US20110154785A1 - Method and device for combined production and filling of containers made of plastic - Google Patents

Method and device for combined production and filling of containers made of plastic Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110154785A1
US20110154785A1 US13/060,079 US200913060079A US2011154785A1 US 20110154785 A1 US20110154785 A1 US 20110154785A1 US 200913060079 A US200913060079 A US 200913060079A US 2011154785 A1 US2011154785 A1 US 2011154785A1
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Prior art keywords
spray mist
plastic container
filling
mist
cooling spray
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Abandoned
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US13/060,079
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Thomas Stolte
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KHS GmbH
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KHS GmbH
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Priority to DE102008048812.7 priority Critical
Priority to DE102008048812A priority patent/DE102008048812A1/en
Application filed by KHS GmbH filed Critical KHS GmbH
Priority to PCT/EP2009/003467 priority patent/WO2010034363A1/en
Assigned to KHS GMBH reassignment KHS GMBH ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: STOLTE, THOMAS
Publication of US20110154785A1 publication Critical patent/US20110154785A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B3/00Packaging plastic material, semiliquids, liquids or mixed solids and liquids, in individual containers or receptacles, e.g. bags, sacks, boxes, cartons, cans, or jars
    • B65B3/02Machines characterised by the incorporation of means for making the containers or receptacles
    • B65B3/022Making containers by moulding of a thermoplastic material
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C35/00Heating, cooling or curing, e.g. crosslinking or vulcanising; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C35/16Cooling
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C49/00Blow-moulding, i.e. blowing a preform or parison to a desired shape within a mould; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C49/42Component parts, details or accessories; Auxiliary operations
    • B29C49/64Heating or cooling preforms, parisons or blown articles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C35/00Heating, cooling or curing, e.g. crosslinking or vulcanising; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C35/16Cooling
    • B29C2035/1691Cooling using gas-liquid mixtures

Abstract

The invention relates to a method and to a device for combined production and filling of containers (1) made of plastic, particularly of plastic bottles (1). Each container (1) is thereby first produced by a thermal forming process. The container (1) is then transferred to a filling device or filling machine (3) and cooled during said transfer. The container (1) is filled with a product medium in the filling device (3). According to the invention, the container (1) is cooled during the transfer by applying a spray mist (8).

Description

  • The invention relates to a method and a device for the combined production and filling of containers made of plastics material, in particular plastics material bottles, according to which method the respective container is produced by means of a thermal moulding process, is then transferred to a filling device and is cooled down during said transfer, and according to which the container is finally filled in the filling device with a product medium.
  • Such a method has been made known generally speaking by DE 43 26 601 A1. Over and above this, reference is made to the article “From the blow moulding machine directly into the filling machine” by authors Dr. Sven Fischer and Dr. Christian Detrois of Krones AG (Company publication 3-2002, page 105 ff.). The last-mentioned publication describes how PET bottles produced by means of a blow moulding machine are cooled and stabilized by means of cooling measures directly after their production to such an extent that directly afterwards they are able to be filled with the product medium in the filling device. This case in example is a product containing CO2, which is filled under preliminary pressure, consequently making raised demands on the mechanical stability of the PET bottle produced directly beforehand.
  • In order to achieve this stability, within the framework of the known method of operation, the bottles are sprayed from the outside with cooled water. This is disadvantageous as it results in an increased water demand or the discharged water has to be prepared in an expensive manner if it is to be returned into the circuit. These result in not inconsiderable costs.
  • Quite unrelated to this, when producing hollow bodies made of thermoplastic plastics material in a contoured blowing mould, cooling the hollow body by blowing a cooling medium into the interior is known from practice.
  • Another possibility for cooling is described in DE 10 2004 023 419 A1, where the plastics material bottles produced run through a cooling tunnel for active cooling, said tunnel cooling the bottles at least in a regional manner.—The described methods of operation for cooling are relatively expensive and energy-intensive. This is what the invention wishes remedy.
  • The technical problem underlying the invention is to develop further a method and a device of the aforementioned embodiment such that the energy efficiency is increased and the costs when accomplishing the method are reduced.
