Filling challenges for different materials
Vaping is without a doubt in fashion. The first electric cigarette was launched on the Chinese market in 2004. The prospect of enjoying low-dose nicotine, or even nicotine-free, cigarettes in combination with a wide variety of flavors also appeals in Germany: here in 2016, e-cigarettes generated sales of 375 – 400 million euros (source: https://de.statista.com/). E-cigarette associations argue that e-cigarettes are clearly healthier than normal cigarettes: A long-term US study promises 96% health improvement; a British study considers them to be 95% less harmful to health than tobacco. Critics, however, agree that the content of e-cigarettes pose a health risk.
Nevertheless, vaping continues to enjoy popularity. The devices themselves all function similarly: A battery-powered heating element evaporates a liquid and/or fluid. E-cigarettes are readily available on the internet and from supermarkets, kiosks or at petrol stations etc. And in a variety of designs. Just as numerous and varied are the liquids and flavors. The taste of red fruits, baklava, spearmint and anything possible. As varied as the tastes themselves!
Challenges in filling various flavors
This poses a particular challenge to manufacturers. The demand must be met by producing large quantities. Precision in dosing plays a decisive role here.
A high-precision dosing system ensures high repeatability. This means that the average actual quantity is as close as possible to the specified filled up quantity. This is stipulated by the pre-packaging regulation. This means that overdosing must be reduced to a minimum. Nevertheless, compliance with the maximum negative variance can be guaranteed. In addition, the pods into which the liquid is frequently dosed can be manufactured with less tolerance and therefore smaller fluctuations of the dosed quantity must be compensated. With a possible dosing accuracy of 99 % and more, ViscoTec dispensers offer the required accuracy – this saves both product and packaging material.
Speed is the key to achieving the output the market demands of this product. Speed requires process reliability. ViscoTec dispensers offer the perfect solution for these high demands. In conventional systems, for example, rejects are generated due to the dripping of the dosing unit. And in the worst case, the system must be stopped and cleaned. ViscoTec prevents such system downtime: With the integrated suck back option of the dispenser, a clean end to each dosing process can be achieved by sucking back the hanging droplet – for a perfect dosing result for each pod.
In a recent test for filling 1.5 ml of liquid, net dosing times of less than 0.5 seconds were achieved with a repeat accuracy of more than 99 %. In combination with multi-dosing, considerable output figures can be generated.
High precision has top priority when filling E-Liquids
As already mentioned, in addition to the prospect of improved health, the abundance of different aromas and flavors also contributes to the success of vaping. However, what appeals to the consumer can sometimes be problematic for the manufacturer. A separate line cannot be maintained for each flavor, as it is necessary to facilitate quick product changes. In doing so, it must not lead to the mixing of two consecutive products, because unintentional blending of flavors is a quality defect. The various liquids differ not only in their taste but also in their nicotine content.
The Hygienic Dispensers from the VHD series, designed according to EHEDG guidelines, offer an effective solution for this requirement with a design optimized for dead space, smooth surfaces (Ra < 0.8 µm) and easy dismantling and cleaning.
If, for example, manual cleaning is to be avoided between changing from one product to the next, a practical alternative would be an integrated system with an optional flushing nozzle to provide the interface to a CIP system. Cleaning times can be kept short – and the output is further optimized.
The proven endless piston principle, on which all ViscoTec products are based, guarantees highly precise and clean dosing results. With previously unattained dosing accuracy and repeatability – without dripping.
ViscoTec VHD Hygienic Dispensers therefore offer everything that is essential for filling vaporizer liquids: Fast, precise and reliable dosing, coupled with hygienic design and easy cleanability for frequent product changes.
The advantages of ViscoTec products at a glance:
- No hose change necessary
- Hygienic Dispenser according to the current guidelines
- CIP possible
- No contamination of the liquids when changing material
- Savings in product and packaging material
Here you can find further information about dosing solutions for the food industry.