Basic Packaging Systems for Beverages
Different products require different packaging machines when creating an automated packaging line. But in any given industry, there are likely to exist some standard machines that will be seen across many different products. Below we take a look at the basic machines that will almost always be found on a beverage packaging system along with a little information on each of those machines.
LIQUID FILLING MACHINE
It should be no surprise to anyone that filling machines are a staple of almost any beverage packaging system. However, those unfamiliar with such equipment may not realize how many different ways these machines can move product into a bottle or other container. Filling machines may fill to a level inside a bottle, or they may fill based on volume, or even by net weight! The different benefits of each type of filling machine will help a packager decide which to use for his or her beverage. For example, many companies packaging beverages in clear containers will use an overflow filler to help each bottle reach the same level, even if slight differences exist in the interior volume of the containers, thus adding appeal to the product once it hits the shelf.
SCREW-ON TYPE CAPPING MACHINE
Most, though by no means all, beverages will be sealed with a screw-on type cap, like the kind seen on bottled water, soft drinks and sports drinks. Even if a packager is using a different type of closure, a capping machine is just as likely as a liquid filler to be seen on a packaging line for beverages. In most cases, a spindle capper will be used to provide continuous capping on an automated system. For semi-automatic lines and those relying more on manual labor, chuck capping machines may also be popular to add reliability and consistency to the process. Other types of machines, such as snap cappers and ROPP cappers, will also appear in their share of beverage systems, based on the type of closures chosen by the packager.
One of the best ways to speak to consumers and introduce your beverage is through the use of a label right on the bottle or other container itself. Labels help with branding, to catch the eye of a potential customer and to provide information on each unique beverage. Therefore, it is no surprise that almost all beverage packaging systems will include a labeling machine. These machines may wrap a label around a bottle, as is common again on water and soft drinks. But labeling equipment is not limited to a simple wrap around label. The equipment may place labels on the front and back, top, bottom, panels or in any other configuration that the packager can come with for their bottle!
Automated packaging lines for beverages will need a power conveyor system to move the bottles from machine to machine. These systems can be manufactured to meet the needs of not only the product and containers, but also the space required to set up the line. Conveyor systems may run in a straight line from one end of a building to another if space permits, or they may twist and turn to fit into a confined space.
Of course, not every company packaging a beverage will need the high speeds of automated packaging lines. Semi-automatic systems and machines exist where production demand does not warrant automatic everything! These semi-automatic machines for beverages can increase speed, add efficiency to a process such as filling or capping, or add reliabilty and consistency over hand packaging products.
Many different options exist for preparing a beverage for the consumer. If you would like more information on any of our beverage packagign solutions, contact LPS today!