Adding Nitrogen Purge Equipment To An Existing Power Conveyor System
Current packagers know that packaging systems will change over time, as production demands, products and/or the containers and components change. Increased automation may become necessary as production increases, leading to new packaging equipment or upgrades to existing machinery. But increases in production can have other effects on a product as well.
For companies that deal with products that are ingested or injected, like foods, beverages and medicine, shelf life can be a very important factor in the packaging process. Local or regional demand for a product may mean a lower production output, less travel time to reach consumers and a lower probability that the product will expire before being used. However, as a product grows in popularity or a packager increases their sales area, more time may lapse between the preparation of the product and the actual use by the consumer. As this growth occurs, the process of preparing the product may then benefit from a nitrogen purge system.
Generally speaking, a nitrogen purge system replaces oxygen in a container, or in the headspace of a container, with nitrogen. Replacing the oxygen with nitrogen helps to lessen the detrimental effects that oxygen can have on certain items. The effect of the nitrogen purge system is to increase a product shelf life while at the same time retaining the color, texture and taste of the product. So the concerns of more product output, longer shipping times and even a little longer time on the shelf can be diminished by the addition of the nitrogen purge equipment. The question then is, as sales area and production grow, how difficult is it to add a nitrogen purge system to an existing packaging line?
While the answer will depend on the individual needs of each packager and the existing line, it is generally not a difficult task to add a nitrogen purge system. Though configuration can vary from one system to another, many nitrogen purge systems will either roll right up to an existing power conveyor system or attach to the power conveyor system with simple brackets. On automatic systems, the purge will use a sensor as bottles or containers pass by, and will usually be placed just before the capping or sealing phase of packaging to avoid the loss of the nitrogen as the product and container move down the line.
Nitrogen purge systems can also be used to strengthen brittle bottles, and for this reason may be found pre-fill on some packaging lines. For more information on these useful systems, both gas and liquid, visit our nitrogen purge page or contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions today!