We recently added new equipment that helps increase the efficiency of our pasteurization process.
The first piece of equipment is the milk filler.
The filler ensures that all bottles are filled to the precise amount each time. As you can see in the video below, the milk travels from the flask through a stainless-steel straw and silicon tube that is latched into place on the machine.
The machine limits the amount of milk that is dispensed into the bottles through a stainless-steel funnel. After each batch of milk, the tubing is changed and the stainless-steel pieces are thoroughly washed and sanitized.
The second piece of equipment we’ve added is our handheld capping tool.
The “capper” spins and tightens the cap on each bottle and when the proper torque is reached, it stops. This is key to making sure caps are consistent and sealed tight.
Also, we have upgraded our induction sealer. After the capper, the bottles go on the conveyor belt of the sealer and under an induction heater head. The head of the unit creates an electromagnetic field that heats only the foil seals inside the lids. While the sealer is sometimes called a heater, it doesn’t put off heat like a space heater.
In addition, the sealer has sensors on it which can detect if a cap is missing foil, is loose or if it is crooked. The bottles that are found to have a fault are rejected and then inspected by a pasteurization technician who will either rebottle the milk or replace the lid and seal it again.
Last, but certainly not least is the mixer. The mixer is used to gently homogenize the milk to achieve complete consistency throughout an entire batch.
This process was previously done by hand, with no way to continuously mix the milk during the bottling process. Now, we can gently mix the milk while it is being dispensed into the prepared bottles.
It has taken a process that was once 20 minutes and reduced it down to five, as well as helping to reduce the physical strain on the technicians and achieving better consistency for the thousands of bottles we fill each week.
While all of the equipment is a great addition for us, we still take the extra step to recheck seals because we want to make sure our bottles arrive at hospitals in tip-top shape. In fact, we will still use the by hand methods when needed.