  • To solve this technical problem, the invention proposes with a generic method that, during its transfer (after the thermal moulding process), each container produced is cooled by the application of a spray mist. In this case it is obvious that the cooling is effected or carried out largely such that, directly afterwards, the cooled container in question is able to be filled in the filling device with the product medium. In this case there is no restriction either on products containing CO2, which are filled under preliminary pressure, requiring the container made of plastics material or the plastics material bottles to be sufficiently stable immediately so that they do not burst during the filling process or become damaged in any other way.
  • In this case it has proved especially advantageous when the production of the container in the thermal moulding process and the filling of the same follow one another directly, that is to say a combined production and filling is effected by the two associated devices ultimately forming one structural unit. In this case, the containers are guided between a blow moulding machine, to be produced through the thermal moulding process, and the filling device by way of a transfer section, which is an integral component of said structural unit. This means that a space-saving, cost-efficient development is made available, rendering superfluous any cleaning procedures that are necessary whenever there is a need for a longer conveying path or even storage of the produced containers once they have been produced and before the filling process.
  • Cooling the containers during their transfer by means of the spray mist according to the invention directly after their production achieves, according to the invention, that the containers are cooled immediately on entry into the filling device at least to an extent that they are able to be filled with practically any conceivable product medium, that is also with beverages containing CO2. I.e. the bottles or containers are in an immediate ready-for-use state as they enter the filling device.
  • In this case, it has proved of particular value when the spray mist only impinges upon selected regions of the container. For, in operation, the spray mist is distributed often and in the shortest time within the entire filling device and/or the transfer section. As a result of this, any ingress into, for example, a bottle opening must be prevented in order to prevent the spray mist mixing with the next product medium to be filled. I.e. the container is divided on its outside surface and according to an advantageous development in general into a spray-mist-free region and a spray-mist-charged region. Obviously, more spray-mist-free regions and spray-mist-charged regions can be realized on the outside surface of the container.
  • In order to realize the separation into the spray-mist-free region and the spray-mist-charged region on the outside surface of the container in detail, means are regularly provided for guiding and/or defining the spray mist. Said means can be an atomizing device for liquid and a compressed gas unit within the framework of a spray mist machine. For in this manner, the atomized liquid can be applied in a targeted stream, under pressure, onto the respective container. To this end, an outlet tube with outlet nozzle may contribute to this purpose in a supplementary manner at the end of the spray mist machine, ultimately ensuring that the spray mist actually only precipitates on the desired spray-mist-charged region of the container, the spray-mist-free region of the container otherwise remaining unimpinged.
  • However, as an alternative to this or in addition to it, the means for guiding and/or defining the spray mist can also be a shut-off device, which seals off the spray mist machine from spray-mist-free regions of the container. In this case, it is ensured as it were in a mechanical manner that the container is divided on its outside surface into the spray-mist-charged region and the spray-mist-free region. The shut-off device is actually responsible for this. In the simplest case, said shut-off device may seal off the spray mist machine in the form of a shut-off baffle or shut-off plate, the containers just being guided through a slot in the shut-off device. The outside surfaces of the respective container, which are situated in the region of the spray mist machine, are impinged upon with the spray mist and define the spray-mist-charged region of the container. On the other side of the shut-off device, contrary to this, no impinging with the spring mist takes place such that the spray-mist-free region of the associated container is automatically set there.
  • As a further possibility for realizing a means for guiding and/or defining the spray mist, the invention proposes a gas stream device. Said gas stream device creates a preferably sterile gas stream or also air stream, which impinges upon the spray-mist-free regions of the container in order to hold the spray mist at bay. In this case, therefore, a shut-off device is not necessarily required. Neither is it important whether the spray mist impinges upon the container in a directed or undirected manner. For the gas stream leaving the gas stream device ensures that the spray-mist-free region of the container is impinged upon with said gas stream or is guided through a corresponding gas stream veil which means that spray mist cannot precipitate onto the container at this position.
