The new filling plant of the established Swiss drinks producer Elmer Citro achieves a capacity of up to 20,000 PET bottles per hour. However, the bottles, which have been filled and sealed, must be dried before they are labeled. Leister Process Technologies, the worldwide leader in industrial hot-air technology, developed a drying system especially for this purpose that blows the water away in uniform coalescent drops.

Filling speed of the PET bottles containing 0.5 to 1.5 liters is essential for profitability. After filling and sealing, the bottles are thoroughly rinsed, and the subsequent high-speed labeling machine can only be loaded with dry bottles. Though very little time is available to dry each bottle, the task was accomplished with a drying system using a blow-off nozzle and a Leister AIRPACK blower.

During this process, a finely concentrated air jet with a nozzle passes by the bottle at high speed so that water drops coalesce evenly and then completely blow away. The gap width of the nozzle can be adjusted to optimize the cross-section of the air jet. The stainless steel nozzle is heat resistant and easy to clean, fulfilling all hygiene requirements within the food industry.

Until now, compressed air was most often used to dry bottles. It is an expensive medium that requires a complex system comprising compressors, compressed-air preparation equipment, distribution pipes and fittings. However, the air for the bottling application can be readily provided by a blower-nozzle system at low operating cost. What’s more, the entire blowing-off system including the nozzle, blower and air heater can be integrated in existing filling plants without a major expenditure.

Hot Air Applications

Hot air is used in a broad range of applications, especially in packaging technology. For many food products, shrink film represents the most consumer-friendly and hygienic form of packaging. Hot air shrinks the seals on wine bottles and other food packages. In addition, stable shrink films join drink bottles to form easily transportable six-packs.

Hot air at regulated temperatures produces a reproducible, efficient shrinking process. Leister Process Technologies is recognized as the market leader in industrial hot-air applications and operates a global network of more than 120 sales and service centers in more than 60 countries.

Leister Process Technologies

Leister offers its customers complete solutions including blowers, hoses and temperature regulators for all hot-air processes. For instance, the air heater includes integrated heating element protection and an alarm output. It can also be connected to a regulator or a PLC device. The power range of the available air heaters is between 400 W and 40 kW with a maximum temperature of 1,652°F (900°C). Thanks to their simple construction, hot-air components - blowers, air heaters, hot-air blowers, nozzles, temperature regulators, among others - are well suited for simple integration in machines and plants.

Contact Leister at phone: +41 41 662 74 74; fax: +41 41 662 74 16;; or