Rinsing Machines - Automation Levels and Production Demand
Rinsing machinery may be a requirement on some packaging lines while simply a desired piece of equipment on another. Rinsers are used to clean contaminants from bottles prior to the introduction of product. For this reason, where contamination makes a product unsafe, such as foods, beverages and pharmaceuticals, bottle rinsers will almost always be a part of a packaging line. But even some products that may not suffer from minute amounts of dust or dirt, such equipment may be used to keep a product pure. Bottle rinsers can be manufactured as automatic inline equipment or as stand alone, semi-automatic machinery. The type of machine used for any given project will depend on the demands of production.
For lower production projects, rinsing machinery will require an operator for each rinse cycle. The operator will place bottles on the rinse nozzles and use either a foot or finger switch to begin the rinse, which can be completed with air, water or some other rinse media. Semi-automatic machines will typically be paired with tabletop and other semi-automatic equipment such as fillers, cappers and labelers. They may be combined with other equipment to create packaging stations where one operator can perform multiple tasks. While the production speed will depend in part on the operator of the equipment and the speed with which bottles can be placed and removed, these machines typically rinse around thirty to forty bottles per minute.
While automatic rinsing machines can function as stand alone cleaning stations, they are more commonly used as an early step in a complete inline packaging system. Bottles are indexed into the rinse area at a rate consistent with the number of rinse nozzles on the machine. Once in position, a clamp secures the containers and inverts them over a rinse basin. When in the inverted position, the bottles will be blasted with air, water or other rinse media. Rather than assisting with each cycle, the automatic container cleaning machines allow the operator to use a touchscreen interface to set parameters such as rinse time and indexing time to allow the machine to run automatically. The production speed will vary depending on, among other factors, the number of rinse heads on the machine, but automatic rinsing machines can reach speeds of around one hundred bottles per minute.
Other options do exist, such as bottle washers for larger bottles like three and five gallon containers and bottle vacuums for containers that may be difficult to invert. To learn more about bottle rinsers and other container cleaning equipment, browse the LPS website or contact our offices today!