K cup filling machines: the Ultimate Buying guide 2020 [a Must read]

The following article is a Must Read before buying a new K cup filling machines:

  • What Are K cups?

The First K-cup was launched in 1998. it was designed for the office market.

Now it is the most popular single-serve cup product in North American.

About 80% of U.S. coffee companies have the K CUP category, and most coffee companies in Canada are also producing such products.

K cup is composed of sealing film, coffee granules, filter paper, and outer cup.

It can load 8-13 grams granules inside the cups

You can also fill cocoa powder, milk powder, tea granules, Health powder, etc inside the cups.

Now in the U.S.A, 45 percent of Americans own a single-cup coffee maker. More than 10 billion k-cups are sold every year. What a huge market!

Even in Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, South Korea, China, and other countries and regions, there are some coffee companies offering personalized coffee K cups options for the North American market.

K-cup-solutions

Now, we all know coffee capsules including K cups Change Tastes and Changing your coffee drinking Habits.

What will happen in the future? The future lies in convenience and sustainable development! And k-cups and coffee capsules will help you to catch the train of the future.

K cups
K cups

The K-cup is an airtight container that locks out oxygen, light, and moisture while locking in freshness and flavor.

  • What Are the K cup filling machines?

K cup filling machines is specially used for filling coffee/powders into k cups and sealing k cups.

It can have more functions, such as missing-cup detection, automatic feeding, automatic sealing film, automatic cup ejection, etc.

The machine is made of stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum alloy, and other metal materials with electrical control parts.

The current mainstream K cup filling machines can reach 50-500 k cups per minute.

Its appearance has helped more factories to realize automated and unmanned production, effectively saving more labor and waste, and allowing all consumers to drink safe and healthy coffee every day.

Nespresso filling machine

  • What are the standard K cup filling machines functions?

Efficient K cup filling machines basically have the following functions.

  #1 K Cups drop: There are two ways to send cups that we currently know:

1. the vertical drop method:This is to put the cup into the vertical cup storage tank, and then the machine uses the gap that appears after the cup is folded to separate the cup with a special tool. This method of dropping cups has restrictions on the height of the venue.

K cups drop Of K cup filling machines

2. The horizontal feed method: This method is to make a horizontal cup storage tank, pneumatic fingers to grab each cup, and put it in the machine. This speed is not as fast as the vertical one, but you can lengthen it arbitrarily to place more cups, reducing the chance of placing cups.

K cup filling machines filter dropping system

 #2 K cups detector sensor: This is to check if the k cups are well loaded inside the cups mold. If it detects no K cups, the filling and sealing will not work. If it detects three continuous empty holes, it will stop the machine from running.

K cup filling machines No lids machine stop1313

             #3 Filling Stations:

Filling station of K cup filling machines

This station includes three parts:

1. Auto coffee feeding to the hopper: This one we have two selections: Auger feeding system and vacuum feeding system. Normally we will equip the vacuum feeding system.

             2. Servo motor and auger filling system: The good machines should use Servo motor to control the auger running, it will be accurate. All the parameters are changeable in the control touchscreen. This is the key to guarantee a high accuracy filling.

3. Static system:  If you are producing dark roasted coffee, you need to add a static elimination system. Otherwise, during filling, coffee particles will stick to the filling container and spill on the machine, and the filling accuracy will be severely reduced.
We will recommend customers to add this system.

#4 Clean the K cups edge after filling: After filling, K cups need to go through a cleaning process to remove the powder overflowing from the edge to ensure the sealing effect of the subsequent process. A mature cleaning procedure is very important, it plays a crucial role in the effect of your final product.

clean-the-capsules-edge-of-coffee-capsule-packing-machine

#5 Lids place system:  After the cup completes the previous process, the sealing film can then be placed. At present, it is more popular to adopt the form of film, and the machine can complete the action of automatically taking and placing.  Of course, you can also use the film roll method. In this case, the structure of the machine is slightly complicated and the function of the cutter needs to be increased. Also, it’s not so easy to replace.

