AGITATION – The stirring or mixing action of product in the hopper as caused by the rotating blades attached to the quill assembly. Speed of agitation has an effect on the accuracy of fill. The action of the SIDEKNIFE, which extends into the funnel, tends to push product into the flights of the auger. If the AUGER SPEED is increased, the auger may be starved for product if the agitation does not force material into the flights of the auger fast enough to replace what has been dispensed. Therefore, auger and agitation speeds are related so that an increase in auger speed will likely need an increase in agitation speed to maintain accuracy.
AUGER – The screw like device that drives and meters product out of the funnel. AUGER and FUNNEL length and diameter will vary to suit the product and application.
AUGER REVS – Revolutions of the auger. Actual total number of turns made by the auger for each fill cycle. Not the same as AUGER SPEED.
AUGER SPEED – RPM of the auger. Not the same as AUGER REVS.
BULK FEED – Re-supply of product to the filler HOPPER. The BULK FEED system usually consists of a large supply of product fed by gravity or mechanical means, a controlling valve or other metering device, and a LEVEL CONTROL to detect product height in the HOPPER and activate the bulk supply system.
COUNTER – A device that counts the pulses from the ENCODER connected to the AUGER shaft. These pulses are converted to a number that is displayed as the FILL QUANTITY, often called COUNTS.
COUNTS – A reference to the number set on the counter (or OPERATOR INTERFACE) that determines the fill quantity. This number is not AUGER REVS or a measure of weight but IS directly proportional to AUGER REVS or the amount of product dispensed. It is derived from the ENCODER mounted on the auger drive mechanism.
DENSITY – The weight per volume of a product. When dealing with powder products, this is a critical property. When powder is mixed with air as it is transported in conveying and feeding systems, the density decreases. When the powder is allowed to stand undisturbed (as in the HOPPER), the air will settle out and the density will increase. This is important to understand as accuracy of fill is greatly affected by the product density as it fills the FLIGHTS of the auger. The density of the product must remain constant at the point where it enters the auger if fill weights are to remain constant. Density is usually measured in pounds per cubic foot or some other measure of weight per volume.
FILL QUANTITY – The setting on the COUNTER or OPERATOR INTERFACE that relates to the amount of product being dispensed. This number does not usually indicate an actual measurement by weight or volume, but is directly proportional to the weight or volume of product.
FLIGHT – Each turn of the “screw thread” on an auger. Over flights are a section of larger diameter flights located above the dispensing part of the auger. Over flights “pre-compress” the product before it enters the dispensing section of the auger to increase density and to insure that the dispensing flights are completely filled.
FUNNEL – A separate funnel shaped piece that attaches to the bottom of the HOPPER. The size of the FUNNEL and the AUGER are matched to suit the product being dispensed. The length of the funnel/auger combination may vary greatly depending on the application.
GROSS – Gross weight. Total weight of a container filled with its desired weight of product.
HEAD PRESSURE – The pressure produced at the auger area by weight of product in the HOPPER. Pressure at the auger will effect the amount of product forced into the auger flights and thus affect accuracy. Head pressure is controlled by maintaining product at a fixed level in the hopper with the BULK FEED system.
HOPPER – The round tapered container that supplies product to the auger. Bulk feed bins are sometimes also referred to as hoppers. In the cartridge recycling industry, cartridges to be refilled are often called “hoppers.”
INDEXING – The step-by-step passage of containers along the conveyor thru various weighing, filling, capping, and labeling stages. Accomplished by start-stop (indexing) conveyors, feedscrews or by gating devices (air cylinder gates) operating on a continuously moving conveyor.
JOG – To cause a small or brief movement of a moving device by manual control. AUGER JOG for example allows for partial rotation of the auger during set-up or when clearing jams.
LEVEL CONTROL – The maintenance of a consistent level of product in the filler hopper. Also used to describe the sensor that is used to control levels. See LEVEL PROBE/ BULK FEED.
LEVEL PROBE – An electronic or electrical device that monitors the level of product in a HOPPER and in turn signals the BULK FEED system to replenish the HOPPER as needed.
LOG – A record of the various adjustable settings on a filler that relate to a specific product and container combination. These could be; AUGER RPM, COUNTS, AGITATION speed, TOOLING, conveyor speed and anything that will assist in changing set ups and going from product to product. This kind of a record will also show up long term drifts in the numbers that may indicate deterioration of mechanical or electrical components.
MID STIRRER – Part of the AGITATION. A vertical rod attached to the quill assembly that sweeps through product at a point mid way between the auger shaft and the hopper side wall. Necessary for products that tend to cake. As the auger extracts product from the center of the hopper, a hole may be left (RATHOLE) around the shaft. The mid stirrer will break up caking and prevent rat hole formation.
NET WEIGHT – The desired weight of product without the container.
PURGE – Compressed air fed to a device to prevent entrance of unwanted product. QUILL assemblies for use with toner and other fine powders are equipped with air purge to exclude toner from the bearings. Electrical boxes are also often supplied with low pressure air for the same reason.
QUILL ASSEMBLY – The bearing assembly that supports both the auger shaft and the agitator housing so they can rotate independently.
RAT HOLE – The tendency of certain kinds of products in a bin or hopper to form holes or tunnels as the product is extracted from the bottom, rather than to flow out uniformly.
