Packaging Food and Beverage Products - Start to Finish
With the shift in habits caused by the current atmosphere in our world, a much lower number of people are eating out or even ordering out, at least temporarily. This has led to stocking up on groceries, food and beverage products that are packaged for at-home use, in single serve or family size containers. As a result, many food and beverage packagers are either seeing a change in the way that they package products, or even seeing an increase in demand if their focus is on at-home use. For food and beverage packagers, Liquid Packaging Solutions can provide the equipment necessary to meet these changing demands.
Turntable, Conveyors, Loading Equipment
Food and beverage products are packaged in a wide range of container types and sizes. While a sixteen-ounce container is popular for many beverages, other sizes, both large and small will hold liquid products. Containers for thin and thick food products can also run the gamut from ounces to gallons. When handling these containers on a packaging system, both turntables and loading conveyors may be used to get empty bottles on the packaging system, as well as bottle unscramblers when higher speeds are necessary. The type of loading equipment used on a system for foods or beverages will depend on the type of containers that are used for the given project.
Of course, for automatic systems, conveyor systems will also be used to move bottles or containers from one packaging machine to the next. Sanitary style conveyors are almost always used for these types of products, to help keep the entire process sanitary as well as assist in quick clean up and changeover. The size of the conveyor belt, the guiderails and other factors for conveyor systems will also depend on the range of bottles being used on each project.
While rinsing machinery will not always be included on a packaging system, they are likely to be seen when dealing with systems for food and beverage. Again, an overlying theme for any food or beverage packaging system will be keeping the process sanitary. Rinsing machines help to ensure that bottles and containers are clean before the product is introduced via a liquid filler. Bottle rinsers will use air, water, product or some other cleaning liquid to remove dust and debris and protect against contamination of these products, that are ultimately consumed by the end user.
Different types of filling machines may be utilized for different food and beverage packaging projects. Free-flowing products may be filled by volume with a gravity filler. Clear containers may be filled by an overflow filling machine, which fills by level and creates an aesthetically pleasing line when these products are placed on a shelf. Thicker products may take advantage of a piston filler, which can efficiently move products that do not flow as freely as water or water-like liquids. The filling machine used on any food or beverage line will be matched to the needs of the product and desire of the packager, but will again likely be built with sanitary components as another way to keep the entire packaging process sanitary.
As with any industry, the capping machinery used for a food and beverage packaging line will depend on the type of closure used on the products. Many food and beverage products use a simple screw-on type closure, like those seen on a typical water bottle. However, corks, ROPP caps, snap on caps and other closures will be seen in the industry. After choosing a closure, LPS will work with the company to find the best capping machine for each project based on the closure itself, as well as production demand, space, labor and other factors.
Other equipment used in the food and beverage industry will include nitrogen purge machinery, which can prolong shelf life of many of these products while also helping them to retain flavor and color for the extent of that shelf life. Labeling equipment can range from front labeling equipment to front and back, wrap, panel or any other format based on the containers and the desires of the packager. Packing and unloading equipment will not differ from that seen in other industries and may include accumulating turntables, conveyors with packing tables, pallet wrapping machinery and more.
Liquid Packaging Solutions has decades of experience in packaging food and beverage products both thick and thin. Equipment includes both automatic machinery for completely automated systems as well as operator-driven semi-automatic equipment for smaller packagers with lower production demand. LPS Packaging Specialists are always available to discuss food and beverage projects and help packagers find the best solution to fit their own unique needs.