  • According to an advantageous development of the invention, the afore-described means can be combined together in an arbitrary manner. I.e. the atomizing device including compressed gas unit, outlet tube and outlet nozzle of the spray mist machine can be combined with the described shut-off device and/or the gas stream device. In the same way it is possible to realize the shut-off device and the gas stream device at the same time or the gas stream device and the atomizing device including compressed air unit, output tube and outlet nozzle. Obviously all three described measures can be combined in order to achieve a particularly efficient separation between each spray-mist-free and spray-mist-charged region of the container and in particular to ensure that no spray mist can pass into the interior of the container.
  • In this case, to sum up, it has proved of value when the spray mist is applied on the container at least in regions of large material thickness, for example in the bottom region. I.e. the bottom region coincides as it were with the spray-mist-charged region of the container, whereas the mouth region and in the majority of cases also the outside region of the container represent the spray-mist-free region. Through these measures, the invention takes account of the fact that the addressed regions of greater material thickness have to be cooled particularly, because through an accumulation of plastics material at this point and on account of its lesser heat conduction, temperature peaks would otherwise be observed in these regions and this would not allow a filling process to follow on directly.
  • At all events it is advisable to cool in particular the regions of greater material thickness in a targeted manner, whereas the remaining regions of the container are cooled sufficiently in the majority of cases by the transfer as such, namely through direct heat radiation or on account of convection with the surrounding air.—The regions of greater material thickness are not just the bottom region. The mouth region of the container or of the plastics material bottle, in particular, can also undergo the treatment.
  • Generally speaking, the spray mist is made up by a gas and a liquid finely atomized in said gas. As a rule, the gas is air. In the generally pressurized air, the liquid, for example water, is finely atomized to form droplets. The liquid present in the spray mist can be used in an advantageous manner for evaporative cooling of the container. The compressed air necessary for this is availably anyway in the majority of cases so that expensive installation work is not necessary.
  • In reality, the finely atomized droplets of liquid, on account of being transported with the compressed air, form a (thin) liquid film after they have been applied onto the container. Said liquid film evaporates because the container, as carrier, has a higher temperature. At the same time the container cools down.
  • For example, at the entry to the transfer section and directly after the blow moulding machine, temperatures for the produced containers made of plastics material are observed within the range of in excess of 70° C. Said temperatures can be up to 90° C. or even higher. If a thin liquid film of water is then applied onto such a container, the temperature of the container immediately ensures that the liquid film evaporates. As a result of this, the container cools down primarily in the regions in which the liquid film is present (evaporative cooling). On account of the temperature conditions it is also clear that water is particularly suitable in an advantageous manner as liquid for producing the finely atomized liquids in the spray mist. Obviously, other liquids are also conceivable and are included by the invention. This depends on the temperatures that each container produced from plastics material reaches after its thermal moulding process.
  • In this case, it has also proved particularly favourable when the container is impinged upon repeatedly with the spray mist during its transfer. A particularly preferred variant provides in this conjunction that the spray mist is applied again as a function of a residual amount of liquid remaining on the container after the evaporative cooling. In this case, the residual amount of liquid on the container can be determined for the greatest part in a contactless manner, for example by ultrasound, or in an optical or similar manner.
  • All in all, the achievement of the repeated impingement of the container with the spray mist during its transfer is that the previously specified temperatures of 70° C. or more are reduced directly after the thermal moulding process to values of 50° C. or less. On account of said clear temperature reduction, which is achieved after a few seconds, it is possible to fill the containers cooled in this manner directly with the desired product medium as a rule within a time period of less than 10 seconds or less than 5 seconds. In this case, the mentioned transfer times of less than 10 seconds and preferably even less than 5 seconds make it clear that the blow moulding machine and the filling machine can be assembled together or interlocked to form one structural unit.
  • For the previously specified transfer times correspond to transfer sections that are conventionally within the range of one meter or less, which have to be covered in such machines in any case. This means that the device according to the invention advantageously goes back to a combination machine that is produced by the blow moulding machine and the filling machine with a transfer section connected in between.
  • In this case the effectiveness of the treatment with the spray mist can be increased even more when the residual amount of liquid remaining on the container is initially determined before the (next) application of a spray mist. Said residual amount of liquid can be estimated via its layer thickness connected to a liquid film. The layer thickness on the container can be determined in a contactless manner, for example by ultrasound or also in an optical manner. Depending on whether the layer thickness and the residual amount of liquid on the container calculated therefrom have fallen below a certain threshold, a mandatory control unit ensures that the container is impinged upon again with the spray mist as a function of said residual amount of liquid.
  • This can be undertaken such that a plurality of spray nozzles or spray mist machines for applying the spray mist and measuring devices for determining the thickness of the film of the residual amount of liquid are located along the transfer section. In this case the spray nozzles or spray mist machines and the aforementioned measuring devices can alternate along the transfer section, for example they can be arranged alternating with one another.
  • The spray nozzle as a component part of the spray mist machine, generally speaking, is situated on the outlet side of the atomizing device for the liquid. The atomizing device, generally speaking, is combined with the compressed gas unit, which applies the atomized liquid in a targeted stream under pressure onto the respective container. In reality, the spray mist leaves the spray nozzle on the outlet side of the atomizing device, or of an outlet nozzle at the end of an outlet tube. In this case, the atomizing device can be opened and closed by the aforementioned control unit. The spray nozzle or outlet nozzle, in this case, advantageously sets the region of the container that is wetted with the spray mist, that is to say the spray-mist-charged region. As a rule, this refers—as already mentioned—to the regions of the container that have a particularly large material thickness, for example the bottom region.
  • As a result, a method and a device are described, which are particularly suitable for the combined production and filling of containers made of plastics material. In reality, the invention has recognized that the containers can be cooled down with a spray mist during their transfer from the blow moulding machine to the filling device or filling machine. This means that water consumption is reduced to a minimum, which leads to significant energy savings compared to previous methods of operation. In addition, there are practically no problems, where applicable, with unfiltered water.
  • This means that apart from the energy savings and the small water requirement, no cooling water is drained off which would then have to be prepared and/or collected in an expensive manner. These are the essential advantages.
  • The invention is explained below by way of a drawing representing just one exemplary embodiment, in which, in detail:
  • FIG. 1 shows a general view of the device according to the invention,
  • FIG. 2 shows a top view of the transfer section in detail,
  • FIG. 3 shows a modified embodiment and
  • FIG. 4 shows a variant of the invention modified again.
  • FIG. 1 shows a device for the combined production and filling of plastics material containers 1, in this case plastics material bottles 1. This is a combination machine by way of which the bottles or containers 1 in question are produced in a thermal moulding process in a blow moulding machine 2 and are then filled in a filling machine 3 with a product medium, in the present case, but not in a restrictive manner, with a carbonated beverage. A transfer section 4, which is also associated with the basic design, is connected between the blow moulding machine 2 and the filling device or filling machine 3.
  • By way of FIG. 2 it can be seen that the transfer section 4 is provided with a cooling device 5 in order to cool down the plastics material bottles 1 originating directly from the blow moulding machine 2 before they reach the filling machine 3. According to the invention, the cooling device 5 is realized as a spray mist machine. In detail said spray mist machine comprises a spray nozzle 5 a at the front, an atomizing device 5 b and a compressed gas unit 5 c. By way of the compressed gas unit 5 c the liquid atomized by the atomizing device 5 b is directed in a targeted stream via the spray nozzle 5 a onto each container or plastics material bottle 1 to be treated.
  • In this case the design in FIG. 2 is selected such that the spray mist machine 5 or its spray nozzle 5 a impinges upon the container or the plastics material bottle 1 at the bottom or wall such that a liquid film 6 precipitates at this location on the container or the plastics material bottle 1. To this end, the container 1 or the plastics material bottle 1 may be rotated when passing over the transfer section 4 but this is not compulsory.
  • In the exemplary embodiment, to this end the containers or the plastic material bottles 1 are conveyed in a suspended manner by means of a neck guide through the transfer section 4 and are free in the bottom region. As the bottom region of the containers or the plastics material bottles 1 is kept free from below, the liquid film 6 can be applied from below in a targeted manner advantageously onto the centre of the bottle bottom. This is because, according to experience, the largest accumulation of the material for the production of the plastics material bottle 1 occurs at this location. This is naturally only to be understood as an example and is no way restrictive.
