Filling Machine Interface: Filler set Up Screens

The Filler Set Up screen will once again be reached via the Main Menu of the operator interface of the automatic filling machine. The simple touch of a button will take the user to this interior screen that allows settings to be changed for a number of different components and features of the bottle filler. The settings for these components will have a direct effect on the way that the machine functions while automatically cycling product.

As with all of the interior screens, the actual controls found within the Filler Set Up screens will vary depending on the type of filler as well as the features and options found on the machine. Below we will take a look at a few of the common controls and settings found under these screens. It should also be noted early on that most settings for bottle and product combinations will be factory set by NPACK if samples are provided. Setting can then be saved to the Recipe menu, which will be touched on a little more at the end of this article, making set-up a very simple process for the operator.

All automatic bottle fillers will use sensors to help monitor and control the flow of bottles and the timing of the fills. From count sensors that ensure that the right amount of bottles are present for the fill to back up sensors that ensure smooth and efficient performance, each can be set to work in a specific manner from the Filler Set Up screen. Depending on the type of bottle being used and the way in which they are "seen" sensors may be set to normal or inverted, typically meaning they will either "see" a bottle or "see" the space between bottles. Sensors must be properly set to provide accurate readings and reliable performance.

Similarly, with most machines using pin indexing, which would include an entry and exit gate, the Filler Set Up screens allow for changes to the performance of the indexing. With very few exceptions, however, the entry and exit gates should always be set to normal. Other machine components, such as drip trays and bottle locators, can be turned on and off under these screens. Bottle locators, for example, may not be used on every bottle being filled at a specific facility. In addition, other functions of a bottle filler can be turned on and off under these menus, such as dive limits for fill heads, supply and fill holds for pumps and other functions depending on the type of filler being used.

Initial set up of bottle and product combinations can be a time consuming process. This is why the operator interface includes a Recipe screen as well. Once the settings are found and entered, they can be saved, along with settings in all other screens, to the Recipe screen, to be recalled at a later date. This means initial set up needs to be done only once for each bottle and product combination. And to simplify even further, as noted above, NPACK will save these recipes if sample product and containers are provided when the machine is manufactured. NPACK can also help set up recipes during installation, meaning the only time an operator will need to perform the time-consuming process of finding each setting will be when new bottles or products are introduced post-manufacturing or post-installation. Even in these cases, NPACK technicians are always available to help with the set-up.