Container Cleaning Equipment Overview
Though some packaging lines - specifically those running foods, beverages or pharmaceuticals - may require container cleaning equipment for their system, many companies will choose to include them even when not a necessity. Bottle rinsers and washers are generally used to remove debris from the inside of a bottle prior to the filling process, as well as to clean the outside of bottles. The washers are typically used to clean larger, reusable bottles such as three and five gallon water jugs. The different types of rinses and washes are desscribed in a little more detail below.
INVERTING AIR OR WET RINSE
One of the most popular forms of rinsing machinery is the inverting bottle rinser. These machines will clamp on to bottles and invert the bottles over a rinse basin before performing the rinse using either a blast of air, water or some other liquid rinsing medium. Once bottles have been rinsed and drained, they are returned to the upright position to continue on to the filling machine. These bottle rinsers can be manufactured in both semi-automatic and automatic models. With semi-automatic models, the operator of the machine will be responsible for inverting the bottles as well as removing them once the rinse is complete. Automatic models use an inverting assembly to simply take containers from the power conveyor system, invert and rinse the containers, then return them to the power conveyor where they will continue down the packaging line.
For some containers, be it their size, shape or some other reason, inverting is simply not an option. In these cases, a bottle vacuum can be used to clean containers without removing them from the power conveyor or otherwise inverting the bottles. The bottle vacuum uses special nozzles that create a seal on the bottle, blast the inside of the bottle with air and then vacuum the containers clean, removing debris to an easily cleanable waste reservoir. Bottle vacuums may also be used when larger pieces of debris are found in containers and, just like the inverting rinsing machines, can be manufactured to run automatically or semi-automatically.
Bottle washing machines can also be used to clean the outside of a bottle as well, though some machines may be built for both the inside and the outside of the bottle. Though these machines can be manufactured to work with any container, they are most utilized for larger containers, such as three and five gallon water bottles. The bottle washers may incorporate other packaging processes as well, such as filling and capping. These machines will typically use a conveyor system to move large bottles into the packaging zone one at a time, first cleaning the bottle as desired, then filling the container before sealing the same. Different levels of automation are also available on bottle washers, with some machines simply requiring the operator to place the bottle in position before sending it through the machine.
Custom container cleaning machinery is also available for those projects that require special or unique cleaning of bottles. For more information on container cleaning equipment, or to discuss a unique application with a Packaging Specialist, contact LPS today!