Craft Distillers Continue to Emerge As Users of Packaging Machinery
Craft Distillers Continue to Emerge as Users of Packaging Machinery
From the beginning of the year to just recently, we have noticed more than one article regarding market trends that predict a downturn in the craft distilling and craft brewing industry. We noted at the beginning of the year that we disagreed with this prediction, and if inquiries regarding packaging machinery are any indication, the boom in craft distilling is far from faltering. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, our equipment now helps craft distillers from Washington to New York - and many places in between - prepare their spirits for the shelf.
Of course, Liquid Packaging Solutions offers complete turnkey packaging systems for distillers, from loading turntables to rinsing machines, liquid fillers, capping equipment and more. However, small batch distillers do not always immediately need or want complete packaging systems. For many of the distillers starting on a local or regional level, the packaging process will be automated over time, as production demands grow. For this reason, craft distillers will often inquire about a single machine, or a simple tabletop packaging system, rather than a fully automated packaging line. Below are a few of the more popular machines requested by craft distillers.
Of course, getting the spirits into the bottle is an important part of delivering the product to the customer. LPS has manufactured automatic, semi-automatic and tabletop bottle fillers for the distilled spirits industry in 2014. Most of the equipment built uses either an overflow principle or a gravity principle, which both work well with free-flowing liquid products. Again, the automation level depends in large part on the production demands, but space, personal preference and other factors will also play a part.
There are some distillers who prefer to hand fill their bottles, but LPS can still offer services in a couple of different ways. The first is by automating the the capping process, again through both automatic and semi-automatic equipment. Bartop corkers can be used to seal bottles with T-corks and other push in type closures, while spindle and chuck capping machines are ideal for screw on type caps. Even if hand bottling products, capping machines can save time and labor while offering consistent and reliable seals on each bottle.
Another piece of equipment requested by distillers is the bottle rinsing machine. These packaging machines are used to remove dirt, dust and other debris from the bottles before they are filled - by hand or by liquid filler. The production of the bottles themselves can produce some debris left over in the container, while dust and other items can settle in or on a bottle during transportation or storage. The bottle rinsers help to keep the distilled spirits pure and free from contamination by ensuring that the bottles are clean when the product is introduced.
Turnkey distilled spirit lines will normally include the machines described above, along with power conveyors and loading and unloading equipment if the line is automated. Of course, other equipment, such as labelers, coding equipment and even case packers may be used, depending on the level of automation desired. LPS not only manufactures equipment for distilleries, but we also offer integration services, allowing packagers to procure all of their equipment in a single location. Despite the few market predictions we have come across, LPS has yet to notice a downturn in the popularity of the industry (or the products!) and we look forward to working with many more unique and creative craft distillers in the future.