Rinsing for the Inside and Outside of Containers
A large part of container cleaning equipment is built to rinse containers, both inside and out. The debris that can accumulate on containers during the making, transport or even storage of the container can create issues for a packager. For some, the problem is simply aesthetic, as no consumer wants to buy a product with a dirty or dusty container. For others, the debris found in the container creates the possibility of product contamination. Whatever the concern, bottle rinsers from Liquid Packaging Solutions can ensure a clean receptacle for the introduction of many different products.
In most cases, packagers are looking to ensure the inside of a bottle is free of contaminants before the product is introduced. This is especially true of foods, beverages and other edibles or consumables. While some packagers may choose to rinse bottles before filling the same, others do so out of necessity. Rinsing machines for the interior of the bottle can take many different forms as well, depending in large part on the type of bottles used for the project and the speed with which they need to be rinsed. For most projects involving an automated packaging line, an inverting rinsing machine will be used to clean the interior of the bottles.
The automatic inverting rinser will use a clamp to secure a line of bottles before lifting them off the power conveyor and inverting them over a rinse basin. Once inverted, air, water, product or other cleaning solutions will be used to remove debris from inside the container. Once the rinse is completed, the bottles are returned to the conveyor and continue down the line.
Some containers, however, are simply not conducive to the lifting and inverting. These may include large or heavy containers as well as oddly shaped bottles. In these cases, a bottle vacuum will replace the inverting rinser to clean containers prior to the fill. These rinsing machines use a special nozzle that creates a seal over the bottle opening, blasts the opening with air to loosen debris, then vacuums the debris into an easily cleanable waste reservoir. Like the inverting rinser, the bottle vacuum can be used on an automated packaging line.
In the case of an exterior rinse, inversion is not a necessity in most cases. Exterior rinses may be used, as mentioned above, to remove dust and other debris that accumulates from transport or storage. In some cases, however, the exterior rinse may be used to remove product or other items that collect during the actual packaging process. Though these machines can be custom built to fit the specific needs of the project, they will typically consist of an enclosed section of conveyor with a spray system using water or other rinse media that will wash down the exterior of the container as it passes on the conveyor.
Each of these machines can also be manufactured to perform in a semi-automatic manner. Generally speaking, the semi-automatic machines will require the assistance of an operator with each cycle run. For example, a wet rinser would normally require the operator to place inverted bottles over the rinse nozzles and activate the rinse cycle by stepping on a foot switch. This process would be repeated for each set of bottles to be cleaned.
While the rinsing machines described above account for a majority of the container cleaning machines manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, different machines exist for specific projects, including custom designed and manufactured machines when a unique solution is required. To learn more about the different bottle rinsers and cleaners available from LPS, browse the Container Cleaning section of the website.