  • At all events the container or the plastics material bottle 1 is cooled down through the application of a spray mist 8. By the spray mist 8 being applied on the container 1 at least in regions of great material thickness, for example in the bottom region, temperature peaks in these regions are avoided.
  • As liquid for the impingement of the atomizing device 5 b, the invention recommends water. The gas in the compressed gas unit 5 c is air. By the spray mist 8 or the liquid present therein being precipitated as a liquid film 6 on and around the container 1, evaporative cooling of the container 1 is achieved.
  • It can be seen in the representation in FIG. 2 that the container or the plastics material bottle 1 is impinged upon repeatedly with the spray mist 8 during its path along the transfer section 4. In this case, the impingement of the container 1 is effected as a function of a residual amount of liquid remaining after the previous evaporative cooling. This means that the container 1 is initially impinged upon by means of the first spray mist machine 5. Then the container 1 continues on its path indicated in FIG. 2 by an arrow along the transfer section 4 and encounters a measuring device 7. The thickness or layer thickness of the liquid film 6 on the container 1 can be determined by way of said measuring device 7. In so far as the layer thickness has fallen below a certain measurement or there is no more liquid at all on the container 1 at this position, after passing the measuring device 7 the container 1 in question is impinged upon once again with a spray mist 8 from a spray mist machine 5′ connected downstream.
  • It can be seen that the respective spray mist machines 5, 5′ and the measuring device 7 are located alternately along the transfer section 4. In addition, both the spray mist machine 5, 5′ and the measuring device 7 are located in the transfer section 4 or along the transfer section 4. For reasons of measuring reliability, the liquid film 6 or its layer thickness is determined twice by means of the measuring device 7 at oppositely situated positions, this being in no way compulsory but carried out for reasons of precision.
  • FIG. 1 shows detail of the blow moulding machine 2 which, as usual, moulds the bottle or the container 1 from a preform, also called a premould. In this case, the mouth or closure region of the preform already has the final shape. A method is also known where the container 1 is moulded from a tube of hot mouldable plastics material. This then occurs in such a manner that the tube in question is produced or extruded perpendicularly downward into an associated tool. In the case of the method usual today, the preform is heated, held in a cavity and surrounded by said cavity. Then a mandrel moves from above into the preform and compressed air is pressed into the preform, thereby inflating said preform and pressing it against the contour of the blow moulding tool (cavity) and where applicable partially cooling it. The shape of the desired plastics material bottle 1 is provided in this way, said aforementioned method being known in principle. According to the invention, the compressed air for the described blow moulding operation can also be utilized for the impingement of the compressed gas unit 5 c, therefore being supplied to an additional use.
  • The plastics material bottle 1 or the container 1, once it has left the blow moulding machine 2, still has a temperature that as a rule is in excess of 70° C. or more. The plastics material bottle 1 is cooled, preferably in the region of its greatest material thickness, as a rule in the bottom region, along the transfer section 4. This is achieved by the application of the spray mist 8 by way of the spray mist machine 5 or the several spray mist machines 5, 5′ along the transfer section 4.
  • As a result of this, temperatures of the plastics material bottle 1 at the outlet of the transfer section 4 are, as a rule, less than 50°. The treatment time or cooling time of the plastics material bottle 1 in the majority of cases is not even 5 seconds. This means the blow moulding machine 2 and the filling device or filling machine 3 can be directly interlocked or assembled to form one structural unit. The transfer section 4 is consequently an integral component part of said combination machine made up by the blow moulding machine 2 and the filling machine 3.
  • In the variant shown in FIG. 3, the spray nozzle or outlet nozzle 5 a for the spray mist is situated at the end of an outlet tube 9 of the spray mist machine 5 or 5′. In this case, the outlet tube 9 or the spray nozzle or outlet nozzle 5 a is directed onto the bottom region of the plastics material bottle 1. The plastics material bottle 1, in this case, is conveyed in the transport section in a rotating manner by means of a carousel which is simply indicated. The spray mist machine 5 or 5′ may once again have the atomizing device 5 b for liquid, in particular water, and the compressed gas unit 5 c, which are not represented explicitly within the framework of FIG. 3.—The atomizing device 5 b, the compressed gas unit 5 c, the outlet tube 9 and finally the spray nozzle or outlet nozzle 5 a are altogether means 5 a, 5 b, 5 c, 9, which are used for guiding the spray mist leaving the spray nozzle 5 a.
