Prior to the filling process, liquid containers need to be clean to avoid contamination, including bottles and other types of containers. The ideal way to eliminate any contaminants from bottles prior to filling with products is to use bottle cleaners, which can remove dust and other particles that can result in product spoilage and potential liability problems.
Different types of facilities generate different types of hazardous particles that can easily contaminate liquids during the filling and packaging processes, but there are many bottle cleaners available to help avoid contamination.
If processes involving metal are present, including the creation of bottles prior to filling, metal particles can wind up inside bottles. Depending on the size of the particles and the type of metal that is present, these particles can spoil products and cause serious health problems in the case of consumables. Metal particles can cause physical damage to consumers if particles are sharp, and can even poison them in some cases, depending on the type of metal. For non-consumable products, metal can corrode in liquids and still contaminate products to the point where they become obsolete.
Injury to consumer because of liquids with metal contamination can result in extremely costly liability lawsuits, which can potentially force a company to close. The best way to eliminate this concern is to use high-quality bottle cleaners to make sure that metal particles aren’t found within liquid products prior to filling.
Bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli, have resulted in nationwide recalls, and in some cases the death of consumers. Subsequently, bacteria contamination spreads fear and warns consumers to stay away from affected companies, while also resulting in lawsuits in many cases. Bacteria contamination can cause serious damage to a company and harm their reputation, resulting in expensive losses and major frustration.
Bacteria can gather during the product manufacturing process and in dust as it gathers in bottles, and if these bacteria are present when bottles are prepared for filling and capping, each bottle should undergo thorough cleaning prior to filling. Bottle cleaners are designed to kill and remove any harmful bacteria that might otherwise cause unnoticed contamination to products. Bottle cleaners should also supplement other types of cleaning methods if bottles are particularly susceptible to exposure to bacteria.
Similar to metal particles, wood particles can potentially enter bottles during the fabrication process, depending on the types of processes that occur within a facility. Wood particles can be difficult to detect, but a system of bottle cleaners can thoroughly remove wood particles as easily as other contaminants before the filling and packaging processes take place.
If a bottle is left around for a long period of time prior to bottling, particularly during shipping or storage, it can gather dust. Dust particles can also contaminate products, often containing combinations of bacteria and allergens that can irritate consumers and compromise their health. A complete bottle cleaning system can remove dust along with all other particles present within the bottle.
How Bottle Cleaning Process Works
During the bottle cleaning process, bottle cleaning machines remove almost all unwanted particles from glass, metal, and plastic bottles following shipping or storage after the bottles are manufactured. While this equipment doesn’t completely remove all particulate, it removes enough to make bottles suitable for filling with any product.
The process begins when bottles pass through a vortex of ionized air, which a transvector generates with the help of a MEB Static Control Bar or similar. The ionized air immediately neutralizes the static charge that attracts dust and other particles on the bottle’s surface both inside and outside of the material.
Following the ionization process, rinsing heads are lowered into the bottles to spray a concentrated stream of compressed air that detaches contaminants from the bottles. At the same time, a vacuum removes the loosened contaminants from the bottle, leaving a clean surface. Dust collection bags that are attached to the bottle cleaners can catch the particulate, or facilities can use existing extraction systems to dispose of vacuumed particles. This serves as an energy-efficient means of making bottles as clean as possible to meet industry standards.
Bottle cleaners are typically customized with specific programmable settings and size specifications to meet the needs of certain applications.
Unlike other cleaning methods, bottle cleaners avoid contamination caused by using water or cleaning products that could potentially leave residue within bottles following the cleaning process. Bottle cleaners only use ionized and compressed air to help avoid mixing any additional chemicals in with other products, serving to remove existing particulate.
Bottle cleaners can also help prevent the circulation of particulate throughout your facility, removing particles from the production line entirely instead of spreading them outside of the bottles with help from dust collection and extraction systems that can evacuate most types of particles.
Meeting Industrial Product Safety Standards
Apart from preserving the health of consumers and avoiding product spoilage that can result in a costly loss of product, another important reason for using bottle cleaning equipment in liquid filling lines is to meet safety standards across a variety of industries. Different applications will have different standards, and it’s important to be able to meet them at all times.
Beverages, liquid foods, liquid personal care, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products require FDA approval prior to selling, but in some cases certain particulate can introduce chemicals or bacteria that compromise the integrity of these substances. To help keep products within FDA regulations, any foreign particulate should be absent from the final product upon filling and packaging.
The FDA has particularly stringent rules regarding coliform bacteria in beverages, including E. coli. Any products containing E. coli as evidence of fecal contamination of products will be deemed “adulterated,” unsafe, and unfit for consumption, so it’s necessary to make sure this strain of bacteria is removed from all bottles before filling begins. Certain dust particles during storage and shipping could contain these bacteria through rat feces or other external sources, resulting in inadvertent E. coli contamination.
Other potential contaminants that the FDA prohibits include arsenic, chloride, iron, manganese, phenols, dissolved solids, zinc, and fluoride. While bottled water and other beverages may contain a certain level of these contaminants that the FDA deems acceptable, bottle cleaners can help guarantee that the level of any of these contaminants is minimal.
Bottle cleaning equipment can almost completely eliminate any contaminants that threaten the cleanliness of products and consumer exposure to harmful bacteria, and ultimately help companies meet FDA standards more easily.
In addition to cleaning products and meeting industry regulations, utilizing a system of reliable bottle cleaners can help make sure your facility saves money in liquid packaging. Many contemporary state-of-the-art bottle cleaners are compatible across a variety of production line configurations, blending seamlessly with the rest of your liquid filling and packaging equipment. Cleaning can also prove to be a quick process, adding a small amount of time to your overall packaging process.
To find the best bottle cleaning machinery and effectively customize it to meet your needs, speak with an expert in the industry. Liquid packaging machine experts can assist with product selection, and many have the ability to help find ways to further improve your production line’s performance as a whole.