The scent of efficient liquid filling

The Gravfil® inline Excel B filling system installed at Fragrances UK provides faster product change overs for their broad selection of own brand cosmetics, perfumes and skin and hair care products.

Fragrances UK are a contract manufacturing facility based in Lincolnshire. They produce a broad selection of personal care products that are marketed as own-brands. They supply retailers with an eclectic mix of cosmetic liquids and spray ranging from perfume and moisturisers to lip balm, shampoo and tanning products.

In order to deliver on such a broad range Fragrances UK must have the capability to fill a selection of different size and shape containers.

Fragrances UK have been loyal customers of Gravfil® Filling machines since their beginnings in 2011. With sales growing year-on-year they decided there was an urgent need to upgrade their 30-year-old filling capability and keep up with demand.

As their customers were adding more and more SKUs, the brief outlined a key requirement for fast and efficient product change overs.

Buying into the Gravfil® service

Fragrances UK invited a three-way pitch for the business and ultimately elected to order a new Gravfil® machine.

When buying new kit, we end to look at three suppliers, we take into account any past experiences with them and after-sales service – it’s not always down to price.

Zena Jones
Managing Director, Fragrances UK

Designed and built in the UK

The decision to order another Gravfil® filler was aided by past experience. Managing Director, Zena Jones understands the importance of good supplier relationships and was impressed by past performance.

Gravfil® machines are 100% designed and built in the UK at the Precision Automation factory in Kent. The team at Fragrances UK were able to visit and keep track of their machine as it was being built. They felt this was a standout benefit of buying a Gravfil® filler.

High accuracy with a range of volumes

The Gravfil® Excel B four-head volumetric filler offered the following specification to suit Fragrances UK’s requirements:

Ready to expand

Flexibility and their vision for the future was key for Fragrances UK. The selected configuration provided the ability to fill different container sizes. There were able to fill one litre containers with the option to ‘multi-shot’ – i.e. recharge the half litre cylinder and perform a repeat fill.

With one eye on future expansion, the machine had the facility to be expanded to an eight-nozzle unit should the need arise.

Feature rich for tricky products and containers

The Excel B has the ability to profile fill – a feature that maximises output when working with foaming products or difficult to fill containers. The nozzle and filling process are synchronised and controlled by Siemens servos. This means that when filling complex container shapes, such as contoured bottles, the flow rate is automatically controlled and varied through the fill.

Remote diagnostics – save time and budget

Gravfil® machines are equipped with remote diagnostics to facilitate troubleshooting and training. For example, if an operator is unsure how to perform a function, Gravfil® engineers can log into the factory’s network and access the machine direct. Gravfil® engineers at the end of the phone who can walk you though the process.

Product changes without contamination

Fragrances UK produce a variety of tanning products with a wide gamut of shades. With a rising trend for smaller batch sizes but more SKUs, fast changeovers with no cross-contamination is essential to their production line.

The Gravfil® machine features stainless steel piping throughout and the number of change-parts is minimal. The valve assemblies, tank and piston arrangement have been carefully designed to be dismantled and reassembled at speed. The system also incorporates self-cleaning functionality.

We used to spend half a day cleaning our old machine every time we changed product. With the new filling system, we’ve got this down to under an hour

Zena Jones
Managing Director, Fragrances UK

Minimising manual intervention is beneficial on a number of levels; it improves efficiency, resulting in cost efficiencies that we can pass onto our customers, and it reduces the potential for contamination, through less human contact with the product.

Zena Jones
Managing Director, Fragrances UK

Improved line efficiency

The new system is capable of filling up to 40 containers per minute which was a considerable improvement on their previous machine. The additional functionality contributed to a much improved line efficiency, for example: if a bottle falls over, the line automatically stops and alerts the operator preventing a potential source of downtime.

The previous system required a lot more operator involvement. Fragrances UK took up the option of a labelling machine added to the end of the line. With their old system, the operator was manually picking the bottles off the outfeed and placing them in the labeller.

Reasons to consider the Gravfil® range

Food & beverage • hand sanitiser • cosmetics • chemicals • pharmaceuticals • lubricants • Cleaning products

diagnostics

Remote, fast diagnostics

Our technicians can access the machine remotely to diagnose a problem quickly. Using a unique and secure password we can manually actuate the machine controls and view input / output status.

touchscreen-interface

Touchscreen user interface

The machine operator has access to run, changeover Instruction, machine status and Advanced Profile Filling menu screens.

ATEX rating available on our Gravfil Filling Machines

Optional ATEX-rating

We can provide an ATEX-rated filling machine to handle potentially explosive liquids, gels or foams. This is particularly relevent for the production of hand santiser.