Packaging Machinery for Distilleries

The distilled spirits industry has grown exponentially over the past several years and it seems that seldom does a week pass without an introduction to a new distiller and a new and unique spirit! It is an industry that is celebrated not only by those that enjoy the products, but by all those that belong to it as well. The growth of the distilled spirits industry seems, to LPS, to be sustained by the family atmosphere created by the different distillers across the United States. LPS is honored to be a part of the industry by offering consulting and packaging machinery for distillers both large and small, and with summer upon us, we wanted to provide a quick overview of the different equipment offered for different distillers.

Rinsing Equipment

Many distillers using glass bottles will want to rinse the bottles prior to introducing product and preparing the spirit for the shelf. Rinsing machines for distilled spirits can be a part of an automatic, inline packaging system or they can be as simple as a semi-automatic rinser with an operator placing the bottles to be rinsed. Distillers can choose from air rinses or wet rinses for their bottles. Some distillers choose to rinse with product to avoid contamination when the bottles are filled. But generally speaking, bottles will be positioned on rinse nozzles and then blasted with air, water, product or other cleaning liquid for a set amount of time. Once rinsed, bottles are typically returned to a conveyor on an automatic line, or they are removed from the nozzles and transported to the next packaging phase by an operator on a semi-automatic line, though some exceptions will apply where packagers combine automatic and semi-automatic equipment.

Filling Machines

Two different filling machines dominate the distilled spirits industry, both with different benefits for the distiller. Overflow fillers use a fill-to-level system that ensure that each bottle will be filled to the same visual level, even where the interior volume of the bottles may vary slightly. For an industry that is fond of clear, glass bottles, the overflow filler ensures an aesthetically pleasing product display on any shelf. The other filling machine often found in the distilled spirits industry is the gravity filling machine. Unlike the overflow machine, the gravity filler provides an accurate volumetric fill based on time, ensuring that the right amount of product enters each container. While the overflow filler has been more popular in the industry, either will work for distilled spirits, and the final decision is really just based on the individual distiller's preference. Filling machines can be manufactured to work from a tabletop or as part of a fully automated packaging line.

Cappng, Corking and Sealing Equipment

Sealing distilled spirits can occur in a number of different ways, but some type of cork or T-cork seems to be the most popular closure. At LPS, we offer corking machines that also work automatically or semi-automatically. Automatic corking machines utilize a cap delivery system and a chute that delivers corks to each bottle as it enters the capping area, while semi-automatic machines may require an operator to place to cork either in each bottle or into a chute manually. Other capping machines exist for screw-on type closures, ROPP caps, capsule spinners, neck bands and more. So regardless of the closure or closures used for a distilled spirit, LPS can find a solution to fit individual needs.

Labeling Machines

While front and back labels are popular in the distilled spirits industry, the application of labels may take other forms, including wrap or panel labels. Just like rinsers, fillers and cappers, LPS offers labeling machinery for just about any production level, from tabletop models to fully automatic machines. While automatic machines will work inline as bottles move down a conveyor, semi-automatic and tabletop versions of labeling machinery usually require an operator to place the bottles in a nest or other location on a repeated basis, offering consistent and wrinkle-free applications with minimal effort from manual labor.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of the packaging equipment that could be used by a distiller. Another of the great things about the distilled spirits industry is the unique packages that hold the unique spirits. For those distillers that experiment with product or package, LPS offers custom packaging machinery hand tailored to the needs of the project at hand. For questions about any of the products offered for the distilled spirits industry, feel free to contact a Packaging Specialist at LPS today!