Aerosol packaging is used in almost every industry - from the food industry, through pharmacy, to the cosmetics industry and many, many more. Effective, mass production of aerosols is possible thanks to industrial filling of aerosols and modern technological production solutions. How exactly does the process of industrial aerosol production work?
Advantages of aerosols
At the beginning of let's get to know the biggest advantages of aerosolsthanks to which this type of packaging has become so popular around the world and produced on a large scale.
First of all, aerosol packaging allows you to almost XNUMX% product consumption, which from an environmental point of view is extremely ecologicaland from the consumer's point of view - economic. There are aerosols convenient and easy to useand, moreover, hermetic packaging allows for a long life of the product.
Another significant advantage is mechanical strength of the packaging – cans are able to maintain very high pressure, while being resistant to damage (e.g. dropping). From the perspective of a company producing and distributing aerosols lightness of the packaging is an added plus. Light weight reduces the cost of storage and transport of aerosols.
Aerosol production - step by step
The industrial production of aerosols consists of several stages. Let's go through each of them step by step.
Stage 1 - Packaging production
The production of aerosols begins with the creation of the packaging - the course of this process depends on the shape of the can. Aerosol containers are most often made of steel or aluminum and come in various sizes (usually in capacities from 35 to 750 ml).
The simplest in design and production are one- and two-piece cans. One-piece canswhich are pressed from a single piece of sheet metal, are also the most durable - they are characterized by a pressure resistance of up to 45 bar. On the other hand two-piece cans they are created in the process of joining the sidewall with the bottom and lid.
The most complicated is the production three-piece cans. The first stage of production is a process called decoration, which consists in covering the surface of the sheet metal, from which the three-piece can will be made, with varnish and paint. By rolling and welding the edge of the sheet metal, the body of the can is created. The bottom and the lid for three-piece cans are produced separately - after they are pressed from previously cut pieces of sheet metal. Finally, the properly machined body, bottom and lid are connected by interlocking the elements.
Importantly, the can production stage is completely separate from the rest of the process. The cans are produced in separate factories. Only ready, empty packages move on to the filling companies.
Stage 2 - Throwing the ball
The second stage of aerosol production takes place in a factory specializing in their filling. This stage begins with unloading the packages onto the feeding table, from where they are then transferred to the pelletizing machine - an element of the aerosol filling line used mainly in the process of filling paints or technical products. The task of the device is to throw a certain number of balls into the container. The balls are used to mix the product in the container before use. The bead blaster must be installed in front of or inside the automatic module before filling the product into the container. The ball machines produced by Solmatic are able to throw from 1 to 4 balls with a capacity of 60 cycles per minute.
Step 3 - Filling with product, seating and crimping the valves
The third step in the production of aerosols is filling the containers with the product, then seating and crimping the valves. Filling and crimping machines are the most critical elements of any aerosol filling line – this is where all key production processes take place.
With the help of a filling module, which can operate in a rotary, indexing or in-line system, the liquid product is poured into the aerosol container. Depending on the parameters of the final product, the whole process is faster or slower - the efficiency of the machines depends, among others, on on the size of the container itself, the amount of the dispensed product and the composition of the aerosol (for example - alcohol-based ones fill faster than oil-based ones) and physical and chemical parameters of the product (e.g. density, viscosity, foaming tendency).
The scheme of operation is as follows: the cans enter the machine, where they are directed to the next workstations (filling -> inserting and checking valves -> crimping). The setting of the product dose can be manual or automatic, as well as the height adjustment of the working units. The type and number of filling heads depend on the expected capacity of the line, product properties and its volume.
Aerosol cans filled with the substance must be secured - for this purpose, appropriate sorters select valves that are placed in the containers through a valve ejector. In the next step, clamping devices tightly connect the valve with the aerosol container, ensuring tightness.
Stage 4 - Injecting gas through the valve
Then the cans go to the gasification module - this stage is designed to ensure safety when filling aerosols with gas. Gassing machines are one of the most critical in the process. The automatic gas filling module – usually located in the Gas House – is made of components that allow it to be used in potentially explosive areas. The cans enter the machine and are then filled with a pre-set dose of gas on the appropriate work sockets. The cans are guided centrally under successive heads using interchangeable sets for each can diameter.
Step 5 - Checking the tightness and weight
Aerosol tightness testing is an extremely important part of the production process. When dealing with flammable gases, aerosol manufacturers cannot afford to use untested technologies. Tests can be carried out using various types of machines - an automatic test tank, a leak detector or a laboratory test tank for small-scale production. We wrote more about the characteristics and advantages of each of these solutions in another article on our blog.
At this stage, the cans are also checked for weight, which is another element in the quality control process carried out on the production line. The cans are checked in a separate device - an automatic scale. The test allows you to eliminate cans filled with the wrong amount of substance or gas. Only those cans that pass the tightness and weight checks will get to the next stage of production.
Stage 6 - Placing the head and cap
In the next stage of production, the cans go to jigs. These devices are one of the last in the basic production cycle and one of the first in the packaging and final product preparation cycle. Their role is to automate the work done by employees - putting heads, caps or caps on aerosol containers. The automation of these tedious activities not only relieves employees who can focus on other elements of the process, but also ensures its repeatability, which translates into greater efficiency, productivity, and consequently - generates lower costs and increases profits.
Stage 7 - Packing and transport
The last element of the aerosol production process is their packaging and transport. In plants with a lower degree of automation, the output device of the technological line is the receiving table, on which packing is done XNUMX% manually. In turn, in factories with a higher degree of automation, the receiving table is skipped, and the cans go straight to semi-automatic or automatic packing system. Packed cans then go to transport, which is a completely separate, complex process.
Technological lines - efficient production of aerosols
Technological lines consisting of reliable machines are the basis for the production of aerosols. Proven devices made with the highest precision not only increase the efficiency and flexibility of the entire productionbut also allow to reduce the number of operators to the necessary minimum. In effect allow you to reduce costs and increase profits, and at the same secondment of employees (so far carrying out part of the tasks manually) to perform key tasks for the process.
This is the goal of Solmatic when creating the offer - to build machines thanks to which production processes in our clients' factories run faster, more efficiently and effectivelyfor the benefit of both the employer and employees.