Automatic Pail Filling SystemAutomatic Pail Filling System

Automatic Pail Filling System

This is a fully automatic pail filling system built to operate 24/7 filling liquids into 5-gallon open-top pails. System is shown without the standard safety guarding.

Product Details: Item No. 1293

Model: APF-541

Rate: 960 open-top pails per hour

Container: 5 gallon open-top pails

Material: Carbon steel construction, all wetted parts are 316 stainless steel



This is a top-fill system with five gallon pails for non-foaming liquid products. Sub-surface systems are also available. Three rows of four pails are shown. The first row of pails is already filled and being conveyed to a lid press. The second row is positioned under the filling heads. The third row is accumulated behind them, ready to move in when filled pails move out.

The row of filled pails drives away where lids are automatically placed on top then they convey through a tunnel where lids are pressed on-the-fly. If a label is required, it would sequence after the lid press. The last machine in line is the automatic palletizer.

The fill rate of water is sixteen (16) pails per minute.

Description of Operation

This automatic pail filling system, model APF-541, is designed to fill four open top pails, simultaneously. The system includes a 10’ long, powered infeed conveyor line with four air-operated pail escapements that accumulate the pails then releases them to the filler, as needed. It also includes a 10’ long, powered discharge conveyor.

Four pails are conveyed and accumulated on the infeed conveyor behind the filling stations, spaced equidistant. When signaled, the escapements are released and the pails are lifted by a two-strand, chain conveyor and transported into the filling stations where they are lowered onto four individual scales under the filling lances. At the same time, four newly filled containers are conveyed out the front of the filling stations and four empty pails are conveyed and accumulated behind the fill stations.

Upon arrival, a photo-eye signals the computer to automatically tare the four containers to zero weight then start the fill cycle. At each filling station, both ball valves open wide for fast flow. Filling continues until the pre-designated weight is achieved in each container.

Near the top, the slow fill valve activates to top-off the containers. When completed, the weights are calculated and recorded. The containers are then raised and conveyed out of the filling stations to make room for four empty containers to enter from the back. The cycle then repeats

The filling rate of this machine, using water as the tested product, is 16, five gallon open-top containers per minute.


This automatic pail filling system, model APF-541, is a four station filling machine with the following components:

  • Four independent, 316 stainless steel filling lances
  • All wetted parts are 316 stainless steel with Teflon seats and seals
  • Each of the four lances has a fast/slow speed filling cycle
  • Each fill head has twin ball valves with spring return actuator
  • Four NTEP approved, scales and weight meters are included
  • Accuracy of each lance, +/- 0.05lb based on a 3 sigma curve
  • Four, NTEP approved, 200 lb. capacity Rice Lake scales
  • A NEMA 4 control panel with four weight displays
  • Communications port for interface with Drum Filler in the Cloud
  • Touch screen is a 10” color panel view
  • Automatic zero-tare of each container before fill cycle
  • Four drop-down rods with air cylinders to position infeed pails
  • Four air-operated up/down, twin-strand chain conveyors
  • Photo eyes recognize each pail position at the fill stations
  • Welded, enamel painted steel frame and components
  • This is a completely controlled, assembled, and tested machine

Liquid Filling Equipment Options