Drying Containers Run Through Bottle Washers and Rinsing Machines

Drying Containers Run Through Bottle Washers and Rinsing Machines

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding bottle washers and rinsing machines is how to deal with the moisture on an automated packaging system. Concerns range from moisture having a negative effect on the packaging machinery, to rinse media mixing with product upon filling the bottes, to wet bottles making it nearly impossible for consistency on a labeling machine. While these are all legitimate concerns, there are several solutions for the moisture issue, dependant in part on the size and material of the container being cleaned.

Bottle washers and wet rinsing machines will normally use water, sanitizer or other rinse media to remove dust and debris from containers prior to moving the containers down a packaging system to be filled, capped, labeled and packed for shipping.  One simple way to allow bottles to thoroughly dry prior to entering the filling machine is to allow for an extended period of time between the rinsing machine and the filler.  This can be done using serpentine conveyors or accumulating turntables, but has the disadvantage of increasing production time and decreasing efficiency. In addition, the extended time can allow dust and debris to collect once again on the bottles, defeating the purpose of the rinsing machine.  While in theory such a drying technique is possible, it will rarely - if ever - be used. 

More often than not, concerns regarding residual moisture on containers just exiting a rinsing machine will be addressed with a simple air knife.  An air knife creates a sheet of compressed air through which each container will pass after being cycled through the rinsing machines.  On an inverting wet rinser, the containers will normally be returned to the conveyor and pass through the sheet of compressed air as they exit the rinsing machine.  Bottle washers will often follow the same process, minus the inverting of the container for rinsing purposes.  The air knife is a quick and simple way to speed up the drying process and prepare the rinsed containers for filling, capping and labeling.

In rare cases where an air knife will not thoroughly dry the bottles in the required time to move bottles through production at the desired pace, alternatives do exist.  Some rinsing machines may use heat in addition to an air knife to ensure bottles are dried prior to entering a filling machine.  Other facilities may simply use an air rinsing machine or a bottle vacuum to clean containers.  If you have questions regarding bottle washers, wet rinsers or any of the container cleaning equipment manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, contact a Packaging Specialist toll free for answers.