Understanding the Difference Between Automatic and Semi-Automatic Rinsing Machines
Container cleaners, and specifically rinsing machinery, can be manufactured to work with different levels of production. Equipment can be built to handle a thousand bottles a month or several thousand a day! But of course there is some difference in the operation of the machinery based on the automation level and the output expected.
Automatic rinsing machines from Liquid Packaging Solutions are typically a part of a complete packaging line, though they can be used as stand alone equipment. As bottles move along a conveyor system, they will enter the rinse area and be positioned under rinse nozzles using an indexing system. Most automatic rinsing machines will then clamp and invert the bottles once they are properly located. After being inverted, the rinse itself will start - whether with air, water or other liquid - and continue for a pre-set amount of time. Bottles are then returned to the conveyor system and move to the next packaging phase or are accumulated if a stand alone machine.
All of the delay, duration and other settings for an automatic machine will be entered using a touchscreen interface prior to the start of production. These machines also include recipe screens so all settings for a specific bottle can quickly be recalled. In other words, the operator for an automatic rinsing machine will set up the machine prior to production, if necessary, but will then simply monitor the equipment rather than perform some duty with each cycle. Automatic machines are used by packagers with higher production demand to quickly, continuously and consistently rinse bottles.
Semi-automatic rinsing machines, on the other hand, will require more involvement from the person operating the equipment. Rather than inverting bottles on a conveyor, an operator will place the bottles upside down on rinse nozzles and activate the rinse via a foot switch. Rinse times are set with simple timers and just like the automatic models, packagers can use air, water or other liquid to clean containers. Without the need to stop and position containers, invert containers and return them to the conveyor, the controls are very simple, with only the placement, footswitch and removal. However, the operator of semi-automatic equipment will be involved with each cycle, or set of bottles, to be rinsed, so that more manual labor is involved.
Custom rinsing machines, both automatic and semi-automatic, are also available for unique bottles or containers. Bottle vacuums can be used when inverting a container is difficult and various nozzles can be utilized for challenging rinsing. To learn more about rinsing machines, visit the container cleaning page of the LPS website or call to speak to a Packaging Specialist today.