional machines, shorter delivery times and greater adaptability, making it a very exciting time for the industry.
Asset Packaging Machines: Preparing for the Future
Of course, the future is always unpredictable, and producers do not always know exactly what they will need in the coming years. Because of this, it is important to source machines from forward-thinking packaging machine manufacturers like Asset Packaging Machines.
Our company offers a wide range of liquid packaging equipment, including filling machines and capping systems. We also provide flexible hire options as well as superior service to ensure that our customers are always satisfied.
Contact us today to see how we can help your business stay ahead of the curve.