Consider the equipment that fills shampoo bottles. Such filling machines use conveyors to transport empty bottles to sensor-tracked wait positions. Then they insert shampoo-dispensing nozzles into the bottles and slowly raise those nozzles as the liquid rises during dispensing. Holding a constant distance between the nozzle ends and liquid surfaces prevents the shampoo from foaming.
After filling, the filled bottles continue onward to labeling and capping.
One plant employing such machines fills 10,000 bottles per day. Until recently, its machines included pneumatic cylinders to lower the dispensing nozzles to the fill-start bottle depth … and then raise them during filing until the nozzle tips exited the bottle openings.
Here’s the challenge: Shampoo dispenses from the nozzles at a constant rate … and the speed of liquid-surface rise is inconstant. The latter is unavoidable because narrower bottle portions fill more quickly than those with larger cross sections. So with the pneumatic system, the liquid rise speed would sometimes outpace nozzle ascent and submerge the nozzle tips — in turn causing (upon nozzle withdraw from the bottles) shampoo drips. These drips required cleanup of the bottle exteriors and conveyor.
Now the bottle-filing equipment uses electric actuators from IAI America for vertical nozzle motion. There are no shampoo drips to clean because the electric actuator continually adjusts its ascent speed to maintain a constant and optimal distance between the nozzles and liquid surfaces. That prevents the nozzles from inadvertently plunging into the liquid (and dripping shampoo upon exiting the bottle). Quality control is also higher as there are no more products rejected on the basis of being underweight due to the presence of bubbles. Finally, the elimination of cleanup saves the shampoo plant labor worth thousands of dollars per year. For more information, visit intelligentactuator.com.