Liquid Packaging Machines for Beverages of All Kinds
Beverages are a pretty broad category of liquids when it comes to the packaging industry, in that a wide variety of different machines can be used to prepare drinks for the shelf, depending on a number of different factors. From the actual product to the bottles, production speeds, closures, labels and more, each packaging line manufactured for a beverage may look a little different.
As a general rule, an automatic packaging system for beverages will typically include a bottle rinser, filling machine, capping machine and a labeler, though other equipment may be included for specific projects. However, packaging lines for beverages can also be built to function in a semi-automatic manner for those companies that utilize manual labor or have lower production demands, which means the look of a beverage bottling line can be even more diverse from packager to packager.
For the beverage line, rinsing machines will protect against contamination of the product by removing dust or debris before the beverage is introduced to the container. The air rinser is a popular machine for beverages, though some, such as distillers, will rinse their bottles with product before the fill takes place. Rinsers can work automatically with bottles fed in on a power conveyor or semi-automatically with an operator placing and removing bottles with each cycle.
Filling machines for beverages may use a number of different principles, based on the actual product. But in many cases, beverage packagers will use an overflow filler, which fills each and every bottle to the same level, creating an aesthetically pleasing look on the shelf. These machines are especially popular with beverages in glass or otherwise transparent containers, where the level of liquid is immediately obvious. Other machines may be used to fill by volume or to handle unique situations such as particulates such as pulp in the beverage, but the overflow filling machine will be the most often seen when dealing with beverages. Like bottle rinsers, the liquid fillers can be made to run automatically or with the assistance of an operator depending on the needs and desires of the packager.
Capping machines will run the gamut when it comes to preparing beverages, as the type of capper used will depend on the type of closure used to seal bottles. However, a great many number of beverages will use a screw-on type cap, also known as a continuous thread cap. These are the caps found on soft drinks, sports drinks and even milk. But different types of beverages are known for other caps, such as ROPP closures on wine bottles or corks on distilled spirits. Regardless of the type of capping machine used, both semi-automatic and automatic are available.
Finally, labeling machines will be chosen for beverages based on the type of label used for the project. Bottled water and soft drinks often use a wrap label, circling the bottle with logos and bottling information. Other types of beverages may use a different format, such as front and back labels that are often found on alcoholic liquids such as wine and spirits. As with all other equipment, labelers can sit inline as a part of a fully automatic system or they can be built to work from a tabletop with the assistance of an operator.
Even within a certain segment of the beverage industry, exceptions will exist to those examples set forth above. To learn more about packaging machinery for beverages, browse the Food and Beverage Industry section of the Liquid Packaging Solutions' website or contact a Packaging Specialist at LPS to discuss your own unique project.