As a vertically integrated U.S. beverage developer, manufacturer and marketing company, Power Brands has helped beverage startups across the world actualize their drink visions.

With a new production facility opening in Los Angeles, the beverage company needed to obtain additional manufacturing equipment, including machinery for shrink sleeve labeling, to help adhere clients’ product labels to beverage containers.

Steam tunnels are suitable for shrink sleeve labeling due to their low temperature settings (around 180° to 200°F) and their ability to apply uniform heat around the entire product. First, a shrink sleeve applicator attaches the sleeves to the drink containers, and then the containers pass through the steam tunnels on a conveyor where consistent heat is applied to the entire vessel. With this consistent application of heat, the sleeves are able to uniformly contract, shrink and adhere to the containers.

Another upshot of using a steam tunnel is that it can be utilized for diverse applications. To ensure client beverages are free from harmful microbes, the beverage company also needed equipment for pasteurization. A steam generator, with its heat treatment capacities, can sterilize liquids. 

With a new production facility opening in Los Angeles, Power Brands installed a steam generator for its shrink sleeve labeling.

The requirements for the steam generator that this beverage company wanted were straightforward. They needed a boiler that could produce 550 lbs. of steam per hour, with a steam pressure of 80 psig. This steam needed to be very dry, to allow the labels to properly cohere to the containers. Further, the boiler was going to be used every day, starting at 4:30 a.m., making rapid and automatic startup capacities crucial. The company also wanted a boiler with high fuel-efficiency and top-priority safety. 

The company chose the Sigma-Fire SF50 steam generator 50 BHP with low NOx FMB burner and super economizer, which uses a once-through design, where steam is created by using a positive displacement feedwater pump controlling water flow through a single helical coil tube. With this design, water can be modulated through the coil to match fuel and air ratios. The unit modulates up and down following desired steam-operating pressure. This enables the generator to be highly efficient throughout the entire operating range, regardless of firing rate. 

Operating with low water volumes allows a quick startup from a cold start. The equipment also creates the ability to react very quickly to changes in steam demand. The unit can reach full steam capacity form a cold start in minutes rather than hours. This low water content fully eliminates any potential of a steam or water explosion. The entire process can be started with a flip of a switch or with an automated start-up option. 

This steam generator’s counter-flow design allows for improved fuel efficiency. With the added economizer, this generator can utilize recovered flue gases to warm the boiler feedback water—decreasing the firing rates, and further maximizing the fuel-to-steam efficiency. 

By utilizing a steam separator that uses high-velocity, fixed vain mechanical separation, the generator efficiently spins out excess moisture providing 99.5% quality steam to the process. The excess water is trapped back to the feedwater system, saving BTUs, increasing safety and lowering blowdown rates. 

The unit’s design pressures range from 15 psig to 500 psig (up to 3,000 psig in some cases), making it easy to meet Power Brand’s 80 psig requirement. 

And, because this steam generator is pre-certified with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the beverage company did not have to apply for or attain an air quality permit—only local permits, which the supplier assisted with. 

For more information, visit Clayton Industries.