Tag Archives: Industry

Using a Nitrogen Purge in the Food and Beverage Industry

A simple nitrogen purge system can greatly benefit packagers in the Food and Beverage Industry by removing oxygen from a container. Replacing oxygen with nitrogen – either just before performing the fill, just after the fill or right before capping a container – can prolong the product’s shelf life while preserving the taste, color and texture of the food or beverage.

To understand how the nitrogen purge system works, consider the packaging process and the effects of oxygen on foods and beverages. On automatic packaging lines, bottles and/or other containers will be loaded on to a power conveyor system using a laning conveyor, a loading turntable, using manual labor or in some other manner. Of course, the bottles that are loaded on to the conveyor are empty, and in the Food and Beverage Industry will likely travel through a rinsing machine or other container cleaning machinery to remove dust and debris prior to continuing down the packaging line.

While the container cleaning equipment helps keep the packaging process sanitary and removes dust and debris build up, it does not have the same benefits as using a nitrogen purge system. While container cleaning equipment helps keep the product free from outside contaminants, nitrogen purge creates an atmosphere that assists in prolonging the useful life of a product.

Once rinsed or otherwise cleaned, containers will normally move to the filling machine. At this point, a nitrogen purge can be set up to inject nitrogen into a container before the container is filled with product. The main reason for using a nitrogen purge before a fill, however, is usually not the preservation referred to above. Instead, adding nitrogen to an empty container can strengthen the container, making it more rigid. This is especially useful for certain plastic bottles (like certain water bottles, for example) that are truly manufactured to be a rather flimsy bottle, sometimes to simply save on cost.

More often than not, a nitrogen purge system will be found between the filling machine and capping equipment on a packaging line. Once the container has been filled with a food or beverage product, some headspace will remain – the empty space between the product and the top of the bottle. This headspace, when not run through a nitrogen purge system, can have a detrimental effect on food and beverage products.

In a normal environment, the headspace will be filled with some oxygen. Long term contact with oxygen can lead to the deterioration of food products. When in a closed container, oxidation can destroy vitamins and nutrients as well as help to create an atmosphere for the breeding of certain bacteria and other contaminants that lead to spoiling. Using the nitrogen purge system removes the oxygen from the headspace, replacing it with nitrogen gas to counteract the negative aspects noted above. As bottles or containers leave the filling machine, or as they enter the capping machine, a purging head will blast the headspace with nitrogen gas. Immediately capping or otherwise sealing the containers minimizes the oxygen captured in the headspace. The result, less oxidation and an environment less likely to foster bacteria and other contaminants, which in turn leads to a longer shelf life and the retention of the normal taste, color and texture of the food or beverage product.

Nitrogen purge systems can be manufactured in many different shapes, sizes and forms. Single head machines can attach directly to a conveyor system to purge each bottle as it passes under the purge machine. Other nitrogen purge machines may be manufactured with multiple heads on a single frame, allowing the machine to roll up to an existing packaging line. In general, each nitrogen purge system will be manufactured based on the project for which it is built, with production demands and the existing equipment greatly influencing the design.

Is Your Company Ready For Industry 4.0 Transformation?

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is the 4th industrial revolution. To give a little history, industries used steam to make the machine work which increased production and reduced cost in the industrial revolution. The next phase of the revolution was the mass production with implementing electricity and assembly lines. The third revolution introduced automation and computers. We are now here in the fourth revolution through digitizing and networking where we can connect the digital world with the physical world.

With hassle free wireless networking you educate the machine. Earlier the intelligence lied with the humans and machines just helped with the physical work, but now we can educate the machine and the products itself, also get a virtual image. Using Internet of Things (IOT) you can connect all the physical machines with software, networks and censors and they would exchange data with each other making human life and production much more simpler.

How many hours have you spent to hire a mechanic because your machine stopped working and the mechanic failed to understand what went wrong with the machine? With Industry 4.0, the machine will tell you what part has been failed and what has to be replaced. With artificial intelligence, it also tells you which spare parts need to be fixed.

Why Transform to Industry 4.0?

The Cyber Physical systems enable your product to communicate with your machine. Your product will instruct the machine as to the quantity and the type of product that needs to be produced, and the machine is then produces and labels the products. After detecting the product, you can never go wrong with packaging, also your quality check has been performed by the machine while packaging itself.

Industry 4.0 allows you to have a flexible manufacturing process that will better react to customer demands. This new manufacturing technology reduces your cost of production, cost of wastage, reduces errors, increases efficiency due to usage of robotics, yields higher revenue, improves customer service and increases innovation. It also allows you to create a virtual image of the real world using 3D printers and help you test your product and know your contingencies beforehand which would allow you to change the process in order to avoid the contingency before you even start your production.

You don’t need to manually check your stock. You can add a censor to your forklift and your products, and while stacking up your goods, you get the data of the quality, description, weights and dimension as well as the location of the product. This would immensely reduce errors and damages.

Feed your machines, knowledge of automated systems with this new manufacturing trend and let them communicate with each other while you see your profits rise up high and costs go low.