10 September 1999

Pot and bottle fill range aimed at small firms

HARD Metal Engineering, based at Redruth, Cornwall, has developed a range of equipment aimed at small-scale businesses involved in the filling of pots or bottles with measured amounts of products such as water, milk, fruit juice, cream, butter, margarine, jam and coleslaw.

The companys Modular Maid equipment is all stainless steel and has no mechanical cams, rods or gears to wear out or adjust. It comes in two basic versions which can be enlarged in steps to meet the needs of a business growing from a small start. The starter kit, which costs about £4000, is a hand-held, trigger-operated pump and nozzle which feeds the measured amount of product for each container.

The other version is a fully automatic rotary filler which can be used with just one pump unit to start with – a second pump can be added later if required and could raise throughput to 2000 units an hour. The total unit costs about £21,000.

Product going into pots can be accurately measured from 50g to 500g, and for bottles from 0.5 to 4 litres. There are fail-safe devices to prevent dispensing, capping, and sealing if no pots or bottles are present under the filler.

Two different products can be placed in separate compartments and delivered to one container, such as yogurt and fruit. Equipment is also available to automatically place lids on containers, heat seal, date-stamp and place on a conveyor. &#42