There’s nothing more exciting than visiting a factory or finding out about the processes that produce the everyday items we use.  One process that is often of particular interest to many people is the bottling process.

It’s so popular that beverage giants like Coca Cola have created specially designed tours that showcase some of the same equipment and processes found in one of their full size plants to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the Coca-Cola bottling process.

In the spirit of sharing we’ve decided to look at the bottling process through the lens of the equipment required to keep things moving. A bottling line, which is not unlike any other filing line, is made up of three main processes which have equipment specifically designed for the task. The process includes filling, labelling and packaging.

The main event

When it comes to selecting a filling machine there are a number of things to take into consideration because no one type of filling machine can handle all liquids in all industries. Key elements to consider include viscosities, temperature, chemical compatibility, particulate size, foam characteristics, and hazardous environment considerations of the liquid you’re working with.

Once the bottles have been filled and closed they move onto labelling. Here the product label is aligned and applied. The key criteria for equipment in this area is that it needs to be able to deliver labelling that is neat and exact without holding up the process. Once the labelling is completed the product is packaged and ready to be shipped off.

The side show

While these three elements are the main process and make up the foundation of a basic bottling line, there are other more sophisticated parts to the process as well.  Most bottling lines require a way to assess the empty and full containers for any imperfection in quality and then reject those bottles that don’t meet the predetermined standards.

These elements require specific machinery at different points throughout the line. A complete line would include multiple forms of quality control equipment from a machine at the beginning of the process that sorts, checks and inspects empty bottles to a machine responsible for locating, tracking and rejecting faulty empty and full containers in a reliable, precise and careful way.

Behind the scenes

Having the best bottling equipment is almost useless without a way to control the line. This is where IT solutions come in. The main role of these programmes is to increase the efficiency and output of the complete filling line by recording, optimising and evaluating the process.

When it comes to beverage bottling Heuft is world leader. They offer quality equipment that caters to a range of requirements. Through our partnership with Heuft, Plastic & Chemical Trading are able to provide South Africa with world class bottling solutions.