  • These means 5 a, 5 b, 5 c, 9 for guiding and/or defining the spray mist are supplemented within the framework of the representation in FIG. 3 by additional means 10 in the form of a shut-off device at that location. By way of said shut-off device 10 or shut-off plate, the spray mist machine 5, 5′ is sealed off primarily from a mouth 1 a of the container or of the plastics material bottle 1. In reality, these means 5 a, 5 b, 5 c, 9: 10 together ensure that a spray-mist region 11 a and a spray-mist-charged region 11 b are defined on the outside surface of the container or of the plastics material bottle 1. In reality, the shut-off device 10 seals off the spray mist machine 5, 5′ from the spray-mist-free region 11 a of the container 1.
  • For this purpose, the shut-off device 10 has a gap or slot 12, which is adapted to the outside dimensions of the container or plastics material bottle 1. The plastics material bottles 1 are guided along the transfer section 4 through said gap or slot 12, in the case in example of the carousel they are guided in a circular manner. This ensures that the spray mist 8 leaving the spray nozzle 5 a is kept away from the spray-mist-free region 11 a of the plastics material bottle 1 and in particular from the bottle mouth which means that spray mist 8 cannot pass into the interior of the plastics material bottle 1.
  • Within the framework of the invention, the height H of the shut-off device 10 can be modified, as is indicated by the double arrow in FIG. 3. This means that different formats of plastics material bottles 1 can easily be processed and ultimately the extent of the spray-mist-free region 11 a and that of the spray-mist-charged region 11 b can be adjusted in a variable manner corresponding to requirements. Obviously it is also possible to modify a width B of the gap or slot 12 depending on the format of the plastics material bottles 1. In this way, all marketable plastics material bottles 1, for example from a 0.5 l bottle to a 2.5 l bottle, can be processed easily using the device shown.
  • Within the framework of the additional variant in FIG. 4, an additional means 13 is also provided in the form of a gas stream device 13 in order to obtain a guiding and/or defining of the spray mist 8. In reality, a gas stream indicated by arrows emerges from the gas stream device 13 in a directed manner. Said gas stream is directed onto the spray-mist-free region 11 a of the container or of the plastics material bottle 1, in the present case forming a gas stream veil which impinges primarily upon the bottle opening 1 a. Moreover, the gas stream is also directed onto the slot or gap 12 and may be sucked off along the slot or gap 12, a suction device 14 (simply indicated) ensuring this. However this is not urgently necessary.
  • At all events, the achievement of the gas stream device 13 or of the gas stream leaving said device is that the plastics material bottle 1 is impinged upon in the spray-mist-free region 11 a with a gas stream veil, which prevents spray mist 8 from precipitating on the plastics material bottle 1 in this region. For this purpose, the gas stream may be a sterile air stream that prevents bacteria passing into the bottle interior via the bottle mouth 1 a. In addition, the air used for the gas stream or the gas is obviously dried in order to prevent liquid precipitation on the plastics material bottle 1 in the spray-mist-free region 11 a. In the majority of cases, volume streams that correspond to a gas speed of ca. 0.1 m/sec are worked with but this is obviously only as an example and is no way to be seen as compulsory.
  • In the case of the variant in FIG. 4, the entire transfer section 4 is consequently situated in an enclosure 15, which at the same time is provided with the shut-off device 10 in the interior, for example in the form of an intermediate wall or an intermediate floor. In this case, the shut-off device 10 or the intermediate floor separates the gas stream device 13 in the upper part of the enclosure 15 from the spray mist machine 5 or 5′ in the bottom part.
