How Does an Inverting Rinsing Machine Clean Bottles?
For some packaging processes, bottle cleaning machinery is necessary to ensure a pure product, uncontaminated by dust or other debris that may accumulate in the bottle. Products such as foods, beverages, medicines and more need to ensure that the liquids remain unpolluted when they reach the end user. However, almost all packagers, if for no other reason than aesthetics, would prefer bottles are clean when product is introduced. So for this reason, rinsing machines may show up even on packaging lines where they may not be required.
One of the more popular rinsing machines manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions is the inverting rinsing machine. The bottle cleaner lifts containers from the conveyor to invert them over a rinse basin, at which time the bottles will each be blasted with air, water or other rinse media to remove the dust and debris that may contaminate the products when introduced into the bottle.
Automatic inverting rinsing machines are manufactured on a heavy duty stainless steel frame with a conveyor that will index a certain number of containers into the cleaning area for each rinse cycle. Generally speaking, the number of bottles indexed each cycle will be equal to the number of nozzles on the machine. Once in place under the nozzles, a clamp will engage to secure the bottles for the inverting process. Clamped bottles are raised off of the conveyor and inverted so the bottle openings face down toward the rinse basin. Once fully inverted, the nozzles will release air, water or other rinse media to wash away and remove the debris. The bottles are then returned to the conveyor, the clamp is released, and rinsed containers continue on the power conveyor to the next packaging process, which is usually the filling machine.
Operators control the rinsing machine from a simple to use touchscreen interface, allowing the setting of indexing times, rinse times and more, relayed to the machine through PLC signals. In addition, a recipe can be saved for each bottle that is rinsed, making changeover quick and simple, consisting of the pressing of several buttons and minimal physical modifications for bottle widths and heights.
A semi-automatic type of inverting rinsing machine is also available from LPS for packagers with low to medium production demands who also want to ensure purity of product. Rather than a conveyor and a clamp doing the work on the semi-automatic model, an operator will place and remove bottles on the nozzles. These machines require operator interaction with every cycle. Bottles are inverted by the operator and placed on a nozzle. Once all bottles are in place, the operator will typically press a finger switch or step on a foot switch to initiate the rinse. Rinse times on semi-automatic models are usually set with simple timers, though air, water or other rinse media can still be used on the lower output machine. Once the rinse is complete, the operator will remove the bottles and repeat until all bottles are rinsed.
Bottle rinsers may be a necessity or a preference on a packaging line, depending on the circumstances surrounding the process. Some bottles contain debris from the manufacturing process, some may get dusty from transport or storage. At LPS, bottle rinsers exist for almost any bottle and production goal. To learn more about these cleaning machines, visit the Bottle Rinsing and Washing section of the LPS website.