Concept

Bottling line

Summary
Bottling lines are production lines that fill a product, generally a beverage, into bottles on a large scale. Many prepared foods are also bottled, such as sauces, syrups, marinades, oils and vinegars. Packaging of bottled beer typically involves drawing the product from a holding tank and filling it into bottles in a filling machine (filler), which are then capped, labeled and packed into cases or cartons. Many smaller breweries send their bulk beer to large facilities for contract bottling—though some will bottle by hand. Virtually all beer bottles are glass. The first step in bottling beer is depalletising, where the empty bottles are removed from the original pallet packaging delivered from the manufacturer, so that individual bottles may be handled. The bottles may then be rinsed with filtered water or air, and may have carbon dioxide injected into them in attempt to reduce the level of oxygen within the bottle. The bottle then enters a "filler" which fills the bottle with beer and may also inject a small amount of inert gas (usually carbon dioxide or nitrogen) on top of the beer to disperse the oxygen, as oxygen can ruin the quality of the product via oxidation. Finally, the bottles go through a "capper", which applies a bottle cap, sealing the bottle. A few beers are bottled with a cork and cage. Next the bottle enters a labelling machine ("labeller") where a label is applied. To ensure traceability of the product, a lot number, generally the date and time of bottling, may also be printed on the bottle. The product is then packed into boxes and warehoused, ready for sale. Depending on the magnitude of the bottling endeavor, there are many different types of bottling machinery available. Liquid level machines fill bottles so they appear to be filled to the same line on every bottle, while volumetric filling machines fill each bottle with exactly the same amount of liquid. Overflow pressure fillers are the most popular machines with beverage makers, while gravity filling machines are most cost effective.
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