For a variety of reasons, certain liquids must be heated when they are packaged using filling machinery. Some products must be liquified to fill, while others are heated to keep the product safe from germs or simply make filling more efficient by increasing the flow. Whatever the reason for the heated product, filling machines will almost always be modified in some respect to allow for this type of fill to take place.
Molten products are one type of product that must be heated in order to complete the filling and packaging process. Some examples of molten products would be candles, other wax items and glue sticks. These products are solids in their finished states, but must be transformed to a liquid in order to run through a filling machine and automate the packaging process. Candles, for example, will be melted in order to allow the wax to flow into the glass containers. In the case of candles and other molten products, the liquid must be kept at a constant temperature throughout the filling process. This means the machine will almost always include a heated tank, product pathway and nozzles. Keeping the temperature constant ensures that no solidifying takes place within the product pathway during the fill, which would obviously lead to downtime and extensive cleaning should such hardening occur.
Other products may be heated simply to make the fill more efficient or for pasteurization purposes, to destroy microorganisms and possibly extend shelf life. Many food products, juices and sometimes honey will be filled hot. Generally speaking, the difference between a molten filler and a hot fill is that the temperature will only need to stay in a certain range during a hot fill. Product may be introduced to a tank at a higher temperature, but the tank itself - or other components - may not need to be heated. As long as the product remains above the target temperature, the fill can be completed with the desired results. In these situation, many different variations in filling machinery and heated components can be used, depending on the product and the packaging process as well.
Whether filling molten products or liquids that require heat for any other reason, NPACK can help packagers find the best solution for not just filling, but cooling, capping and completely preparing products for the shelf. NPACK offers complete packaging solutions from loading bottles at the beginning of the line to packing them at the end. These solutions are offered for companies small and large, as tabletop systems, fully automatic systems and many options in between are available.