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A Five-Minute Visit To The World of Dry Fillers

What’s a combination scale? What’s the difference between an auger filler and a net weight filler? Increase your industry knowledge by watching this short video covering the main types of dry fillers used to package dry goods like sugar and soup mixes.

Transcript


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From flour, sugar and soup mixes to candy, nuts, pharmaceuticals and non-food items, the machines that measure out and fill dry products are a huge part of packaging and processing operations. Be sure to stick around to the end of the video to increase your industry knowledge about this critical area.

Combination Scales

Our first dry filler is the combination scale, like this machine from Paxiom. Also known as combination weighers or multihead weighers, these machines have a straight-forward technology: product is fed through a cone in the center, before moving into linear pans and weigh buckets. Each weigh bucket sits on a load cell that weighs the product. Then, the scale calculates which combination of weigh buckets need to be dumped to meet the target weight.

On this Paxiom machine, each head includes a dedicated load cell. Once product is weighed, it determines which buckets equal a near-perfect match to the required specification. The weigh bucket then locks the product in before triggering the buckets to release product to the packaging operation just below.

Paxiom’s machine features PrimoCombi™ high precision weighers, built for applications that require the highest accuracy. Paxiom supplies this machine in 10-, 14-, 16-, and 24-head configurations. This combination scale also features leading-edge controls, real-time reporting, online support, and can be integrated with bagging and container filling machines.

Auger Fillers

Now let’s look at auger fillers, ideal for powders and finely granulated products. Here we see the servo-driven Star Auger from Paxiom.

Augers are a type of rotating screw that dispenses fine and dry product through a vertical tube or shaft for even volumetric distribution. Auger fillers like this one are commonly used in applications requiring portioning and dispensing of powders, spices, ground coffee, chemicals, flour, sugar, salt, baking mixes and related products. The controlled rotation of the auger ensures consistency and accuracy in dispensing powder and granule products. Paxiom’s custom-designed screw is designed to determine exactly how many revolutions are required to volumetrically achieve the desired weight, taking out the guesswork for accurate dispensing.

The Star Auger filler can be integrated with other Paxiom products, such as vertical form/fill/seal baggers, premade pouch fillers, and container indexing conveyors.

Net Weight Fillers (Dry)

Net weight fillers are commonly used in the food industry to handle dry product. Net weight fillers, like the PrimoLinear V and C series from Paxiom, are designed to accurately dispense and fill a wide range of products into bags, cartons, trays, boxes, jars and containers. Also called net weighers, these machines have load cells beneath each filling station to dispense dry products by exact predetermined weight, ensuring uniformity across every package.

PrimoLinear net weight fillers feature Paxiom’s custom vibratory and conveyorized net weighing technology, are manufactured in stainless steel, and are designed for both retail and bulk weights. They also feature tool-less removable contact parts and can be easily integrated with bagging machines and container filling machines as we see here.

Gross Weight Fillers

Gross weight fillers are perfect for bulk powdery products like mortar, titanium dioxide, and other bulk dry goods such as flour and proteins, where achieving a consistent weight is critical but the product may vary in flowability and bulk density.

Let’s take a look at a gross weight filler in action. This is the ROTO-PACKER valve bag filler from Haver & Boecker, designed for filling and weighing dry bulk materials with efficiency and speed. Handling dry products from flour to cement in all industries, this automated bagger can accommodate 3 to 16 filling spouts on a single rotating platform. Sealing each bag at the spout is recommended but still optional on this machine. The ROTO-PACKER ensures enhanced productivity and throughput, allowing multiple bags to be filled simultaneously. This feature not only minimizes downtime but also optimizes the packing process, maximizing overall efficiency.

Loss-in-Weight Fillers

Loss-in-weight fillers are designed as a highly precise filling option. They continuously measure the weight of the container as it's being filled, adjusting the flow of product to reach the desired weight. Loss-in-weight fillers are often used in high-end food packaging, where precision is paramount.

Pocket Fillers

Pocket fillers are a type of volumetric filler designed for small- to medium-sized dry products including items like cat treats, chocolate covered coffee beans, and nuts. First, the product is moved from an overhead hopper into a feeder. Then, using rotating pockets or cups, pocket fillers scoop up a specific volume of product using a defined size chamber. The filler then drops the product through a chute into the container below.

Vibratory Fillers

Vibratory fillers use vibration to settle and distribute dry products such as dried fruit or pasta uniformly within a container. The vibratory motion ensures consistent filling and minimizes air gaps, making for efficient and aesthetically pleasing packaging.

Piece Counters

Piece counters do exactly what their name suggests; they count individual pieces of a product and fill containers with a specific quantity. Piece counters are critical in industries where each piece matters. One application for piece counters are machines that count screws, nuts and bolts and nails, bagging the exact number of pieces before they are placed in a bag headed to a hardware store.

Tablet Counters

Similar to piece counters, tablet counters are specialized machines for counting and filling tablets or capsules. They ensure precise counts employing technology such as optical sensors, rotary disks or vibratory channels, making them indispensable for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies where dosage accuracy is critical.

Thanks for watching this episode of Package This — your guide to packaging machinery and materials.

For more videos on packaging machinery and materials, please subscribe to our full Package This series on YouTube. Be sure to share the video with your colleagues on LinkedIn too.

And if you’re looking for dry filling equipment suppliers, explore PMMI ProSource, a searchable directory of the top 1,000 packaging and processing suppliers in North America. Visit ProSource.org to search suppliers by package type, material, or features.

Until then, keep on packaging!


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