Container Cleaning Equipment from Liquid Packaging Solutions
Rinsing and washing bottles can be achieved in a number of different ways, depending on the speed necessary, the bottles being cleaned and a number of other factors. While the most popular container cleaning machine from Liquid Packaging Solutions - at least by number manufactured - would be the inverting rinsing machine, other options do exist. Below is a quick overview of the inverting rinsing machine as well as some of the other common packaging machinery used to clean bottles and containers.
AUTOMATIC INVERTING RINSING MACHINE
Inverting rinsing machines most often sit at the beginning of a complete packaging system, allowing containers to be cleaned just before the bottles move down the power conveyor to the liquid filler. These machines clamp a pre-set number of bottles once they are in the rinsing area, lift them off of the conveyor system and blast the inside with air, water, product or other rinse media. Once cleaned, bottles return to the conveyor, the clamp releases and the set of containers continues will move out of the rinse area to the filling machine. Automatic inverting rinsing machines use a PLC and touchscreen operator interface to allow for quick and easy control and changeover, allowing the machine to sense bottles, index reliably on the conveyor, rinse for a specific duration and otherwise perform consistently and efficiently. Inverting rinsing machines can handle both plastic and glass containers, but will struggle with oddly shaped or custom containers, which is why the bottle vacuum exists as an alternative to this container cleaning machine.
AUTOMATIC BOTTLE VACUUM
Automatic bottle vacuums also clean the inside of containers, but do so without the necessity of inverting them over a rinse basin. In other words, containers are cleaned without ever leaving the conveyor. This option for cleaning containers is ideal when bottles are extremely heavy, oddly shaped or have any other characteristic that would make them hard to grab and flip. Bottle vacuums use a special nozzle which seal over the bottle opening, blast the inside with air and vacuum up the loose dust, debris and other contaminants. Both the inverting rinser and the bottle vacuum clean the inside of containers, but on occasion, even if just for aesthetic purposes, a packager may want to clean the outside of the bottle as well, which is where bottle washing equipment comes in to play.
BOTTLE WASHING MACHINES
Bottle washers will often be seen when using large bottles or other containers that are re-used. A perfect example is a three or five gallon water bottle. The design of the bottle washer will depend in part on the size of containers being washed, but will often be combined with an inside rinse or even fill and cap stations when doing larger containers. Bottle washing machines, again especially with larger bottles, will often be designed as semi-automatic equipment, allowing an operator to place the larger containers on a short conveyor that will carry them through the various packaging tasks, including the initial wash. Of course, rinsing the inside of the container can also be done on a semi-automatic machine, for those packagers with smaller output or who rely mainly on manual labor.
SEMI AUTOMATIC CONTAINER CLEANING EQUIPMENT
Semi-automatic rinsing machinery is also available using air, water, product or other rinse media, as well as a variation on the automatic bottle vacuum. The semi-automatic machines, however, will rely on operators to place the containers, start the rinse cycle and then remove the containers and transport them to the next packaging phase. The rinse cycle will typically be initiated with a foot switch, though other options are available. Semi-automatic rinsers have been integrated with loading turntables as well, allowing and operator to clean the bottles and immediately set them on to a turntable, allowing automation to carry the process from that point on. The design of the semi-automatic rinsing machine will also depend on the container type, production speed and the other equipment used on the packaging line.
To learn more about container cleaning equipment, or for assistance in identifying the best cleaning solution for your project, contact an LPS Packaging Specialist Toll Free at 1-888-393-3693.