Filling and capping systems are used around the world by dairies of all sizes for a wide variety of fluid dairy products, such as milk, kefir and yogurt drinks.
Some of the biggest concerns from dairy processors in regard to filling equipment are that of foaming, possible flavor change, splashing and spillage, and extended shelf life. Suppliers across the industry have developed solutions to these issues that integrate into production lines with ease.
Automatic sealing and capping machines help speed up packaging of products, increasing production while also maintaining safety and hygiene.
Sure-Seal level filling valves from Federal Mfg., a Promach brand based in Waukesha, Wis., feature a new, high performance, low maintenance patent pending design. These valves offer one-piece compression molded urethane valve tip with fused silicone valve seal, which eliminates black O-ring in current valve tips. The Sure-Seal valve design provides cam-actuated clean-in-place (CIP) capabilities. Valves can be automatically opened and closed during CIP cycling, allowing enhanced cleaning via turbulent flow. A larger product flow zone in the valve tip enables Sure-Seal valves to fill up to 15% faster than current level filling valves. The new low friction inner O-seal reduces bottle topload by 25%, making these valves ideal for lightweight bottles or jugs.
Matrix Packaging Machinery, Grafton, Wis., also a brand of ProMach, offers the Toyo Jidoki TT-8D-R pre-made pouch filler/sealer, which is designed for a wide variety of liquid applications with spout attachments in the dairy packaging industry. The filler handles various pouch formats and product types, including flat, stand-up, retort and press-to-close pouch styles. The TT-8D-R features an easy-cleaning washdown design with a liquid-filling pump, a pouch opener and filler, and a conveyor magazine that can load more than 600 pouches. The equipment can accommodate pouch widths from 80 to 260 millimeters and lengths from 130 to 400 millimeters.
The NEO cup filler from Serac, Carol Stream, Ill., is a filling solution for small production runs of yogurt, capable of filling round pre-formed cups from 50 to 180 mm in diameter and rectangular containers up to 200x130mm using PET, PP, aluminum and glass materials. This compact filling machine enables production from 1,500 to 12,000 cups per hour.
Evergreen Packaging, Memphis, Tenn., provides packaging solutions with gable-top filling equipment for refrigerated liquid dairy products. Available for use in standard pasteurized, extended-shelf-life (ESL) and extended long life (ELL) products, this machine portfolio fills cartons from 4 ounces up to a half-gallon, at speeds from 50 to 340 cartons per minute in various cross-sections. The EQ-70, which produces up to 7,000 liters and 9,000 fractionals per hour.
Leominster, Mass.-based IMA Dairy & Food’s Erca EFS fill-and-seal machine offers a flexible indexing platform for preformed cups. Modular in design with stainless-steel construction and servo operations, it allows for versatility with filling stations for pre-fill and post-fill operations. Chainless cup transportation enables format flexibility and precision index positioning throughout the machine. Capable of filling cups up to 130 millimeters in diameter, the EFS filling and sealing machine is suitable for a broad variety of products, including yogurt, fresh cheese and cottage cheese.
Sealing and capping
Capping systems from Closure Systems International, Indianapolis, are built for almost every type of closure application, production and process environment. The company’s Series 900T Capper stainless steel construction and easy-maintenance features help reduce bottlers’ total cost of operations. The machine has an industry-leading throughput at 50 BPM/3000 BPH per head. CSI Cap-in-Head technology assures proper closure placement at high speeds for optimized cap application.
The Dosomat from Waldner North America, Wichita, Kan., is a fully automatic, high-power machine designed to gently fill various products into prefabricated plastic, aluminium, cardboard, steel or glass cups or into stand-up pouches. It can be adjusted to all customer-specific requirements and delivers an overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) above 95%.
Capping machines from Fogg, Covington, Ky., another ProMach brand, offer a variety of turrets for multiple capping applications. The equipment features patented Hex Jaw, 3 Jaw, or single collect capping chucks that adds versatility in changing cap size. Various closures can be run on the same bottle capping machine and changeovers can be done quickly. All Fogg cappers can operate as a stand-alone machine or monobloc configuration.