Different Packaging Machinery for Different Beverages
As packaging machinery manufacturers, when a packager tell us his or her industry, we can usually take a pretty good guess at which machines will work well for a project. However, a thorough analysis of all aspects of a given packaging project will always take place before the best packaging solutions are suggested, as there are always exceptions within an industry. Also, the products to be found in any given industry will vary. For instance, the bottled water industry includes just that, bottled water. But the beverage industry will include bottled water and many other drinks. In the beverage industry, the packaging machinery used for any given project will depend on the product, the containers, the production and a number of other factors.
The filling machine used for any beverage will depend on what the packager is trying to achieve with the fill. Many beverage packagers will want to fill each bottle with a certain volume of product, such as a 16.9 ounce bottle of water. Gravity filling machines provide an excellent solution for filling free-flowing liquids by volume. However, bottled water, distilled spirits and many other drinks come in transparent containers, allowing consumers to see the product through the bottle. Overflow fillers offer a level fill that will ensure each bottle will be filled to the same line or height even if the interior volume of each bottles is not exactly the same. Other beverages, like some juices, may contain pulp. When this is the case, a pump filling machine may be used to avoid clogging fill heads or nozzles. So as to the type of filling machine, the best solution will depend on the product, the desired method of filling and any other unique characters of an individual project.
As for capping machinery, the first and usually the most important factor in determining the best solution for a beverage packager will be the type of closure used on the product. Most beverages will use a screw-on type closure, like bottled water, soft drinks and sports drinks, making the spindle and chuck capping machines the most produced at Liquid Packaging Solutions. Certain subsets of the beverage industry, however, are less likely to use a continuous thread cap. Distilled spirits, for example, will often use a cork or T-cork to seal bottles, which will require a bottle corking machine rather than the typical cap tightening machines. Speed may also play a part in designing and building a capping machine for a project in the beverage market, but unlike the fillers, the product itself does not factor much into this decision.
Labeling machinery can vary greatly in the beverage industry, as just about any label can be used on any product. Some beverages may use a wrap label that circles the bottle like a sleeve. Others may use a front and back label to promote the product on the front and list ingredients and other information on the back. Beverages that come in non-round bottles may also use a panel wrap, which would apply the sticker to three sides of the four sided container. In the case of the labeler, neither the product nor the closure will make much of difference in choosing the best solution, but instead the bottle itself will help determine the best fit.
So while a majority of similar products in any given industry will often give Packaging Specialists at LPS a clue as to what machinery will be used for a project, finding the best solutions requires a bit more attention and investigation to ensure consistent, reliable and cost-efficient performance.