ACI’s latest drying solutions for the food and beverage industries, includes the development of a low cost systems specifically designed for both bottling and canning applications within the Craft and Micro-Brewery environments.

The following article focusses solely on the ‘Cb-C’ Can Drying Systems and includes detailed laboratory test results achieved when using ACI’s test facility in Axminster.

 

 

Test Conditions:

System Reference:                                                 ‘Cb-C’ Craft Brewery Can Drying System
Line Speed:                                                             6,000 cans per hour
Clearance from can dryer to top of can:            10mm
Clearance from Air Knives to can:                       7mm
Can sizes:                                                                330ml, 440ml, 500ml, 568ml

Test Method:

Each of the can sizes were firstly ‘wetted’ by placing them in a bucket of water, and then allowed to drain for approximately 2 seconds.

The water was wiped off the top and sides of the can and weighed to give our technicians a clear indication of how much water was on each of the cans. This procedure was carried out three times for each can in order to produce an average weight. Please note, the bottom of the can was not weighed at any stage as we were not drying this surface.

Cans were conveyed in blocks of four with cans touching. The line speed was calculated using 15 cans which was approximately 1 metre long. A setting on the inverter was chosen and the cans were timed to see how long 15 cans took to pass a point. This figure was then used to calculate how many would pass in one hour.

After one pass through the systems the weight of the water left on the top of the can was recorded. The sides were wiped and with the same tissue immediately after to give a dried total weight. These figures were then used to record the average volume of water left on top of the can in millilitres, and the percentage of dryness level of the can.

Results (grams unless stated):

330ml Cans:
Water on can:                   0,357, 0.351, 0.338          =             0.349 avg.
Lid dry weight:                  0.0043, 0.0012, 0.0018   =             0.0024 avg.
Total (Lid and sides):        0.0099, 0.0043, 0.0030   =             0.0057 avg.

Success rate = 98.4% removal with 2.4ml on lid

440ml Cans:
Water on can:                    0.888, 0.643, 0.718          =             0.750 avg.
Lid dry weight:                   0.0070, 0.0025, 0.0020   =             0.0038 avg.
Total (Lid and sides):         0.0098, 0.0038, 0.0052   =             0.0063 avg.

Success rate = 99.2% removal with 3.8ml on lid

500ml Cans:
Water on can:                    0.751, 0.736, 0.615          =             0.701 avg.
Lid dry weight:                   0.0043, 0.0029, 0.0053   =             0.0042 avg.
Total (Lid and sides):         0.0151, 0.0083, 0.0154   =             0.0129 avg.

Success rate = 98.1% removal with 4.2ml on lid

568ml Cans:
Water on can:                    0.578, 0.701, 0.524          =             0.601 avg.
Lid dry weight:                   0.0045, 0.0038, 0.0047   =             0.0043 avg.
Total (Lid and sides):        0.0065, 0.0089, 0.0078   =              0.0077 avg.

Success rate = 98.7% removal with 4.3ml on lid

Test Summary:

The ‘Cb-C’ Can Drying System performed very well, even at relatively fast line speeds for the craft and micro-brewery operations. During testing, the system was also very easy to operate – at no point during the testing did it become difficult to adjust or ‘jam up’.

At approximately 6,000 can per hour, the minimum dryness level was 98.1% with 4.2ml on the lid. The industry standard for water left on the lid is 7ml maximum, so ACI’s ‘Cb-C’ system is well within this performance limits.

As craft/micro-brewery line speeds are relatively low compared to mass produced beers, there may  be occasions when cans do not pass through the dryer in block. This situation was replicated during our testing with the tallest and most vulnerable can (568ml).  The cans passed through safely with none falling over.

Drying Solutions for Craft and Micro-Breweries

Our range of bottle and can drying systems for Craft and Micro-Breweries help to ensure that labelling and packaging technology is not compromised by any surface water used in the packaging process.