Liquid Filling/ Bottling Machine

Hello! I am working on building a machine to use at my shop that could help me fill bottles with liquids. I have been looking all day at different options for the pump but am hoping some of you could help shed some light on the best way to approach this. I need to fill hundreds of small (30 ml to 50 ml) bottles quickly and efficiently. The machine we have now is not accurate or repeatable and I thought this would be a fun project. Any recommendations on what kind of pump to use? I’ve looked at peristaltic pumps but they seem a bit too slow. I’d like to see something like 1L/min. I would like more accuracy than a DC motor driven pump. I like the idea of a stepper driven pump but can’t seem to source any… Any ideas?

Thanks in Advance,
Zach

Could you use gravity to fill the bottles and just use an Arduino to control a valve?

Could you use some sort of syringe as the pump?

...R

Hi, I like Robin2's idea with a syringe type unit with gravity feed.

The arduino could control more than one syringe so you could fill say 5 bottles at at time, or sequence them if you are hand loading the bottles.

The syringe plunger would be calibrated, only thing is to check if rubber parts will survive the fluid you are dispensing.

Tom.... :)

Assuming the bottles are all the same size and shape for each size then what if you used a pump to suck liquid out of the bottle? With the nozzle set to drop to the right height in the bottle to give the required amount of fluid you could fill the bottle at least as fast as you could suck it out and when the fluid reaches the vacuum nozzle it will fill no higher. You could time the dumping of fluid into a bottle or monitor the vacuum and stop when it starts sucking back fluid (the bottle is full)

Use a Peristaltic Pump and maybe stepper motor, pulse or timer circuit

every revolution of the motor will dispence a determinable volume of liquid (or cheese and chilli on your hot dog at 7-11)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peristaltic_pump

The easiest method would be to stack the bottles in a crate then submerge the whole lot in a tank full of the stuff. Wait for the bubbles to subside, Lift them back out, put on the tops then dunk them again in another tank to wash them off.

Put the bottles without the caps into a vat of the liquid then pull them out one at a time, they will be filled :wink:
If you remove them at a slight angle, you can achieve an air gap.

Make sure you select food grade/approved parts if you select pumps or hoses in your project.

But seriously, is it just the dispensing part you're looking at? If so I'd suggest you get large airtight vessel to act as your reservoir. You then need a pressure sensor in the bottom of the this. A separate valve will introduce air (from a compressor) to the top of the vessel to keep this pressure constant irrespective of fluid level.

If the fluid being dispensed is for consumption then you may not want to use the output from a commercial compressor for this (as it can contain various nasty aerosols of oil etc..) To get around this issue you could have a separate bladder inside the vessel that is inflated by the compressor as required. It would achieve the same ends without contaminating your product.

You can then have a valve on the outlet that will be opened for a preset time. If the pressure is constant and the time is constant then it should be a regular dose. If the fluid noticeably changes viscosity at varying temperatures, you may have to compensate for this in the timing of the valve according to temperature. This is all quite doable.

The time it takes to fill each bottle is entirely dependent on the pressure you set for your reservoir.

KenF: If the fluid being dispensed is for consumption.

In which case its best done by weight not volume.

You can sell by volume but more legal stuff can apply. Mass can make it easier to comply with legislation.

Boardburner2:

KenF:
If the fluid being dispensed is for consumption.

In which case its best done by weight not volume.

You can sell by volume but more legal stuff can apply. Mass can make it easier to comply with legislation.

Especially when exporting. An Imperial pint is 25% bigger than a US pint. Safer to use fl.oz. in that situation.
And 1 g of water only occupies 1 ml at 20oC. Expansion will make volumes variable whereas the mass will be constant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__nRiKO5HuQ

Riva: Assuming the bottles are all the same size and shape for each size then what if you used a pump to suck liquid out of the bottle? With the nozzle set to drop to the right height in the bottle to give the required amount of fluid you could fill the bottle at least as fast as you could suck it out and when the fluid reaches the vacuum nozzle it will fill no higher. You could time the dumping of fluid into a bottle or monitor the vacuum and stop when it starts sucking back fluid (the bottle is full)

How can we monitor the vacuum ?