Killarney Brewing Company’s craft beers improved by installing ACI Drying System

The Killarney Brewing Company is one of Ireland’s most exciting new independent craft breweries and tap rooms, specialising in the production of what they market as Ireland’s finest range of craft beers.  All of their products are additive and preservative free and produced in small batches in the Killarney facility.

The Problem

Filled beer bottles entering the labelling machine were both cold and wet. This was causing some major quality issues as the paper labels being applied used a water based adhesive and they were failing to stick correctly.

“In an attempt to solve the problem, we tried multiple types of different adhesives, including hot melt adhesives as well as different material labels.  Although we had some success with this, it turned out when the labels eventually dried out naturally they began to crinkle so the idea had to be rejected”, states Barry Spellman, General Manager at Killarney Brewing Company.

He goes onto explain, “We realised that the problem really lay with the cold temperature and wet condition of the bottles themselves. The excessive moisture was particularly causing issues with the crown cap area. Because it wasn’t get washed away properly in the post rinse stage, when it dried naturally a crust was forming under the crown which only became evident when the crown was popped off the bottle. Not only was this unsightly but also completely unhygienic.”

The Solution

Whilst researching for efficient and effective drying solutions online, Barry came across ACI’s website, and in particular a page that focussed on a previous case study concerning O’Hanlon Brewery which virtually described the exact same issues Killarney Brewery were experiencing.

“I contacted ACI by telephone and explained our predicament” Barry continues. “The Sales Engineer I spoke to immediately gave me the confidence that they were the right company to be talking to regarding Drying Systems as they were completely familiar with the issues we had; knew all the right questions to ask; and had sensible suggestions on how to readily solve it.”

He continues, “Although based in Devon, ACI were quite happy to arrange for a sales engineer to visit, and sure enough two weeks later my team were given an on-site demonstration of their ACI Drying Systems here in Killarney.  This was perfect as it proved to everyone involved in the project that their solution would actually do the job.”

The Outcome

Following further discussions that included layout options, step by step guidance on installation, operation and maintenance, Killarney Brewing Company decided to purchase ACI’s Remote Blower Air Knife Solution. They simultaneously took the decision to change the label material to one made from polypropylene that ensures no residual condensing moisture is absorbed. The effect of these two actions was to completely eliminate the issues they originally had with the added benefit of allowing them to increase their bottling speed and thus production output.

Barry concludes, “ACI were an absolute pleasure to deal with.  Despite being a relatively small business, they gave us the time and attention as they would any large organisation.  Their team listened and understood our problem and worked to get a simple solution in place quickly.  They were on hand through our trial phase and install to support us every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.”

Solutions For Packaging & Labelling

Our range of bottle and can drying systems helps to ensure that today’s ground breaking labelling and packaging technology is not compromised by any surface water used in the packaging process.