#6 Lids detection: The same as the cup detection function, after the film is placed, a film detection function is required. If there is no film, the machine will not seal, and the cup without the film will be rejected when the cup is discharged. If this function is not available, the heat sealing head at the back may stick to the cup and affect the operation of the machine

#7 Sealing: At present, the principle of high-temperature heat sealing is mainly used to fuse the cup and the sealing layer of the film at a high temperature of 180-240 degrees to complete the sealing action. In this step, the cup will be raised to touch the sealing head, and at the same time, it will put a certain pressure on the cup to make the sealing tighter. You may need to replace the heating tube and thermocouple later.

#8 Output: After the cup is filled and sealed, the cup will be pushed out of the machine. To complete this operation, we have three options:

                     1. Cup sunction: This is the most commonly used, suitable for aluminum and plastic film materials. Suction function are used to grab the cup.

                     2. The mechanical finger grips the cup: This is suitable for cups that are not easily deformed, such as plastic cups.

                     3. Air blowing: This is a trachea under the cup. When the cup passes through the trachea, the compressed air from the trachea can blow out the cup quickly. This is not commonly used at present.

#9 Nitrogen flushing system:  This is the most important function of coffee preservation. During the filling and sealing process of K cups coffee, you can always fill with nitrogen to remove oxygen in the container, so as to ensure that the coffee is always in the freshest state.
AFPAK machines are equipped with 7-9 nitrogen filling systems, and nitrogen is also injected into the hopper so that your coffee will last longer.

After these nine procedures, you can get a standard K CUPS.

Of course, you can purchase more functions, such as online weighing, conveyor belt out of the cup, counting flip, etc.

I need to produce k-cup, and want to buy a k cup filling machines, so what should I pay attention to?

Based on AFPAK ten years of experience, general customers will have the following questions.

Where are k cup filling machines made now?

Now, The main manufacturers are located in Europe, American, and China. EU and USA's equipment is of high quality and price. and Chinese equipment is cheap and also reliable.

Chinese K cup filling machines are reliable?

Many people think that Chinese equipment is cheap. The equipments they bought before had a lot of problems, and even they couldn’t be used, so some people think that although Chinese equipment is cheap. It lacks in quality.

After years of upgrading, Chinese manufacturers have also realized the importance of quality, so they are now focusing on customer experience and improving the quality of their machines. There are many customer's factories that purchase all equipment from China.

Just following AFPAK's strategy to purchase equipment, you can get the equipment you are satisfied with.

What elements do I need to focus on for the K cup filling machines?

Design and workmanship of the machine: There are a lot of equipment manufacturers in China, which often cause headaches for customers. Compare several devices and you will know which one is of high quality

Filling Accuracy: This is very important. Powder filling is relatively complicated. Whether high-precision and stable filling can be ensured is a very important factor for the production capacity of this equipment.

Sealing is strong and beautiful: This is an essential factor for your customers to choose your products.

Oxygen Residual: Very important factor to protect your coffee freshness. Normally it is required to make the oxygen residual limited to 1% around which many factories cannot make it.

What do you recommend to fill and seal my own k cups?

AFPAK  haS a full range of speed and price lists for your choice.

K cup filling sealing machines

Highly Recommend: AF-RN1S Rotary K cup filling machines

This machine can produce 50 c.p.min.

It can change molds to produce different capsules (not for dolce gusto capsules).

coffee-capsule-filling-sealing-machine

Entry-level choose: AF-H1 Linear type K cup filling machines

Designed for startup coffee companies.

produce 30-50 c.p.min

Although it is an entry-level version, it has all the functions needed to produce K cups and is the favorite machine of many start-up companies.

coffee-capsule-filling-machine-small

Big Production choose: AF-H2/4/6/8/10 Linear type K cup filling machines

The produce is 35-50 circles per minute for each lane.

K cup sealing machine
K cup sealing machine

Lab table type: AF-BZD95 semi-auto sealing machine

It can seal the capsules, and you can use it to test your materials.

Well, if you have more questions about k cups and k cup filling machines, you are welcome to comment, and I will reply to you in no time.

About the author:

Jeffree: Obtained University degree in 2011, majoring in international economics and trade. Almost 10 years of working experience in the packaging machinery industry. Provide services to more than 500 customers mainly from European and American countries. One of the earliest people in China who researched and applied coffee capsule filling and sealing technology.

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