• Time flow volumetric fillers deliver an accurate dose of a product when three factors are considered.
1. Product pump output pressure
2. Machine filling product hose inner diameter
3. Product flow rate through the dosing tube and nozzle
• The volume of product in each fill or dose can be regulated by controlling the amount of time the product flows at a constant rate through a standard sized tube into the container.
• When the product pump output pressure is known and the speed that the product travels through a constant tubing inner diameter is known, the time value for a specific amount of product or dose can be calculated. When the time is calculated, a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) or a Microprocessor controls the programmed time value for the dose by opening the pinch bar.
• For example, if 1 cc. flows through a tube in 1/10th of a second, 2cc’s will flow through the same tube in 2/10th of a second and 3cc’s will flow through the tube in 3/10th of a second. In these operations, the accuracy of the fill is determined by the smoothness of the flow and the accuracy of the timing mechanisms.
• When using a Pinch series machine, the product is pumped from a bulk tank or surge tank using a pump that is matched to the product by viscosity, fill temperature, chemical compatibility, particulate size, and required flow rate. The pump moves the product to the Pinch series machine and into the machine’s manifold. At the manifold, the product is directed into manifold ports. From the manifold output ports, the product enters the product tubing. The product tubing runs through a pinch area and to the dispensing nozzles. Once the machine is put into operation, the pressure from the pump remains constant in the manifold. The flow out of the manifold, through the tubing is controlled by the pinch bar in the pinch area. The PLC or Microprocessor controls the amount of time the pinch bar stays open allowing product to flow. After the calculated time for the proper dose size, the pinch bar shuts and stops the flow of product through the tubing.
• The variation in time flow volumetric principle that Biner Ellison uses is the pinch bar. The majority of filling machinery manufacturers use pneumatic or electronic controlled valves. By utilizing a pinch bar system, the contact parts of the filling machine remain minimal and extremely sanitary. The contact parts include the pump, the manifold, the tubing, and the nozzles. The pump can be upgraded to a sanitary stainless steel pump. The standard manifold and the nozzles are stainless steel. The standard tubing is silicon and can be upgraded to floroelastomers. Both floroelastomers and silicon are autoclaveable. There are no “dead” spots in the flow path for bacteria or particulates to build up or grow. If the cleaning and sanitization techniques used on the machine are sound, there is little chance of exposure to unwanted bacteria or contaminants.
• An operator can monitor the product for changes in viscosity, temperature, and other variables that will affect its flow rate and make adjustments to compensate for changes in the product.
• Different types of products require different nozzle designs and sizes. When the nozzle diameter matches the surface tension of the product, a film or bubble is naturally formed in the tip of the nozzle at the end of each fill. This keeps any material left in the nozzle from dripping out. If the nozzle diameter is too large, the film cannot form and there may be a few drips at the end of each fill. This can make it necessary to either run the process slower so that all the drips are caught in the container or to require frequent cleaning of the containers and the machine. Screens may also be mounted inside the nozzles to break up foamy products so that they will flow smoothly. Biner Ellison has a large selection of nozzles available, and not any one of them is appropriate for all products. The best way to select a nozzle for filling a new product is laboratory testing with a number of different types of nozzles to find the type and size that works most efficiently and effectively. Using an improper nozzle can cause slow operation, loss of product, uneven fills, and a messy machine.
• Some other considerations that need to be made are selecting the appropriate materials for the contact parts on the Pinch series machines. Contact parts include the Product Tubing, the Manifold, and the Pump. Chemical compatibility for the elastomers in the pump as well as the tubing must be tested. Different fill temperatures and product abrasiveness will also determine the proper elastomer used. Some common types of elastomers used are:
• Encapsulated Silicon
Pump specifications must also be considered. The two pump types commonly used with the Pinch series machines are Positive Displacement and Centrifugal.
Centrifugal pumps may be used when a higher degree of sanitization is needed by using a stainless steel pump head. High temperature may also require the use of a brass or stainless steel pump head. Centrifugal pumps do not usually need to have a pressure by-pass kit upgrade added but they usually need to be primed and cannot run dry.
• Positive Displacement (PD) pumps are used when high temperature or high sanitization is not required. PD pumps can also be configured for pneumatic operation very easily. PD pumps usually do not have to be primed and can run dry for short periods of time and some models have a pressure by-pass kit built in.
• Pressure by-pass kits are needed when a pump is used that continues to build pressure when the pinch bar is shut. Since the pump output pressure needs to remain constant for accurate filling, the by-pass system relieves the excessive pressure back to the supply tank, surge tank, or pump head inlet. This is done with a pneumatic or electronic logic kit coupled to the PLC or using pressure relief valves. If the pressure is not relieved, it will cause the fill volume to be inaccurate and may cause the product tubing to burst.
