Bottle Filling Machines
The bottle filling machines, also called bottling machines, have as their main mission the introduction of must or wine inside the bottles, reaching an adequate level depending on their nominal capacity and temperature, as well as guaranteeing the conditions of stabilization of bottled wines. These machines can be manually operated in very old installations with a yield of up to 600 bottles / hour, or rather nowadays semi-automatic type with a yield between 800 to 1,400 bottles / hour, or automatic with yields from 1,800 to some Tens of thousands of bottles per hour.
All machines are composed of an accumulator tank of the liquid to be bottled, usually located at the top of the used bottling machinery, where, due to gravity, or by pressure in the tank, or by vacuum in the bottle, the liquid is pushed towards the filling elements; as well as a system of circulation of bottles in semi-automatic or automatic machines, and finally a set of faucets, pipes or filling nozzles, being able to be placed in line in manual machines, or in circumference in semi-automatic bottling machines and automatic. The differences between these machines are mostly due to the filling nozzle system used.
There are three types of Volumetric Filling Machines, Classified According to the System Used in the filling Nozzles:
Containers or beakers are inside the liquid reservoir, as many as filling nozzles the machine contains. The measurement of the volume of each bottle is made by immersion in the liquid reservoir to its bottom, then being transferred to the bottles by means of the nozzles.
Fixed Piston Filler
Cylinder-piston assemblies are located below the liquid reservoir and above the nozzles, this piston being adjustable in height, which allows the desired amount of liquid to be dosed. The reciprocating movement of the piston aspirates liquid from the reservoir and drives it towards the bottles through the nozzles.
Commanded Piston Filler
Alternate cylinder-piston assemblies aspirate the liquid to be bottled from a tank, when a valve between it and the bottle allows it, and drives it when the piston descends and said valve changes position by introducing the liquid into the empty bottle.
The siphon fillers can also be considered as isobarometric, operating on the principle of the communicating vessels, through an inverted U-shaped tube or siphon, which communicates at one end the liquid reservoir and on the other the bottle to be filled, in such a way that at the end of the process the same level is obtained between the liquid contained in the tank and that of the full bottle. The elimination of the air contained in the bottles during the filling phase is done by means of a device contained in the nozzle. The drawback of these machines is the slowness of the process, and especially in the final phase of filling the bottles, resulting in an irregular alignment of the filling level, which is aggravated by the increase in machinery performance.
Within these fillers two types can be found: Those of fixed siphons where the bottles move vertically to fit the fixed filling nozzles, or those of descending siphons, where the bottles remain fixed and it is the nozzles that move in vertical direction until its coupling. Despite the simplicity of this filling system, they are machines of little use due to the problems they present in the efficiency of filling.
These machines contain a single chamber or liquid feed tank, maintaining the same pressure between the said chamber and that of the bottles during its filling phase, this pressure being equal to the atmospheric one, or being above or below the same.
The filling of the bottles is done in three stages, a first one where once the bottle is coupled to the nozzle, with the gas contained in the liquid tank its interior is compressed until reaching the desired pressure, moving to a second stage where the liquid It goes down to the bottle in a gravitational way and not because of the pressure, since this is exactly the same in the tank as in the bottle, therefore being an isobarometric type filling. And finally, a third, where the filling nozzle closes and a valve slowly decompresses the bottle before its disengagement from the nozzle, preventing the bottled carbonic liquid from entering effervescence and causing significant losses and difficulties in the subsequent operation of the capping. In addition, these machines have other advantages, such as the safety of not filling broken bottles, and even the possibility of bottling under an atmosphere of inert gas of carbon dioxide or nitrogen.