Upgrading Inverting Air Rinsing Machines
Just like liquid fillers, the value and useful life of rinsing machines and other container cleaning equipment can be increased by manufacturing the equipment to grow as the packager grows. By building machinery with the capacity to handle additional production in the future, a packager can save both money and time in the long run by avoiding adding or replacing individual machines or entire packaging systems. While almost all container cleaning equipment can be manufactured to allow for these upgrades, we will look at the inverting air rinsing machine as an example.
Inverting air rinsers can be manufactured as semi-automatic or automatic container cleaning machines. These machines can include anywhere from two to sixteen rinsing heads, each head cleaning one bottle per rinse cycle. Though custom rinsers are available, in general terms, the inverting air rinser will take bottles from a power conveyor and invert them over a rinse basin. Once inverted, a blast of air is sent through the bottle to loosen and remove dust, debris or other contaminants that may exist due to the manufacture of the bottle, transportation of the bottle, storage or any other reason. Semi-automatic machines will require some type of assistance from an operator, which may include placing bottles before the rinse, removing them after the rinse or even activating each rinse cycle.
The most common upgrade to rinsing machinery is the addition of rinse heads as production increases. As noted above, inverting air rinsers can be built with anywhere from two to sixteen fill heads. When first manufactured, many of these machines will only include the number of rinse heads necessary to meet current production demands. However, the machine will include ports for additional rinse heads to be added in the future. This allows packagers the ability to purchase only the output they need while giving them the ability to quickly and easily add to that output. As demand grows, the packager can simply call LPS to purchase additional heads, which can be quickly and easily installed on the machine.
A less common upgrade consists of turning a semi-automatic machine into an automatic rinser. This type of upgrade will entail more time and more modification than simply adding rinse heads as described above. In most cases, a control box with PLC and touchscreen operator interface will need to be added to the semi-automatic rinser to allow the machine to function automatically. In addition, a power conveyor and an indexing system will be necessary to ensure that the proper number of bottles reach the rinse area each cycle. In some cases, semi-automatic machinery may already include the control box, a simple indexing system and a conveyor. In these cases, the program and indexing may require modification, versus addition, to handle automatic runs.
The correct starting point for any packager looking for an inverting rinsing machine will depend on a number of different factors, including space, current production, expected growth, bottle type and more. LPS works with each packager on a one-on-one basis to determine the ideal machine for any project while also allowing for modifications and upgrades in the future.