WAB | Macchine per imbottigliamento  Bottling machinery

© 2014 WAB S.r.l. – Unipersonale
Sede legale:
Strada Provinciale per Neviano 86
43029 Traversetolo PR Italia
Codice Fiscale e Registro Imprese di Parma: Nr. Iscrizione 01931540346
Partita Iva: IT 01931540346
Capitale Sociale: EUR 51.652,00 i.v.

Sterilizers with Hydrogen Peroxide and Steam

This machinery is used in sensitive products filling facilities, where the hygienic conditions of the package represent a crucial variable in preserving the product and its food characteristic.

The Hydrogen Peroxide (HP) technology, activated by steam, is therefore used in the ‘Ultra-Clean’ systems and for the ESL (Extended Shelf Life) products.

Main basis parameters of this kind of system are: the hygienic conditions of both the containers and the caps, the general hygienic conditions of the plant and a careful carry out of all production process sequences and cleaning.

The main goal of treating the container and the cap is reducing to a low level the microbial load injurious to the process.

The process designation is “1N+1V+1R”.

This machinery is usually installed in the filling monoblock, forming a single unit.

Nebulizing starwheel

The starwheel before the rinsing/steaming turret has a particular configuration able to both conveying and treating the containers.

The treatment consists in nebulizing an HP-based solution, at a particular concentration, that covers the container’s internal surface; containers are upright positioned, with their mouth upward.

Nebulization takes place thanks to special air-liquid nozzles able to form the HP “fog”. Nozzles are always centered above the container’s mouth while rotating along with the starwheel. The quantity of HP injected into the container is regulated by electronally-controlled valves (a pair of solenoid valves on each starwheel’s pocket), which dtermine the injection time. The injection time may vary according to the containers’ format and is managed with a method called “by recipe”.

After the nebulization, containers are passed to the steaming/rinsing turret.

An air extraction device with a special fan located outside the monoblock, grants a proper air renewal in the area of the nebulizing starwheel.

Steaming and Rinsing turret

Steaming and rinsing treatments take place when containers are upside down, so that external agents may fall down and the treatment fluids can drain. The steam injection into the containers activates the thin peroxide film. After the steaming, the internal of the container is rinsed by a short sterile water injection, in order to reduce peroxide residual’s quantity, in compliance with the limit normally accepted (0,5 p.p.m.). Nozzles are centered in the container’s mouth as they rotate along with the turret and the gripping heads. The steam and water treatment time is not regulated electronically, its duration is inversely proportional to speed; when necessary, the steaming duration may be fractioned so to avoid significant variations at high and low speeds.

The treatment area is enclosed in a containment tunnel, consisting in a lower and a upper collecting basin and lateral panels. The tunnel is equipped with connections and piping to couple the exhaust fans outside the monoblock, for the steam and peroxide extraction.

Caps decontamination tunnel

The caps feeding channel is fitted out with a decontamination tunnel, where the internal surface of the caps are subjected to the following treatments:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide solution injection
  • Vaporization
  • Drying by air

Caps are treatment while sliding through the channel inside the tunnel. Nozzles are fixed and spray the internal side of the caps.

The treatment area is enclosed in a containment tunnel. The tunnel is equipped with connections and piping to be coupled with an exhaust fan for the steam and Peroxide extraction.

Skid

The skid consists of all those components necessary to handle the treatment fluids (commercial solution of Hydrogen Peroxide, air, water, steam), so to centralize the operator’s control and action during production and to limit space. Thanks to the electronic management, the skid carries out all phases of the production cycle.

It is set to also sanitize all its branches and connecting piping, involving in the final section the distribution manifolds and the nozzles for the treatment.

Electronic control of the Steam and Water treatments

A valve, mounted on every pipe carrying the treatment fluid from the central distributor to the nozzle, is controlled by the PLC and rules the injection time for steam and water. That way the treatment cycle is consistent and independent of the rotation speed (normally, if the machine turns slower the cycle lasts longer).

So doing containers overheating is avoided, which may shrink them or interfere with the filling of the chilled product.

Measuring of the sterilizing fluid concentration.

The Hydrogen Peroxide solution, usually at 35%, is subject to chemical decay, so it may decrease its sterilizing performance.

A sensor, mounted on the piping feeding the treatment devices, continuosly measures the concentration of the sterilizing solution.

In case the sensor measures a concentration lower than what stated by the Quality Assurance dept. of the plant, the machinery will stop and inform the operator.

Caps Stoppers at the several stages of the Sterilizing Tunnel

At the beginning of the production shift, the caps rails are empty and have to be filled down to the capper.

The first caps passing into the empty rails run at a speed which is higher than the nominal one, so their treatment cycles is shorter.

To make sure all the caps crossing the tunnel get at least the nominal cycle, the system stops them where the treatment steps occur and then it releases them.

Bottom Handling (‘BH’) or Neck Handling  (‘NH’)

Both configurations may be realized.

No specific documents are available.

Videos

Sterilization with Hydrogen Peroxide + Steaming + Rinsing :
starwheel and carrousel in production at 24.000 BPH with 15 oz HDPE containers.

Video Gallery

Hygienic procedures:
Cleaning validation after CIP-SIP.

Pictures Gallery