Bevco recently completed a project for a customer who needed to integrate a cap sterilizer and evaporative cooling tunnel into their production line. Bevco designed and built a system consisting of a 28 foot ZPPI (Zero Pressure Product Inverter) cap sterilizer, 22.5 foot evaporative cooling tunnel, and a single filer/combiner and conveyors to tie into the existing production line. The customer runs various sized and shaped containers on their production line, so all guide rails needed to be adjustable to accommodate these variations. The product needed to be cooled from 200F to 100F, and controls for the machinery were also required. All conveyors required variable frequency drives to adjust line speeds to meet production needs.
The ZPPI (Zero Pressure Product Inverter) Cap Sterilizer
The ZPPI Cap sterilizer rotates a container onto its side so that the hot liquid inside makes contact with the inner side of the lid for a specified period of time, killing any bacteria. The bottle is then tipped back right side up and sent into an evaporative cooling tunnel.
Evaporative Cooling Tunnel
The required cooling time to 100F varies for the different container shapes and sizes that the customer uses. To increase or decrease the amount of time a product spends in the cooler, the chain speed of the cooler can be adjusted from 0 to 1.2 feet per minute. The cooler uses a cold water spray and air convection to drop the temperature of the liquid inside the containers to 100F. The cooler is designed to conserve water by re-circulating it through the cooling system, however cold water is added to the system if the cooling water temperature gets above the designated threshold temperature.
The bottles come out of the cooler in bulk and are fed into a combiner which takes the bottles to single file. They are then transported to a labeler and packer.
Bevco supplied a control panel for the cap sterilizer and a control panel for the evaporative cooling tunnel. Both panels allow the user to speed up or slow down any chain to optimize the product flow on the line. Switches and sensors relay information to each control panel to let it know when there is a product backup and when flow resumes. Each control panel is also fitted with emergency stop buttons. The cooling tunnel control panel regulates the temperature of the cooling water and controls all the motors for the water pumps, fans and blowers. The user can turn on or off any motor or pump individually from the cooler control panel.