Carbonated Beverage Packaging EquipmentRotary Rinser Filler and Capper

The carbonated beverage packaging process is very similar to that of a non-carbonated water bottling line in that much of the same machinery is used in terms of the initial water treatment, CIP systems (clean in place), and much of the machinery that is utilized post filling and sealing. But there are distinct differences that merit carbonated beverage packaging having its own page. For products that are not naturally carbonated such as beer, a carbonator is inserted into the process. But a carbonator works best when the fluid has cooled down nearly to the freezing point to reduce foaming during the filling process and CO2 can migrate into the product. The cooling is done by a machine called a chiller. A carbonater injects CO2 into the already mixed syrup and water combination that give sodas and other carbonated drinks their distinctive effervescence. Now the process for beer, soda, and sparkling wines becomes pretty much the same. 

At this point the carbonated beverage is ready to be filled and we come down to what really makes carbonated beverage filling so unique: the counter-pressure filler. Two issues pop up at once: Oxidation which can ruin the product's flavor and shelf life and the fact that the carbonated mixture is now several Carbonation Mixeratmospheres of pressure above normal atmospehreic pressure. The first thing a counter pressure filler does is seals the container top against the atmosphere, next a valve opens to pressurize the container with CO2 while simultaneously a second vent valve is opened to displace the previously oxegenated air from the container. Once virtually all of the oxygen has been replaced by CO2 the vent is closed and another valve opens to let the product flow into the container.  This is where there is a big difference between a can filler and a bottle filler.  A can filler will have a nozzle that extends down to the bottom of the container whereas a bottle filler fills in the neck and lets the product flow down the walls of the bottle. In both cases the object is to avoid as much agitation as is possible.  After filling is complete a vent is opened to allow excess product to escape which defines the classic liquid level fill that you see in all carbonated drinks.

Finally the container is ready for sealing and the faster the better.  Bottled carbonated drinks can go directly to the capping machine without much worry as the foam caused by escaping CO2 denies atmospheric oxygen from entering the product (due largely to the small neck opening).  However canned product has a much larger opening and must remain in a CO2 or inert gas environment through the can seaming operation.

 

Warming Tunnel

Special Considerations for Carbonated Beverage Packaging

Another point that has to be considered by carbonated beverage packagers is that since the bottles have been filled at very low temperatures, bottles will be sweating until they can be brought back up to a temperature above the dew point. This affects labeling (unless prelabeled) and final packaging into cartons, small packs or even sleeve wraps. In order to bring the bottle temperature up so that final packaging operations can be done the most common method is to use a warming tunnel. Warming Tunnels use heated water or steam which is sprayed onto the bottles until temperature rises sufficiently for remaining packaging to be completed.

 

Bottle Dryer

Shrink Sleeve Labeler with Heat TunnelAt this point all that is left to do is blow off the remaining moisture from the warming process with a high velocity dryer and continue on to final operation such as shrink sleeve labeling, bottle coding, etc.

 

 

< High Velocity dryer

                    Shrink Sleeve Labeler >

                                

 

 

Many Configurations for Carbonated Beverage Packaging Equipment are Available

Busch Machinery offers full line carbonated beverage packaging equipment for for cans and bottles at speeds ranging from 2,500 - 30,000 bottles per hour.  The combinations of speeds and options are simply too numerous to list all on this website.  Please call one of our sales engineers so that we can fit the right machinery for your needs.

                  

 

 

6 Cavity Rotary Blow Molder

Six Cavity Rotary Blow Molder
Blow Molders are commonly part of Beverage Packaging lines.  This machine can produce up to nearly 10,000 PET bottles/hour

 

Video of Carbonated Beverage Packaging Line

Video of Beer Rinsing Filling and Capping Line
(Due to the strobe effect the Beer Video sometimes makes it appear bottles are running backwards)



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