  • The means 5 a, 5 b, 5 c, 9; 10, 13; 14 for guiding and/or defining the spray mist 8 can ensure, individually or in arbitrary combination with each other, that the plastics material bottle 1 is divided on its outside surface into the desired spray-mist-free region 11 a and the spray-mist-charged region 11 b. Moreover, the extent and shape of the respective spray-mist-free region 11 a and the spray-mist-charged region 11 b can be defined and preset by way of said means 5 a, 5 b, 5 c, 9; 10; 13; 14. To this end, a control unit, not represented explicitly and already addressed in the introduction, may be realized. Said control unit ensures the actuation of the blow moulding machine 2, the filling machine 3 and the transfer section 4 as well as the impinging of the spray mist machine 5 or 5′. In addition, by means of said control unit account can be taken of the format of the plastics material bottle to be processed in each case by the height H of the shut-off device 10 or of the intermediate bottom inside the enclosure 15 being varied. The same may apply to the gap 12, the size of which can be controlled in a remote manner.

Claims (21)

1. A method for the combined production and filling of plastic containers, said method comprising:
producing a plastic container using a thermal moulding process;
applying a cooling spray mist to said plastic container while transferring said plastic container to a filling device; and
at the filling device, filling said plastic container with a product medium.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein applying the cooling spray mist comprises causing the cooling spray mist to impinge only upon selected regions of the plastic container.
3. The method of claim 1, further comprising guiding and/or defining the cooling spray mist.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein applying the cooling spray mist comprises is applying the cooling spray mist onto the bottom region of the plastic container.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein applying the cooling spray mist comprises applying a gas in which are suspended finely atomized drops of water.
6. The method of claim 1, further comprising using liquid present in the cooling spray mist for evaporative cooling of the plastic container.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein applying a cooling spray mist comprises causing the plastic container to be impinged upon repeatedly with the cooling spray mist while transferring the plastic container to the filling device.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein applying a cooling spray mist comprises applying the cooling spray mist in response to an extent of a residual amount of liquid remaining on the plastic container after the evaporative cooling.
9. The method of claim 8, further comprising determining the extent of the residual amount of liquid on the plastic container in a contactless manner.
10. An apparatus for the combined production and filling of plastic containers, said apparatus comprising:
a blow moulding machine for producing a plastic container,
a filling machine for filling the plastic container with a product medium,
a transfer section disposed between the blow moulding machine and the filling machine, and
a cooling spray mist machine disposed in or on said transfer section for cooling the plastic container by applying a cooling spray mist thereto.
11. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising means for guiding and/or defining the cooling spray mist.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the means for guiding and/or defining the cooling spray mist comprises
an atomizing device for atomizing a liquid,
a compressed gas unit for applying the atomized liquid in a targeted stream onto the plastic container, and
a nozzle at an end of an outlet tube of the spray mist machine.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the means for guiding and/or defining the cooling spray mist comprises a shut-off device for sealing off the spray mist machine from a spray-mist-free region of the plastic container.
14. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the means for guiding and/or defining the cooling spray mist comprises a gas stream device for causing a gas stream to impinge upon a spray-mist-free region of the plastic container to hold the cooling spray mist at bay.
15. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the blow moulding machine, the filling machine, and the transfer section connected therebetween are integrated together to form one structural unit.
16. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising a measuring device for determining thickness of a film of residual liquid remaining on the plastic container.
17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the measuring device is disposed in or on the transfer section (4).
18. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein spray mist machine(s) and measuring device(s) alternate with each other along the transfer section.
19. (canceled)
20. The method of claim 1, wherein applying the cooling spray mist comprises applying said cooling spray mist onto portions of the plastic container having a thickness in excess of a selected threshold.
21. An apparatus for producing and filling plastic containers, said apparatus comprising:
means for forming said plastic container;
means for filling said plastic container with a product;
means for transferring said plastic container between said means for forming and said means for filling; and
means for evaporatively cooling said plastic containers while said means for transferring transfers said plastic containers.
US13/060,079 2008-09-24 2009-05-15 Method and device for combined production and filling of containers made of plastic Abandoned US20110154785A1 (en)

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DE102008048812A DE102008048812A1 (en) 2008-09-24 2008-09-24 Method and device for the combined production and filling of plastic containers
PCT/EP2009/003467 WO2010034363A1 (en) 2008-09-24 2009-05-15 Method and device for combined production and filling of containers made of plastic

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