RATIOS – (Weight to counter numbers) – Changing counter settings to “home” in on the desired NET WEIGHT may be done by calculating the amount of change (ie: 200 gram fill is desired and the current weight is 190 grams with a counter setting of 7980; 190 grams is 5% less than 200 grams; so increasing the counter by 5% to 8400 should give a 200 gram fill). Another way is to use this formula:
counts now X desired weight
Desired setting = —————————————
Multiply counts now by desired weight then divide the resulting product by weight now to get the correct counter setting (counts).
SIDE KNIFE – Part of the AGITATION. An edged blade that attaches to the QUILL ASSEMBLY 180 degrees away from the MID STIRRER. This blade scrapes the inside of the HOPPER to loosen and direct product to the AUGER. The tip of the SIDEKNIFE extends into the FUNNEL in fairly close proximity to the AUGER to aid in keeping the FLIGHTS full of product.
SWIMMING – The tendency of certain kinds of products to rotate in the hopper as a mass in response to the action of the agitation system. The agitation should sweep through the product rather then push it around. A change in the type of agitation blades is required if this happens.
TARE – The weight of an empty container. See GROSS and NET WEIGHT. Many mass produced containers vary considerably in weight, so for highly accurate filling, the TARE weight must be subtracted from the gross to precisely measure the NET WEIGHT of a fill. This is often done by scales, before and after the filler, that automatically weigh before and after a fill and then calculate the true fill (net) weight.
TERMINATION – A plastic or metal piece located on or around the end of the funnel. A termination seals against the rim of a container opening to provide a dust seal and often has a bell shaped opening to center the container opening around the funnel spout. Some funnel spouts have side ports and the termination moves up and down to alternately expose and close off these side ports. Terminations are often supplied with vacuum connections to extract dust or air trapped in a container being filled.
TERMINATION SENSOR – An electronic sensor that is placed in such a way so that it “sees” when a moving type TERMINATION is up and the funnel ports are exposed. This sensor will prevent the auger from turning if the ports are closed. Trying to auger (dispense) product with the ports closed will result in damage to the machine.
TOOLING – A term that applies to those mechanical parts that vary according to product. Usually refers to the AUGER/FUNNEL combination with any TERMINATION, and the types of SIDE KNIFE and MID STIRRER.
The following are definitions of the different components that make up the drive assembly of a PER-FIL® Filler.
Clutch / Brake
PER-FIL® auger fillers feature a horizontal mounted main drive motor; 18 pound flywheel which transmits maximum motor HP output yielding 56 ft.lb. of torque to the auger; 5 HP capacity self adjusting clutch/brake system for maximum fill accuracy repeatability; stainless steel drive shaft for guaranteed NO SLIP auger rotation control; 180 pulse encoder. No other auger equipment can match the PER-FIL® auger drive system for available torque to the drive auger, speed of operation, or simplicity of maintenance.
PER-FIL® servo fillers come equipped with a Mitsubishi servo drive package complete with brushless motor and programmable motion controller; however, upon customers request we can offer units equipped with the OFF-THE-SHELF servo drive package of the customer’s choice.
The round tapered vessel that supplies product to the tooling.
Tooling is a term that applies to those mechanical parts that vary or “change out” according to product. Tooling consists of the following parts: Auger, Funnel, Agitator(s). Some tooling sets have additional parts like: dust termination, spinner disk, collector funnel, adaptor plate, double knife cut-off, spout, moyno pump rotary cut-off valve, etc.
SELF FEED: This tooling type features a “self feeding” or “compression” auger. This means that the upper flights are of a larger diameter than those in the straight section of the funnel. The larger upper flights help to compress the product and make it more uniform. The funnel can have a lip and/or wires at the discharge to help the material “bridge” to prevent dripping after the dispense. This tooling type is used for powder products that require compression or viscous paste products. Examples of Self Feed products include: talc, cornstarch, flour, toner, pancake mix, baking mixes, protein powders, ground coffee, cocoa, wood dough, spackling compound, glazing compound.
STRAIGHT (not shown, similar in appearance to the Self Feed): This tooling type features a “straight” auger. This means that the flights are uniform in diameter and pitch over the length of the auger. The funnel can have a lip and/or wires at the discharge to help the material “bridge” to prevent dripping after the dispense. This tooling type is used for powder products that do not compress, flake spices and “leafy” teas. Examples of Straight products include: saw dust, parsley, oregano, instant coffee, psyllium.
FREE FLOW: This tooling type features a “straight” auger with a threaded rod at the end. This threaded rod allows a “spinner disk” to be installed on the end of the auger. The spinner disk prevents granular materials from free flowing out of the end of the primary funnel. This tooling set also includes a secondary funnel, called a “collector funnel” which collects the material that spins off the disk when the auger is turning and consolidates it into a stream. This tooling type is used for granular and free flowing products. Examples of Free Flow products include: salt, sugar, drinking mix, bath beads, Creatine, sand, silica, oral suspension powder, coffee beans, flax seed, developer.
DOUBLE KNIFE: This tooling type can use a straight or self feed auger. The heart of this tooling is the pneumatic actuated double knife which ensures positive cut-off and no-drip dispensing. This tooling type is used for processed food products, such as cooked rice, stews, salads, etc. Many customers do not think auger fillers are suitable for food products because they will damage the product – this is not correct. An auger filler (when properly tooled) can handle most food products more gently than a piston filler. Examples of Double Knife products include: potato salad, apple pie filling, stew, chili, taco meat, IQF vegetables, cooked rice.
LIQUID TOOLING: This tooling type uses a moyno pump with pneumatic actuated rotary cut-off valve. This cut-off ensures no-drip dispensing. This tooling type is used for creams and liquid products. Examples of Liquid products include: hand cream, body lotion, bath gel, liquid bandage, oil.