Winter Wonderland - How Temperature Affects Packaging Machinery

Winter Wonderland - How Temperature Affects Packaging Machinery

Just like the human body, the temperature and environment can have an affect on packaging machinery. Sometimes, the cause will be the heat or cold itself, while other times the temperature will have an affect on some other component of the packaging process that will warrant modification to certain equipment.  More times than not, it is the filling machine that will be the focus of such changes or modifications, but extreme temperatures or fluctuations can be felt through the whole system.

When a packaging system sits in an environment with extreme heat or cold temperatures, certain components may not perform up to par.  Ball valves, cylinders, motors, gear reducers and other similar products can be found on almost every packaging machine, from liquid fillers to capping equipment, rinsing machines and even power conveyors.  Most of these components will have a temperature rating, and in 95% of packaging projects, standard components will be used.  However, special material or products may be necessary when extreme heat or extreme cold is in play.

In addition to the extreme temperatures directly causing changes or modifications to packaging equipment, less extreme heat and cold can also have an affect.  Both heat and cold, or the changing from one to another, can cause moisture in the atmosphere, and that moisture can play havoc with some of the same components mentioned above.  Depending on the other elements present in the atmosphere of the packaging project, the water can damage electronics or even cause corrosion to the conveyor system and other machines on the line.  

Finally, extreme temperatures or changes in temperature can can change the viscosity of certain products. For example, candles will be filled (if placed in a container) in a liquid form by heating up the product.  Once inside the container, the wax will cool and solidify, creating the product we all see on the shelf.  This is where the filling machine may be modified more than other pieces of packaging equipment, given that the liquid filler is the only machine in more or less direct contact with the product.  Modifications may also be made to the power conveyor system to allow product to cool down or, in rare circumstances, warm up before moving to the capping machine, labeling machine and other remaining equipment on the packaging system.

Temperature concerns are not typical when setting up a packaging system, but for the reasons set out above, the temperature and atmosphere in general should always be taken into account when setting up a packaging system to avoid surprises once production begins.