Container Cleaning Equipment - a Different Type of Rinse Cycle

Container Cleaning Equipment - A Different Type of Rinse Cycle

In the packaging world, a rinse cycle does not necessarily mean a setting on your washing machine, though after a long week of building or running packaging equipment, it may be a necessity.  Just as liquid fillers use a fill cycle to measure the speed with which bottles are filled, container cleaning equipment uses a rinse cycle to measure the productivity and efficiency of bottles being cleaned.

Most automatic rinsing machines will include a touchscreen operator interface on their control panel.  By using the various functions and controls on the screen, the operator of the rinsing machines, in essence, creates the rinse cycle.  The rinse cycle begins when bottles start to index into the rinse area (with pin indexing, when the entry gate opens).  From this point on, certain delay and duration times set by the operator of the machine create the rinse cycle.

As a simple example, the operator of an automatic inverting wet rinser may set delay times for the carriage to rinse and carriage to conveyor.  Assume that the entry gates open and it take 3 second for bottles to align under the rinse heads.  The operator set a 1 second delay for the carriage to rinse (the invert) and the invert itself takes 3 seconds.  Therefore, from the time the entry gate opens until the bottles are inverted over the rinse basin is 7 seconds.  The operator can also set the rinse duration.  Assuming the operator set the time for the bottles to be rinsed at 7 seconds, we have now doubled the rinse cycle time to 14 seconds.  The rinse ends and the operator had input a 1 second delay for the carriage to conveyor (return after rinse).  Therefore, the rinsing machine waits 1 second after the rinse stops to return the containers to the conveyor.  Add 3 more seconds for the return trip and our rinse cycle is up to 18 seconds.  Once the cleaned containers are back on the conveyor, the exit gate opens another 3 seconds pass while the bottles move out of the rinse area to the filling machine, capping machine and other down line packaging equipment.  Our total time for the rinse cycle is now 21 seconds, as we are back to the point where the entry gates will open to let a new set of bottles into the rinse area.

As you can see from the simple example above, many small increments of time are added together to achieve our final time for the rinse cycle.  Each of these delays and durations are necessary to avoid bottle jams, partially cleaned bottles, missing bottle rinses and other potential issues when automatically cleaning containers.  However, now that we know we can run one cycle in 21 seconds, we can expect to get almost three cycles per minute.  If we have ten rinse heads on our machine, we know our production rate will be just under 30 bottles per minute, 1,800 bottles per hour or 14,400 bottles per eight hour production shift.  Knowing these numbers is extremely important to packagers who need to meet a daily, weekly or monthly quota.

Also, while setting up all of the delay and duration times may seem tedious and time consuming, remember that the operator interface on the rinsing machine is made to make the process quick and simple.  This is achieved by factory set delay and duration times when bottles are supplied to the manufacturer, and simple touchscreen controls when entering these delay and duration times.  And to make the process even easier, the control panel for the automatic rinsers also includes a recipe screen.  This means that once the delay, duration and indexing times are entered for a specific bottle, they can be saved and recalled with the simple touch of a button!

If you would like to learn more about automatic rinsing machines or any of the bottle cleaners or washers manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc., contact our offices toll free today to speak with a Packaging Specialist.