As we briefly mentioned in Part 1 of our E-Cigarette blog post, a handful of E-Cigarette manufacturers have come to Filamatic with their need to fill cartomizers as well as the small bottles of nicotine liquid, or “juice.” The cartomizer is a slim container that screws into the top of the heating chamber. It is packed with a fibrous material that holds the juice once it is filled. While Filamatic has both semi-automatic & automatic solutions for both the cartomizer and the “juice,” we are going to spend our time talking about the “juice” today.
The E-Cig juice that is filled into these small containers is basically flavored vegetable glycerin or a glycol/nicotine mixture that has the consistency of light oil. Because the juice is a semi-viscous liquid, FKS piston pumps are generally used. This product is most commonly filled into 10ml and 30ml containers, but comes in 7ml and 15ml containers as well. Depending on the customer, we have seen single, dual, and three step fill operations. The three step covers (1) vegetable glycerin, (2) nicotine, & (3) flavoring. After the fill process, the containers are usually finished with a tip and a cap.
The Semi-Automatic Benchtop solutions include the AB series and the DAB series liquid filling machines. The AB and DAB series solutions to filling small containers of E-Cigarette juice utilize a single or dual-head nozzle, non-explosion resistant filling machine with a footswitch for dispensing the product. Because the viscosity is thicker than a typical glycol mix, filling the juice requires a machine with a fair amount of torque. For that reason, we would recommend the AB-8 or DAB-8 with an FKS-30 pump(s).
The Automatic solution can be either a single-index or a double-index Monobloc liquid filling system. Either version can accommodate a single, dual, or three step filling operation. The containers are first brought to the turret indexing assembly from the bulk unscramble. Primarily, we use positive displacement piston pump technology (i.e. FKS pumps) to fill the vegetable glycerin. During this part of the filling process, we use a bottom-up filling technique to eliminate splashing and minimize foaming. After the containers are filled, dropper tips are then placed into the container neck openings. Once the tips are placed, a screw thread is capped to the containers. Our single-index Monobloc typically fills these containers at rates of 40-55 cpm, while the double-index Monobloc fills at rates in 70-85 cpm range. Either Monobloc can be equipped with an optional labeling head or integrated with a labeling machine if desired.
In both dual and three step fill operations, we often use positive displacement piston pump technology (i.e. FKS pumps), or peristaltic pumps to fill the nicotine &/or flavorings/colorings. After the nicotine &/or flavorings/colorings are added, the rest of the process remains the same – apply a dropper tip & then screw cap with options for labeling.
Regardless of the process, Filamatic has both Semi-Automatic and Automatic solutions that can solve the challenge.