Let’s be honest, one of the key advantages to having an owner with an engineering degree is that he designs some pretty kick-ass equipment to improve the canning process. Where many see cans flying off the back of a machine, he sees a seamer stability kit. Too much dissolved oxygen? No problem, the under-lid gassing kit helps fix that. Combined with the experience of our mobile canning crews, an environment exists where we can identify inefficiencies, design cost-effective solutions, and test for success.
Below is an overview of our upgrade parts. Our hope is that by sharing, we can help elevate packaging quality and efficiency for everyone. We know each part has helped improved the process for us.
SEAMER STABILITY KIT (Can Stability Finger)
The concern: In stock from, there is no mechanism to stabilize cans as they move from the conveyor into the seamer. As a result, lines often have to be run at lower speeds to ensure cans are stable as they are lifted into the chuck; wobbly, unstable cans can cause seamer crashes, stopping the line and leading to product loss.
Our solution: A seamer stability kit that focuses solely on can movement into the seamer. The upper and lower push blocks are redesigned to better contour the can profile and have been spaced out to disperse the pushing force to the more rigid upper and lower sections of the can body. On the receiving end, an adjustable-tension, can stability finger acts as a catch for the cans moving onto the lifter table. This allows the can push cylinder to run at much faster push speeds with little to no stability delay.
The result: Incoming cans can be lifted into the chuck without concern over poor stability at high production rates; the speed of the can push head can be increased by 15-40% adding 7-10 CPM to packaging runs.
The concern: Potential for the dreaded, wet-cardboard flavor profile to develop as a result of oxygen exposure during packaging.
Our solution: Add a simply, bolt-on, under-lid gassing integration to stock lines to disperse CO2 to the top of the can, sweeping away oxygen as the lid is applied post-fill.
The results: When used in conjunction with good canning techniques, the kit reduces final dissolved oxygen pickup by 40-45%. This creates a more shelf-stable package with decreased risk of oxidation.
The concern: Oxidation resulting from CO2 supply interruptions. We’ve all had CO2 regulators freeze up, or worse, had someone turn off the purge regulator by accident. On top of that, running the purge at excessive pressure can actually increase dissolved oxygen pickup.
Our solution: Create an in-line flow meter to measure the volume, consistency and timing of dispensed CO2 without trying to spot the allusive vapor wave or taking a big whiff of CO2. The purge indicator integrates into the stock purge supply line, providing real-time feedback from the first fill cycle to the last.
The results: Never having to worry that the CO2 supply is turned on. The indicator ensures that the right amount of CO2 is put into every set of cans.
The concern: The standard exit chute from the back of canning machines limits potential packaging configurations and may not fit every brewery layout.
Our solution: Design a curved out-feed bridge and separate the rinse/dry segments to accommodate additional packaging layouts. The bridge simplifies the attachment/detachment effort from three stock pieces to one bolt on package, decreasing maintenance time and increasing access to hard to reach parts in the seamer space. The rinse and dry tunnels are positioned separately on the bridge, allowing each station to perform at full capacity without interference from the other component.
The results: Alternate packaging layouts, decreased maintenance time and increased cleanliness.
The concern: Stock, stainless-steel lid tubes are heavy, hard to refill, potentially unsanitary and prone to dents and dings that cause jams in the lid tube.
Our solution: Develop an alternative impact-resistant, transparent lid tube that maintains the factory profile without the cumbersome weight of the stock, stainless design.
The results: A lid tube that responds better to impacts without compromising the integrity of lid delivery into the chute. The clear design provides constant visibility to the lid-stack, simplifies handling and reloads, and eliminates openings that expose lids to the environment.
Of course, no upgrade part can out perform proper canning technique. These are simply line enhancements that have proven to improve the speed, quality and efficiency of our lines. What other improvements could be made?