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Container Cleaning Equipment - Air or Liquid?

Container Cleaning Equipment - Air or Liquid?

Cleaning containers through rinsing, washing or sanitizing, can be done using air or liquids.  Though either can be used and personal preference can play a part in the decision, there does exist a trend toward using clean air to prepare bottles for the packaging process.  Of course, in addition to personal preference, the specifics of the packaging project at hand will also help determine the best solution.
 
Rinsing machines constitute a majority of the container cleaning equipment built by Liquid Packaging Solutions, manufactured in both automatic and semi-automatic models.  Rinsing machines are used to remove dust and debris from containers before product is introduced during the packaging process.  As noted above, the rinse can be completed using either clean air or by using a liquid such as water or a cleaning solution.  For most processes, both air and liquid will be capable of completing the rinsing task, but the current trend toward air rinsing machines exists for a couple of different reasons.
 
First, air rinsing leaves the packager with much less waste to dispose of than a wet rinsing machine.  While both methods require the disposal of any debris that may exit the bottles, the wet rinsing machine requires the packager to dispose of the liquid as well.  In addition, rinsing with air protects against leaving a residue behind or creating a commingling of product and rinse media left behind by the liquid.  This being said, there are situations where container cleaning equipment would commonly use liquid over air.  One good example are returnable containers, such as some three and five gallon water bottles.  These containers will be washed inside and out, and typically sanitized with a cleaning liquid as well, before being refilled or returned.  
 
Another situation where liquid may be used consists of abnormal debris inside the bottle.  Most containers that are rinsed, are rinsed to remove small debris from the manufacture of the bottle, along with debris from shipping and storage such as cardboard, dust and the like.  If the manufacture or storage of the bottles creates, for example, a film in the bottle, a wet rinsing machine may be a better choice for container cleaning.  In some cases, a packager will use both a wet and an air rinse prior to filling, to first clean with a liquid, then blast the inside of the bottle with air to get remaining debris as well as any residue left by the liquid.
 
While the trend is toward cleaning containers using air over liquid, and though personal preference will play a part in the choice of machines, packagers should work with their machinery manufacturers to identify all of the unique aspects of the specific packaging project.  Only after analyzing these aspects can the best solution for any given packaging project be established.  
 
 
Liquid Packaging Solutions is always willing to discuss projects with packagers.  If you would like to learn more about container cleaning equipment, or any of the other machinery manufactured by LPS, call and speak with one of our Packaging Specialists today.