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'Swirl' filling makes a splash with consumers

Swirl filling -- the latest consumer packaging innovation from PneumaticScaleAngelus – generates shelf presence.

An 18-head, 36-axis dual phase rotary servo filler (left in this view of monobloc filler-capper) from PneumaticScaleAngelus.
An 18-head, 36-axis dual phase rotary servo filler (left in this view of monobloc filler-capper) from PneumaticScaleAngelus.
Shampoo and conditioner. Peanut butter and jelly. Cleanser and moisturizer. Berry and vanilla yogurt. Swirl filling is the latest packaging technique to visually entice consumers to purchase some of their favorite combinations in a single package.

PneumaticScaleAngelus will demonstrate this hot new technology, also known as dual phase filling, by appointment at PACK EXPO booth S-400. Their design is believed to be the first ever rotary dual phase filling system, allowing economical production rates for mainstream personal care, dairy and snack food products as well as base and fragrance filling for home care products.

By applying servos to both diving nozzles and bottle platforms, PneumaticScaleAngelus has introduced great flexibility, precision and traceability – especially when combined in a monobloc configuration with a servo capper. PneumaticScaleAngelus was also the first U.S. company to offer a servo capper.

Both breakthrough designs – filling and capping – utilize ELAU’s purpose-built servo modules and control systems. One servo spins the container, similar to a rotary servo labeler, and the other servo controls the vertical motion of the diving nozzle. Together, they can create a variety of pre-programmed fill patterns that can be selected from the HMI.

The swirl effect can take many different forms. These include bands like candy cane stripes, soft edges, tie-die, marbled and cloud. It works equally well with bottles, cups and tottles (closure-down bottles filled upside down, carried through the process in pucks). In the monobloc configuration, the capper can be configured for caps or pumps.

Should anyone believe that dual phase filling is a fad, consider that by simply changing nozzles and recipe, the filler performs conventional single phase, single product filling at full speed. Dual phase filling is almost as fast as conventional filling. For example, a filler operating at 180 bottles per minute conventionally will fill 150 bpm in dual phase configuration.

But eye-catching fill patterns are not the only reason – or the original objective – of dual phase filling. At first, the technique was developed to make it possible for large batches of base product to be modified right at the filling head by adding the appropriate color, flavor, fragrance or other ingredients. This concept provides broad potential to reduce WIP storage, match production schedules to demand and benefit from economies of scale.

Under servo control, the filler can produce up to 5 zones or segments of swirl, by rotating the bottle clockwise and/or counterclockwise during filling. Effects are created by rotation and the speed of diving nozzle withdrawal.

About PneumaticScaleAngelus

PneumaticScaleAngelus, a division of Barry-Wehmiller Company, is a worldwide provider of packaging automation equipment and services for the pharmaceutical, household, cosmetic, food, and beverage industries. With over 100 years of service, PneumaticScaleAngelus has led the industry in the design, manufacture, and integration of fillers, cappers, can seamers, roll through labelers and continuous flow centrifuges. Barry-Wehmiller is the leading packaging automation group in the Western Hemisphere.

About ELAU packaging solutions

ELAU, Schneider Electric’s packaging specialist, equips over $1 billion worth of packaging machines annually. Currently, over 40,000 purpose-built ELAU packaging automation systems are deployed in machinery worldwide.

Through ELAU, Schneider Electric is the only controls supplier with a dedicated business unit focused exclusively on the automation of packaging machinery.

The market demands packaging operations that are more flexible, efficient and sustainable to fulfill marketing, supply chain and global business strategies. ELAU innovations have enabled a revolution in mechanical, software and hardware modularity to deliver these agile packaging systems.

For more information, visit or email [email protected].

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