Pump technology thinks inside the box

Oct 10, 2012 | Food Processing & Packaging

The many advantages of bag-in-box refreshment dispensing means it is becoming increasingly popular. Andrew Lager, from Xylem, describes the role Flojet’s BevJet electric diaphragm pumping technology plays in such systems

To capitalise on a growing trend for safer food, longer shelf life and easy service, bag-in-box dispense systems and packaging are growing in popularity. This technology means catering establishments can profitably serve bag-in-box refreshments to their customers. Dispensing  is via self-contained pump systems that use a vacuum diaphragm system.

The Flojet BevJet electric dispensing system has been especially designed  for bag-in-box beverages, with native intelligence built into every system.

BevJet pumps are powered by electric diaphragm pumping technology, which ensures run dry capability, allowing for a long, trouble free service life. In addition, BevJet has built-in thermal protection to avoid costly service fees and delays.

Bag-in-box packaging has many advantages, including easy storage and transportation of refreshments of all types. The compact packaging uses what is called an aseptic process to fill the box. Aseptic processing is a convenient way of preventing spoilage though flash pasteurization and sterilization using heat. Experts forecast  global growth of more than 10% annually for the bag-in-box industry.

Properly treated products can be “shelf stable”, requiring no refrigeration, for up to 2 years, depending on the type of bag that is used. This is just another reason for their growing popularity. Today’s aseptic containers can range in size from a few fluid ounces to nearly 8 million-gallon tanks for an ocean-going ship, for example.

The key to safety is not exposing the product to the external environment at any stage during the process. This means there is no possibility of a bacteria being added to the product during the fill production. The materials used in the bag-in-box products form a tight seal against microbiological organisms, contaminants, and degradation, so there is no need for refrigeration.

BevJet is compact in size – 8.5” long by 5.4” across and 2.7” thick – so it can be easily placed in tight spaces. It weighs only 2.3lbs, and it is tested to outperform other pump motors by 400%. Whether serving one dozen or thousands of beverages to customers each day, the compact system operates quietly in its tough plastic outer shell. In addition, its self-enclosed styling design prevents contamination and minimizes noise.

The system is designed to keep contents fresh and flowing to customers, whether serving wine, or a variety of alcoholic drinks, juices, tea, coffee and more. BevJet pumps all liquid from the bag, automatically stops when contents are gone, and creates a vacuum when the product bag is empty. The product automatically starts up again once a new bag is connected.

Dispensing wine

When it comes to dispensing wine, the BevJet plays an important role in the electric-powered bag-in-box wine dispensing system.

Bag-in-box wine continues to enjoy rapid acceptance within the beverage industry worldwide. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that it is better value than bottled wine. It’s also less expensive to package, ship and store. Bag-in-box wine minimizes the product oxidation that occurs when conventional bottles are opened and it can stay fresh for as long as six weeks after opening versus two to three days for bottled wine.  Converting to a bag-in-box system solution is simple and easy. BevJet can easily be retrofitted into an existing beverage operation.

BevJet was designed to perform at peak yield within the specific environments where bag-in-box refreshments are served. Its self-contained, all-enclosed unit keeps dirt out and seals in goodness. BevJet is also easy to maintain and clean.

BevJet uses quick connect fittings approved by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) – which assures it meets rigorous standards and undergoes periodic audits. With BevJet, liquids stay fresh longer and never come into contact with air until the liquid is exposed to the glass or cup.

Liquid dispenses safely through NSF Alcohol approved tubing, and cleaning is as simple as replacing a tube. Quick disconnect ports allow hose replacement to be completed in seconds and its vacuum technology means the product will not be exposed to air outside of the pump.

The quick-connect fittings come in a range of widths and shapes from, ¼”, 3/8” and ½” straight port fittings to ¼”, 3/8” elbow shaped fittings.

The BevJet is best used for beverage dispensing requiring frequent tube changes, and delivers flow rate of .08 to 1.0 GPM and maximum pressure of 40 PSI. The pumps can move liquids in a range of temperatures, from 0° – 43°C.

Another advantage of this pump is that it provides leak-free, low-maintenance operation. The BevJet pump arrives encased in a tough housing; but, it will gently dispense juice, wines, alcohol or hot liquids with the smooth action of a diaphragm pump. The reciprocating action of the flexing diaphragm moves fluid in and out of the pumping chamber. Diaphragm pumps are a type of reciprocating positive replacement pump that creates a vacuum to keep the flow consistent.

In summary, the BevJet bag-in-box dispense system is reliable, safe, and cost-effective. Also, BevJet from Flojet, a Xylem brand, is easy to service in the field, quiet, and high yielding for businesses that want to capitalize on the worldwide move to bag-in-box refreshment dispensing.