Bottling Equipment for Syrups and Other Thick Products

Bottling Equipment for Syrups and Other Thick Products

Viscosity plays a large part in choosing the correct bottling equipment.  Products such as syrup, pastes and other thick liquids will require specific types of packaging equipment to effectively prepare the product for the shelf.  While each packaging project will require different options or features to build the perfect solution, there are a few features of bottling equipment for thick products that will be used more often in creating the packaging line.


Many thicker products, like syrup, will fall into the Food and Beverage Industry or even the pharmaceutical industry.  When products such as these will be ingested, packaging systems will often require rinsing machines.  For most bottles, including many bottles and containers for thicker products, inverting air rinsers or inverting wet rinsers provide an inline solution for cleaning containers both glass and plastic prior to introducing product at the filling machine.  However, using syrup as an example, some companies have turned to heavier, thicker glass bottles with unique shapes and sizes.  

In these cases, properly inverting the bottles or containers can be a challenge.  Shifting or slipping can cause inconsistent rinses or even broken bottles from dropping or relocating on the power conveyor.  For such bottles, the inverting rinser will be replaced with a bottle vacuum, which allows containers to stay on the conveyor system while being rinsed, then vacuumed free of dust, debris and contaminants.  Bottle vacuums will be incorporated into packaging lines for lower viscosity products as well, but the thicker, heavier and uniquely shaped containers are often found holding thicker, higher viscosity products. 


Typically, thicker products will be filled using either a piston filler or a pump filling machine.  Both of these liquid fillers are manufactured to handle products that will not flow freely, assisted either by a pump chosen specifically for the product or by the action of the piston forcing thicker product out of the cylinder.  
Both pump fillers and piston fillers can be manufactured with two or more heads, keeping in mind that each individual fill head on a pump filling machine requires its own pump.  The assistance of the pump and/or piston allows for more consistent and reliable fills for syrups, pastes and other thick products.  These machines can also be built as sanitary equipment to ensure the product does not become contaminated as it passes through the machine.


Another way that thicker products may be filled using a piston filler, pump filler or even the gravity or overflow fillers normally reserved for thin, free-flowing products, is to heat the product before sending it through the filling machine.  Many thick products, including syrups, will change viscosity as they change temperature.  By heating a product before running it through the bottle filler, a more reliable and consistent fill may be achieved.  Of course, those packaging thick products must take into account the effect on taste, durability, shelf life and any other relevant factors when heating and cooling specific products.

If a product is heated, the packaging line may require a cooling period between filling and capping each item.  A serpentine conveyor or other cooling conveyor can be used between the two packaging machines, sometimes also incorporating a fan cooling system.  These conveyors simply add a bit of time between filling each bottle and applying the lid via a capping machine.

Again, each bottling line for thicker products will require project specific components and modifications.  However, just because a product does not flow freely does it mean a product cannot be packaged using automatic equipment such as rinsers, fillers, cappers, labelers and more.