Equipment for Beverage Bottling Operations

A company will need several types of beverage bottling equipment in order to efficiently run a food packaging operation. This can include a blow mold machine for creating the bottles as well as separate or combined machines for both filling and capping. All of the machines must use food-grade lubrication in order to keep running and not contaminate the liquid in the bottles. The guidelines of both the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture for food-grade lubrication require that lubricants be physiologically inert and have no taste or smell. They must also react neutrally with plastics and glass and resist degradation caused by food products. Lastly, they must be able to dissolve sugars. The USDA no longer grants registration of new lubricants, but its guidelines are still in effect

The bottling process is largely the same no matter what the company is bottling, but there are slight differences. One obvious example is that beer bottles are capped, and wine bottles are corked. Another example is that excess air is vacuumed out of wine bottles in order to prevent oxidation of the contents, whereas beer bottles have neutral gases, such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen, injected into the bottles in order to displace the oxygen.

Blow Molding Equipment

This machine simply uses compressed air in order to form bottles. In some cases, such as with extrusion blow molding, the plastic or glass is liquid before it is formed; in other cases, the machine works only with preformed plastic materials, which is called stretch blow molding. There is a third blow-molding method called injection, which by itself is used less often than the other two but is common when combined with stretch blow molding.

Beverage Filling Equipment

This machine inserts a predetermined amount of liquid into the bottles. The amount of liquid is adjustable in order to accommodate bottles of different sizes. Some of these machines fill the bottles by measuring the height of the liquid, and others fill them by dispensing the correct amount for the volume of the bottle.

Beverage Bottle Capping Equipment

Capping machines apply either screw or lug-type caps to bottles, and the smaller machines can cap up to 1,500 bottles an hour. Caps are usually either plastic or metal, and the type depends on what is bottled. For example, one almost never finds beer bottles with plastic caps. Conversely, soda bottles haven’t generally had metal caps since the 1960s.

Additional Food Packaging Equipment

Aside from these three basic machines, businesses will also need labeling machines, and large-scale firms will also need conveyors and turntables to manage huge numbers of bottles. In all cases, businesses must maintain a level of cleanliness on the shop floor that rivals that of a hospital operating room. FDA regulations on such cleanliness are quite specific.

It must be borne in mind that all bottling equipment comes in a variety of styles and sizes and that it is important to choose the correct machine for the applicable job. It pays to do the proper legwork and research before beginning any bottling project, regardless of the scale. If you are unsure of what type of machine you need, manufacturers can help design a packaging system for you or even custom build one to better suit your needs.

Post time: 06-13-2017