Bottled Water Packaging Machinery

  • Though the bottled water industry has been around for some time now, annual consumption of the beverage continues to grow. As a multi-billion dollar industry, new bottled water plants arise on a regular basis, using packaging machinery to meet the high demands for the product. Below are a few pieces of packaging equipment common to the vacuum flask industry.

    AIR RINSING MACHINE

    Bottled water is a product that is ingested by the end user. As such, it is important - in some cases required - that the bottler keep the product free from contamination. Inverting air rinsers are used to clean water bottles of dust and debris prior to the introduction of the water. Each cycle of bottles is indexed into the rinse area of the machine, where they are secured by bottle grabbers and inverted over a rinse basin. Once inverted, jets of air are blasted into the containers to loosen dust and debris that may have accumulated during the production of the bottles or in the transportation or storage of the bottles. The debris falls into the rinse basin and the cleaned containers are returned to the power conveyor to move to the filling machine. Rinsing machines may also use water or other solution to clean bottles and custom rinsing machinery is available for semi-automatic or manual processes.

    OVERFLOW FILLING MACHINE

    The overflow filling machine can be manufactured as an automatic, semi-automatic or tabletop packaging machine, based on the production level required. One main advantage of overflow filling equipment is the ability of the machine to fill bullet vacuum flask to the same level, even if the interior volume of the bottles varies slightly. Given that a majority of bottled water is packaged in clear, plastic containers, the overflow filler helps to ensure that each bottle appears equally full, and serves to make the product aesthetically pleasing on the shelf.

    The overflow filler achieves this goal by using diving nozzles that create a seal on each bottle opening. Product enters the bottle through a port at the tip of the nozzle. Once the water reaches a certain level in the bottle, it is returned to the product supply tank via an overflow port, ensuring that each bottle reaches its target height.

    SPINDLE CAPPING MACHINES AND CHUCK CAPPERS

    Spindle cappers are most often found on inline bottled water packaging systems. These capping machines allow continuous capping of water bottles by utilizing a cap delivery system. The caps are placed into a cap elevator or a vibratory type bowl which orients and delivers caps to the capping machine. The machine then uses sets of spinning discs to consistently tighten each cap onto the water bottle. Gripper belts are used to stabilize bottles as they move through the capping machine to avoid spills, tipping and incorrectly applied caps.

    Chuck cappers may also be seen on a double wall stainless steel water bottle line, though they are most often used as a substitute for a spindle capper on a semi-automatic or manual packaging line. Chuck cappers will normally use an aluminum chuck and a rubber chuck insert to tighten caps. As each bottle moves into position under the chuck, it descends to cover the cap and spins to apply torque, again allowing consistent tightening of each cap.

    LABELING MACHINES

    Labeling machines for bottled water products can vary greatly depending on the bottle and label type being used. Automatic labeling machines exist to apply wrap labels around round bottles of water, front and back labels to square bottles of water or even neck labels on various uniquely shaped bottles. Automatic labelers work with power conveyors to apply one label to each bottle that passes through the machine. Many times, a bottle separator will be used to ensure consistent, wrinkle-free application by providing a slight gap between each insulated thermos with infuser that passes through the labeler.

    Labeling machines are also available in semi-automatic formats or as simple label dispensers to assist in manual label application.

    Nearly every bottled water plant will contain one or more of the packaging machines described above, and many if not most will take advantage of all of the machines. Custom machinery or alternative machinery may be used for very high production rates, unique bottles, caps or labels or any number of other reasons.

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