EXAIR Super Air Knives Improve Efficiency For Beer Bottling Application

As summer begins to wind down, we’re seeing some “slight” reprieve (at least this week) from the intensely hot summer we’ve had thus far in 2022. Fall will be here before we know it, which for me means a return to weekends on the couch watching football! What goes better with football than an ice cold beer?

In a recent application, I worked alongside a beverage manufacturer to help improve on the efficiency of their beer bottling process. You know the saying, “you get what you pay for”. For this customer it was made quite evident as we replaced some rather inefficient nozzles they were using in the facility with our Super Air Knives.

In the process, the customer had (4) sets of inefficient nozzles to dry the bottles off. (2) sets were located just after their wash/rinse cycle, with another two placed just prior to labeling. After washing, the bottles are taken to the fill station where they perform a cold fill process. Their location is hot and humid year-round, so immediately after filling condensation would form on the outside of the bottle.

Once filled, they need to apply a label to the outside of the bottle. If there’s any condensation present, this leads to many of the labels not adhering properly. The issue they were having was that when all of the nozzles were running simultaneously, they were experiencing a pressure drop that led to insufficient drying of the bottles in both stages of the process. Their solution was a rather expensive one: (8) operators were staged at the end of the line to inspect, dry, and fix any of the labels that didn’t adhere well while boxing them up.

Since we knew compressed air consumption was a critical aspect of this application, we offered (2) of our Model 110006-.001 6” Super Air Knives with a .001” thick shim installed. Super Air Knives are shipped directly from stock with a .002” shim, so this thinner shim helped to further reduce the air consumption from the knife. The knives produce a laminar curtain of air that’s far more effective at drying than the turbulent airflow from these flat nozzles. Rather than having (4) sets of knives, they were able to use just (2) effectively eliminating two of the blowoff stations they were using with the cheap nozzles.

With the knives in place the pressure in their system was no longer dropping and the laminar airflow from the Super Air Knives was much more effective at drying the bottles. Now, at the end of the conveyor they only needed (2) operators to unload the bottles and begin to box them. This dramatically reduced their labor costs for this operation as they were able to utilize those employees for other tasks instead of tying them up standing around, drying bottles, and fixing labels.

If you’re tired of experiencing issues with an inefficient blowoff device, EXAIR has a solution that can ship out today from stock. Contact an Application Engineer today and we’ll be happy to help you to determine the best solution based on your application.

Tyler Daniel, CCASS

Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

beer image courtesy of RawPixel Ltd via Flickr Creative Commons License

Super Ion Air Knife Assists Brewery with Can Filling Operation

A small brewery called looking for a static removal solution for their can filling, conveyor line. The empty cans are fed from a stacked palletizer that raises up and then an arm pushes the cans over to a large feeder tray where they are then funneled down a chute that narrows until the cans are in a single row. They run 2 separate cans on the same line at different times. The first can is painted and seems to feed fine to the conveyor. The second can is shrink wrapped with a film label. As the wrapped cans are fed down the chute, they rub against the guide rails of the conveyor and each other generating a static charge, causing them to corral at the opening to the conveyor, 2 – 3 cans wide, which restricts the flow of the cans. The customer then has to halt production and manually clear the line and feed the conveyor.

The area where they are seeing the most problem is right at the narrow opening that takes the cans down to a single row. The width of this opening is roughly 8.5″ wide, so I recommended they mount a 9″ Super Ion Air Knife about 12″ above the opening, flooding the area with ionized air. The Super Ion Air Knife is our Super Air Knife with an Ionizing Bar attached to provide a laminar sheet of ionized airflow across the entire length of the knife. The customer was concerned that their compressed air supply was close to being at max capacity so I suggested they operate the unit at a lower supply pressure. This would not only reduce the air consumption but also control the output flow and velocity so the cans are not disrupted, while still allowing for effective static dissipation.

Super Ion Air Knife
Super Ion Air Knife – delivers a sheet of ionized air to eliminate surface static up to 20′ away.

Static electricity is a common nuisance in canning and bottling applications. If you are experiencing similar problems with your process, please contact one of our application engineers for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer