Ultrasonic cleaners are used in the beverage packaging industry to restore filling valves to a precision state.
The beverage industry produces thousands of cans and bottles of product every hour, and ultrasonic cleaners are used to keep the machinery and processes going 24/7.
Automated filling stations move continuously to align the cans and bottles, dispense the product, seal the containers, and move them to their next station.
The main function of this machinery is to dispense a consistent and sanitary product into containers as quickly as possible, and filling valves are at the heart of these systems.
The high-precision, stainless steel nozzles must inject product cleanly, at an exact volume, without damaging the container or spilling the product, and the USDA mandates they must be free of contaminants at all times. Ultrasonic cleaners are used to continuously restore these precision parts to pristine condition.
Filling valves vary from machine to machine and product to product, but in general they consist of a stainless steel nozzle with a precisely machined orifice, a spring-loaded check valve to stop and start liquid flow, and fine threads to attach it to the machine. For each container, the nozzle must dispense a specific volume of liquid, and do it time after time for hours on end.
When the filling valves are removed for maintenance, ultrasonic cleaners are used to remove dried product from the injection nozzle and restore the functionality of the moving components of the valve. Before ultrasonic cleaning technology was available, the filling valves had to be disassembled and cleaned by hand, which sometimes resulted in damaging the components or the precision orifice on the nozzle.
That meant discarding and replacing the valve. At best, hand cleaning was a slow process that took many hours of labor to complete using harsh solvents. On a high-speed filling line that added up to a lot of expense for factory owners.
Ultrasonic cleaners can get into all of the tight crevices of the filling valve without disassembly, ensuring it is cleaned to USDA standards. Hundreds of nozzles can undergo ultrasonic cleaning simultaneously, so labor costs to clean the valves are minimal, saving manufacturers money.
The detergents used are also safe for workers and the environment, so the cost and concerns associated with the disposal of used cleaning agent are negligible. The process stays clean, the fill volumes stay precise, and the costs stay low when ultrasonic cleaners are used as part of the beverage manufacturing process.
Many processing systems within the food manufacturing and distribution industry rely on ultrasonic cleaning to ensure parts and equipment are sanitary, equipment functions properly, and manufacturing costs remain minimal. Without such cleaning systems, equipment maintenance would take longer, be less effective, leave contaminants behind, and cost more in labor and damaged components.
In a business where throughput is high and profit margins are low, ultrasonic cleaners make a huge difference in the everyday operation and maintenance of the equipment.