It’s mid-summer in Dallas. It’s hot. The heat is inescapable in the warehouse and shop, in spite of the hardworking air conditioner and oversized ceiling fans. At 3:30 pm, the end of the workday for the first shift, someone arrives carrying ice cold soda to share. The cans are quickly grabbed and relished as the condensation of the cold can drips onto the scorching pavement.
Some of the people who work in the shop do not know the purpose and use of the products that they make. They know how to bend the metal, assemble the blower, or crate the finished product to ship. Seizing on a moment of potential insight, I blurt out, “You know, condensation is one of the packing problems we often fix.” My comment is met with a mixture of polite interest and total indifference. Regardless, I proceed with my rough explanation.
It’s not just condensation that we “cure”, but residual moisture on cans and bottles irrespective of the moisture’s cause. Sometimes bottlers use a hot-fill process that creates condensation on the bottle. More often, as bottles and cans are rinsed after being filled and sealed, the residual water needs to be removed. Wet bottles and cans lead to unattractive water spots, smeared stamps, labels peeling or attaching crookedly, or damaged packaging.
As cans or bottles move along a conveyor belt, the stream of air from the air knives quickly hits the can/bottle wiping away the moisture on both sides. Cans usually have another swipe of air from the top, while bottles will often use a nozzle to blow underneath the cap. Once the process is complete, the bottle or can is 99.9% dry. It’s ready to be packed and shipped.
By the end of this brief description, I still have a couple of people mildly interested. I rattle off a few big-name companies who use our air knife systems for this exact application to add credibility to my claim. In fact, the soda they are drinking now is a customer and the cans we are holding likely passed through a Republic Air Knife System. We finish our soda and head home. After all, the workday is over.
If you want to see our air knives in action, visit our booth at Pack Expo. We will be in Booth 7527. Register as our guest at the following link: http://packexpolasvegas19.nvytes.co/pelv19/registration/77U25.html. We would love to see you!