Chucks and Clutches

Chuck cappers can be rotary or inline, continuous or intermittent motion. They can run at speeds from 20ppm to 1200ppm or more. What all have in common is that the use a female chuck to engage the male cap and turn it down to a precise application torque.

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Tube Fillers

When we think of collapsible tubes we most likely think of toothpaste since we all use it every day. Tubes are also used for packaging many other products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, candy and more. Tubes can be used for any liquid from very thick like silicone caulk to as thin as water. Occasionally tubes are even filled with powder. Tube filling/sealing speeds run from 20-30ppm to 500+ppm.

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Taxonomy of Packaging Machinery

I’ve been working with packaging machinery for longer than I want to confess. One issue that has always bothered me is that machinery terms vary from builder to builder, industry to industry and person to person. When people use the same word to describe two different machines, misunderstandings can lead to costly mistakes.

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3 and 4-Sided Pouches

Pouches, sometimes called sachets, are generally formed from roll fed filmstock. They can also be formed offline at a converter or elsewhere then filled and closed on a separate machine. When preformed pouches are used, the filling and sealing process is similar except that the pouches will be fed from a magazine rather than a roll.

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Flat-Top Conveyor Basics

It has been said that “Conveyors are intelligent bridges between islands of automation.”

A packaging line consists of a series of machines such as a filler, a capper, a labeler and so on. These are the “islands of automation.” Each, on its own, can accomplish very little. The labeler, for example, can’t do anything until it receives full, closed bottles.

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Indexing for Speed

200 milliseconds, one fifth of a second, doesn’t sound like much. It might be costing you hundreds of thousands of bottles a year that you could otherwise sell.

Have I got your attention?

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Shrink Wrapping

Strictly speaking, shrink wrapping is not considered “flexible packaging.” However, wrapping does use flexible film and foil of various materials and combinations.

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Managing Constraints

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and a packaging line is only as fast as its slowest machine. The slowest machine is the constraint that determines the potential output of the line.

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Dry Filling

In previous papers I discussed liquid filling. This month I’ll talk about dry, or solids, filling. There are many types of dry products ranging from fine powders like talc or flour, to irregular pieces like frozen chicken parts.

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Piston Fillers

Last month I discussed cosmetic or level style fillers. These fill a container to a certain level and fill volume is determined by the volume of the container.

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Overflow Filler

There are several dozen styles of liquid filler available from over 100 US manufacturers. All have advantages and disadvantages and the range of choice may be…

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Timing Screws

Timing screws, often just called screws, worms or helices, have applications in virtually every operation that can occur on a packaging line.

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