Rinsing, Filling and Capping Options for Distilled Spirits
The distilled spirits industry consists of both large distillers and distributors as well as craft distillers create great spirits on a smaller basis. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we understand that no two spirits are created alike, or in the same quantity! LPS packaging machinery exists for both large and small production, as well as for all of the different components used to present the spirits to the public.
Rinsing machinery allows distillers to clean dirt, dust and other debris from the bottles prior to introducing the spirits. These machines can be built as either air rinsing machines or wet rinsers. Many packagers prefer the air rinsing machine, as rinsing without liquid creates less waste during the packaging process. However, wet rinsers can also be used to ensure clean containers are presented to the filling machine. Wet rinsers will often use the spirits themselves to rinse the bottles, so as to avoid contamination during the filling process. Rinsing machines can be simple semi-automatic machines that allow an operator to place a few bottles at a time onto rinse heads or these machines can be built to run inline, rinsing bottles as they move through the machine on a power conveyor. Each rinsing machine is built to meet the needs of the individual distiller as to speed, rinse media or any other needs of the packager.
While each distilled spirit may be unique, most are free-flowing, lower viscosity liquids. While some exceptions may exist, the viscosity of the spirits means two filling machines make up a majority of the equipment used to prepare distilled spirits. The gravity filling machine uses a fill to volume principle that ensures the volume of liquid in each bottle meets any necessary tolerances. The second machine, known as an overflow filler, is used to fill each bottle to the same level, creating an aesthetically pleasing look for the consumer when the bottles reach the shelf. Though not a strict fill by volume machine, the overflow filler can be used on distilled spirits as almost any bottle supplier will deliver containers with consistent interior volumes.
Just like the rinsing machines, filling equipment for distilled spirits can be manufactured in both semi-automatic and automatic models. Simple tabletop machines allows an operator to consistently and reliably fill a few bottles at a time, while automatic machines can fill up to sixteen bottles at once as containers are delivered on the power conveyor.
Not all distilled spirits will use the same type of closure, but capping machines manufactured at LPS can handle ROPP caps, corks or even continuous thread closures. The best capping machine for any distilled spirits project will depend first and foremost on which type of closure the distiller chooses for their spirits. However, ROPP cappers, bottle corking machines and spindle and chuck capper are all available in semi-automatic and automatic models. Semi-automatic capping machines typically require the operator to place the cap on the bottle or in a chute before placing the bottle and closure in the proper location for sealing or capping to take place. Like the other equipment discussed here, automatic cappers allow bottles to be sealed as they move down a power conveyor system.
Packaging systems for distillers do not have to include only automatic, or only semi-automatic, machinery either. Some distillers may find that one process takes longer to complete, whether it be rinsing, filling or capping bottles. Automatic and semi-automatic machinery can be combined, along with manual performance of some of the tasks, to create a solution that allows the business to focus on other aspects of the distillery, while still ensuring that enough product is prepared to meet demand, be it large or small. To learn more about all of the packaging equipment available for distillers at LPS, browse the website and check out the Industries section, or contact a Packaging Specialist at LPS today.