Keepin' It Clean - Reviewing Bottle Rinsers and Washers
Whether necessary to avoid contamination or simply desired for aesthetic purposes, many packagers will add a bottle rinser or washer to their packaging line to remove contaminants or debris from containers prior to introducing liquid product. These machines can clean bottles using a number of different media, while also being designed as semi-automatic or automatic equipment to meet the needs of packagers large and small.
Inverting rinsing machines can use air, water, product, sanitizer or other liquids to clean the inside of bottles and wash away debris. Air rinsers are preferred by many packagers for the simple fact that, other than the debris blown out of the bottles, no waste liquid is produced by the machine. Liquids may be used, however, depending on both the type of bottle and the typical debris gathered by manufacturing, transferring or storing the bottles. These automatic machines will clamp a number of bottles when they reach the rinse area, remove them from the conveyor system to invert them, and rinse away the debris with the desired rinse media before returning cleaned containers to the conveyor and opening the clamp.
Semi-automatic rinsing machines require the operator to do the inverting, hand placing the bottles on the nozzles for rinsing. Unlike automatic machines, semi-automatic machines will require operator assistance to place and remove bottles, as well as activate the rinse cycle, with each new cycle. However, the semi-automatic rinsers can also use air, water and all of the other media referred to above.
Sometimes inverting bottles or removing them from the conveyor is simply not a good solution to getting containers clean. Long, tall or heavy bottles may make the inverting process difficult or the rinsing process inefficient. In these cases, a bottle vacuum may be used to remove the debris before sending the containers to a filling machine. Rather than invert containers, the vacuum uses unique nozzles that will create a seal over the opening, use an air blast to loosen debris, then vacuum the loosened debris out of the bottle and in to a waste reservoir. Again, these machines can be built to work semi-automatically or automatically, with the semi-automatic machines requiring every cycle operator interaction.
While inverting rinsers and bottle vacuums will make up a majority of the container cleaning equipment manufactured at Liquid Packaging Solutions, there always exist unique projects that will require unique situations. Some packagers may need the outside of containers cleaned prior to sending products to the shelf for consumers. Some packagers deal with larger containers, such as 3 and 5 gallon bottles. These and other situations will require custom bottle rinser and washer solutions that will be designed and manufactured for the specific needs of the packaging and project.
To learn more about the different container cleaning options, visit the Bottle Rinsing and Washing section of the LPS website. To get in touch with a Packaging Specialist to discuss custom options, call the LPS offices today.