Liquid, thick or solid: the right container for each food product

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FBL Linear piston filler for filling thick and semi-thick products such as jams, sauces, honey, ketchup, tomato paste, mayonnaise, mustard, pâté

For filling food products into glass, plastic or tin containers, the range of FBL always provides the perfect equipment

by Cesare Santiago

Active in the food industry for over 40 years, FBL specialises in the design and construction of machines and complete systems such as depalletizers, lowerators, blowers, fillers, vacuum fillers, piston fillers, cappers, pasteurisers, washing systems, vacuum control and transport system to be used for packaging dense or semi-dense products (such as jam, marmalade, mayonnaise, honey, tomato paste, tomato sauce, sauces etc.), liquids (such as juices, pickles in oil and vinegar) or solid pieces (such as vegetables and fruits, etc.) in glass, plastic and tin containers. Along with machines intended for the Italian and European market, FBL machines have been chosen by major overseas customers in Australia, Eastern Europe, Middle and Far East, North Africa, Central America and South America.

Filling…

The linear filler on show at the last Interpack is FBL’s new strategic machine. Extremely versatile and innovative, this unit is suitable for filling thick and semi-thick products like jams, marmalades, honey, sauces, ketchup, tomato concentrate, mayonnaise, mustard, fruit nectars, pâté. Its compact structure is entirely made of stainless steel Aisi 304, with driven conveyor belt with tabletop chain in acetal resin. The machine can be entirely sanitised and inspected by removing cylinders and pistons. Dosing nozzles in stainless steel Aisi 316 are supplied in different sizes, according to the product to be handled. The hopper, in stainless steel Aisi 316, is mirror polished inside. Its capacity can reach 90 litres, and on demand it can be equipped with a product mixer. The electric control panel in stainless steel with PLC and Siemens touch-screen display, displays all filling parameters, and can be used to control production speed and recipes. According to European safety regulations for operators, the machine is fitted with perimetric guards in laminated glass, complete with sensors that stop it if the guard is opened. Other technical data: piston/cylinder units stainless steel AISI 316; filling volume controlled by brushless motor; electric machine height adjustment; quick format change-over with scroll replacement; product level control inside the hopper by means of membrane sensor; scroll for containers’ synchronization controlled by brushless motors; semi-automatic cleaning cycle. At the entrance to the filler, a photo-cell checks the presence of the containers (without container the machine is automatically stopped); a photo-cell at machine exit stops the machine in case of conveyor full. All contact parts with the product are stainless steel Aisi 316.

FBL Pasteuriser/cooler for glass, plastic and tin containers in different shapes and sizes

…pasteurising and cooling

After filling, the containers are transferred to the automatic pasteuriser and/or cooler for the following treatment that ensures perfect preservation of the filled good. The products that mostly require this type of treatment are: tomato paste and tomato sauce, pickles in vinegar, pickles in oil, marmalade, soft-drinks, beer, fruit juices and all other products with a pH lower than 4.5. The pasteuriser consists of a sturdy structure made of tubes and folded sheet metal in stainless steel Aisi 304, and is split in one or more tanks for the required thermal cycle by means of a shower of spray water through special nozzles.  The water is then collected in the side tray where it is filtered and then returned to the high capacity sprayers by a centrifugal pump in order to repeat the thermal cycle. The machine can be fully inspected through suitable hatches on the side panel and through special top covers. The inlet conveyor belt automatically and continuously loads containers. The polypropylene belt is used to transfer the containers through the tunnel and slides on idle rollers made of AISI 304 so as to reduce friction and wear of the  belt. The outlet conveyor belt has a pneumatic alignment device and automatically and continuously unloads the containers from the machine. The draining station eliminates the excess water from the surfaces of the container. When requested by the thermal cycle, the water is heated by a coil made of AISI 304 immersed in the relative tank and steam powered. The belt that transports the containers is driven by a motor reducer that is operated by an inverter. The inlet and outlet conveyor belts are driven separately by two variable speed motors. The electrical panel is made of AISI 304 and contains all the equipment to command and control the machine.