Semi-Automatic and Automatic Container Cleaning Equipment
Container cleaning equipment consists of bottle rinsers, bottle washers and other equipment that helps to prepare bottles and other containers for the filling process by removing dust, debris and other contaminants from the containers. Debris may stem from the manufacturing process of the bottle itself, from the transporation of the bottles or even the simple storage of the bottles. In some cases, cleaning containers is a necessity, such as when food, beverages or other products to be consumed are being processed. The cleanliness of the containers in these cases is very important to avoid contamination of the products and ensure that consumer health and wellness is not compromised. For this reason, container cleaning equipment exists for both small and large packaging projects.
AUTOMATIC CONTAINER CLEANING EQUIPMENT
Automatic container cleaning equipment will generally roll up to a power conveyor system and sit in line with other packaging machines such as liquid fillers, capping machines, labelers and more. These machines are set up to continuously rinse or wash containers to prepare them for an automatic filler. However, these machines could also be used as stand alone equipment to prepare a large number of containers for semi-automatic or manually driven processes. Automatic rinsing machines air or wet rinse bottles as they pass through the rinse chamber. The most common rinsing machines will clamp and invert bottles before introducing the liquid or air used to rinse the bottles, then return the bottles to the power conveyor once the rinse is complete. Bottle vacuums may also be used to rinse containers when inverting is not a viable option, such as heavy or oddly shaped containers. Bottle washers may combine an outer wash with an inner rinse and sanitization, depending on the application at hand. Automatic machinery is controlled via a touchscreen operator interface, allowing for set up of different containers and rinse times. Automatic container cleaning equipment is typically used for processes with larger production demands with a need for continuous cleaning.
SEMI-AUTOMATIC CONTAINER CLEANING EQUIPMENT
Higher speed automatic rinsing and washing machines will not provide an optimal solution for all packaging processes. For those packagers with lower production demands or labor driven packaging processes, semi-automatic equipment may be the better option. While semi-automatic machines may also be rinsed with air or liquid and washes may include inside and outside cleaning along with sanitizing, the process itself requires more operator interaction. Rather than a power conveyor moving containers into and out of the rinse area, the operator will place containers on the rinse nozzles or into the wash area, where the cleaning occurs. The operator will then remove the bottles and move them to the filling area or machine as needed. Rinse and wash cycles will also be activated by the operator when using a semi-automatic container cleaning machine, usually by foot switch or finger switch, depending on the design of the machine.
Container cleaning can be an important component of the process for packagers both large and small. If you have questions regarding the type of container cleaning machine that will work best for your own process, contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions for more information and consultation.