Bags-in-boxes are taken into very little account by the oil sector, because there is no tradition for them, we are far too used to glass bottles and cans. Yet these containers have many advantages, both from an ecological viewpoint and because they prolong the shelf-life of oil, or any other food or beverage inside: they are hermetically sealed, and therefore their content is not overly exposed to the air.
Bag-in-box containers or BIBs are specifically designed for storing liquids.
Those used for storing oil consist of an aluminium or PVC bag inside a cardboard box. The oil-packaging industry nowadays employs state-of-the-art machinery capable of filling these containers both rapidly and efficiently.
Alfa Laval produces two types of filling units, the Astepo Piccolo and the Astepo Grande fillers.
The former one is designed to semi-automatically fill 3- to 20-litre bags at a rate of 250 bags per hour, and 200-litre bags at a rate of 10 bags per hour. All the bags have a 1” pressure cap that also acts as a dispenser. Once full, the bag is manually or automatically inserted into the carton box. The filling operations starts off by manually inserting the empty bag into the spout holder and the system automatically removes the valve, fills the bag and recaps it. A mass flow meter can be fitted to ensure extremely accurate filling.
The Grande filler is designed to automatically fill 3- to 20-litre bags, the 3-litre ones at a rate of 700 bags per hour. All the bags have a 1” pressure cap that also acts as a dispenser. This machine can also be linked up to an Alfa Laval automatic Combibox cartoning line, which automatically inserts the bag into the cardboard box. The Combibox line combines a carton box former, a pneumatic hopper loader inserting the bag into the box and a box closer on a single frame.
The cardboard boxes are sealed with an adhesive strip or hot-melt glue.
The filling operations with the larger filler start off from a web of bags all stuck together: after automatically separating each bag, these are then conveyed to the filling head, where they are uncapped, filled and recapped.
The Large filler-Combibox combo ensures outstanding packaging efficiency in very little space.