• Automatic models come standard with a heavy-duty stainless steel base, a 10′ variable speed conveyor, a pump, a six-head stainless steel manifold, and an automatic bottle-indexing unit.
• The heavy-duty stainlesss steel base is standard with four height adjustable, articulating feet but can be upgraded with heavy duty, locking casters for easy movement. The machine can be moved from one filling line to another in a matter of minutes to accommodate different existing container, labeling, and capping setups.
• The 10′ variable speed conveyor can be upgraded to a 15′ or 20′ variable speed conveyor to allow for auxiliary equipment such as cappers, labelers, safety sleeve placers, heat tunnels, or induction sealers to share the conveyor with the filler. This solves the problem of equipment that does not come standard with its’ own conveyor, matching speeds with numerous conveyors or transferring containers from one conveyor to another.
• The pump used in the automatic models may have to be upgraded to fit the specific filling and product applications. This is highly dependent on viscosity, chemical compatibility, temperature, sanitization needs, and particulate size. It is sometimes necessary to use a surge tank to maintain accurate fill levels. If the bulk product tank is not located near by or gravity pressure is affecting the pump’s performance and flow rate, a surge tank will be needed. A surge tank will usually include a level sensor with a pneumatic or electronic logic kit. The pneumatic or electronic logic kit will control a valve assembly responsible for allowing an auxiliary pump to fill the surge tank. The auxiliary pump is also an upgrade option. The surge tank will allow the filling machine’s pump to maintain a constant and steady pressure output, maximizing accuracy.
• All the machines in the Pinch series come standard with a stainless steel, six port manifold. Custom manifolds are an upgrade option. Manifolds may be customized to fit speed requirements or pre-existing packaging processes. Manifolds may be customized by adding fill ports or reducing the total number of fill ports. They may also be modified so a larger manifold can quickly and easily be installed on a machine to increase fill rates for larger containers. Manifolds made of material other than stainless steel will be quoted on a case by case basis.
• The Automatic Bottle Indexing (ABI) System may also be upgraded. All the sensors included with the ABI can be upgraded to a NEMA 4X rating when the machine will be used in a wash down environment. Special sensors are also available for hard to detect containers such as clear or opaque. Mechanical sensors may be required for low profile or odd shaped containers. An all pneumatic upgrade is available for filling flammable products. The all-pneumatic upgrade includes pneumatic container sensors, pneumatic logic for timer and indexer operation, and container counting.
• The control package on the Automatic Models include an alpha-numeric display, easy to set up and adjust display menus, total bottle counter, six up or step fill modes of operation, and “No Bottle – No Fill” function. All the menus can be adjusted on the fly to maintain throughput while making minor adjustments. The all fill mode allows the machine to index and fill all six containers at the same time. The step fill mode allows the machine to index one container at a time while filling six at a time in small fill portions. The advantages of the step fill mode are numerous. The primary advantage is the ability to fill very near the capacity of the bottle with no product loss due to splashing or foaming and at the same time, remain extremely accurate. The first four doses fill faster and approximately 90% of the container. The pause in between doses allows for any foam formation to collapse. The final two doses allows for a slower fill speed to be very slow, allowing the last two doses to fill up to the capacity of the container. Each fill nozzle has an independent, non-contact flow adjuster to regulate flow speed and volume. The end result is the containers are filled with the same volume due to no splashing, foaming, or overfill..
Some products that the Time Flow Filling Machines can be used to fill:
|Food & Beverages||Cosmetic & Personal Care||Chemical||Pharmaceutical||Other|
|Fruit Juices||Essential Oils||Wax||Urine||Pet Shampoo|
|Fruit Extracts||Nail Polish||Motor Oil||Alcohol||Fertilizers|
|Tea||Nail Polish Remover||Ink||Iodine||Insect repellent|
|Liquid Coffee||Lip Balm||Carpet Cleaners||Saline Solution|
|Vitamin Drinks||Liquid Soap||Silicone||Cough Medicine|
|Alcoholic Beverages||Sun Tan Lotion||Paint|
|Tomato Juice||Hair Conditioner||Window Cleaners|
|Vegetable Oil||Hand & Body Lotion||Stain Removers|
|Hot Sauce||Hair Spray||Laundry Detergent|
|Salad Dressing||Makeup Remover|
|Food Coloring||Personal Lubricants|
|Mustard||Douche & Enemas|