Considerations When Adding a Rinser to an Existing Line
Not every packaging line will require a bottle rinser, but for some packagers cleaning bottles prior to introducing products is a personal choice, even where not a necessity. The choice to use a bottle rinser may stem from many different reasons. In some cases, it may simply be for aesthetic purposes, while in others too much dust and debris from storage, transport or any other reason could damage the product. For those that don't need a rinser, they may not choose to add a machine when the line is initially purchased. Both semi-automatic and automatic rinsing machines can be added to existing lines. Below are some common considerations that should be made when doing so.
Whether semi-automatic or automatic, packagers will want to make sure that the container cleaning machine will not slow down production, or at least not to the point where daily demand can not be met. For semi-automatic machines, a portion of this analysis will include the labor available and the ability of the laborer to keep up with the other components of the packaging system, whatever they may be. For instance, a semi-automatic bottle washer, driven by an operator with each cycle, will probably not be able to keep up with an automatic filling machine, slowing down the entire line.
Similarly, packagers will want to make sure automatic rinsing machines will not slow down the production speed of the line as a whole. Normally, the rinser will not be the slowest machine on the line, but when inverting bottles for rinsing, cycle times can increase, depending on the rinse time as well. Even without an operator needed for every cycle, and depending on the other equipment on the automatic line, a packager will want to make sure the bottle rinser will keep up with the overall production.
Automatic bottle rinsers will not require constant labor. Once the machine is set up, a line operator will normally just keep an eye on the machine, along with the other pieces of packaging equipment, to ensure that it runs properly during production, clearing jams or other issues if and when they occur. Additional labor will normally not be necessary when adding an automatic container cleaning machine unless that labor will be doing an auxiliary task such as supplying bottles to the rinser at the beginning of a line.
Semi-automatic rinsing machines, however, as noted above, will require a new laborer to add and remove bottles as well as activate each rinse cycle. Once bottles are in place, the operator will step on a foot switch or press a finger switch to start rinsing with either air, water or other cleaning solution. For small operations, one person may be able to rinse, fill, cap and otherwise pack product in stages, but again, this can slow down the process.
Both types of container cleaners will require additional space, but the amount differs drastically. Not only is the automatic bottle rinser larger, but it will require conveyor space as well to move bottles through the rinse area. If the conveyor already exists, the machine can simply roll up, be set up and start cleaning bottles. If new conveyor is necessary, the space must be available or created to add it to a line.
Semi-automatic bottle rinsers, on the other hand, take up very limited space. Packagers must remember, however, that space will be necessary for both the bottles and the operator of the equipment. An area near the other packaging equipment will be optimal as bottles will also need to be transported to the next packaging station once the rinsing is complete.
While other considerations exist, these are a few of the common issues that should be considered on almost every project. To learn more about the different types of container cleaning machines manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, or for assistance finding the right bottle rinser for your own project, call the LPS offices today to speak with a representative.