What were your problems and how did you fix them?
Hello all you packagers of canned bubbly! I am posting this to share any information I can with whoever is running a single head seamer made by Cask brewing systems. Our brewery has gone through some tough times recently with this style of seamer and I want to share what I have learned to prevent others from the headaches we are dealing with now. I open this forum for any questions, concerns, fixes, problems, praises or condemnation. I know that there are many of you out there that are using a five-head filler and want to know more. Have at it!
What were your problems and how did you fix them?
I could write for the next 2 hours answering this question. Can you be more specific?
Haven't had any problems with the seamer, except when cans through without lids. That's more of a lid feeder problem though.
Let me be more specific . No; why don't you be more specific? You brought up the issue and said you had exerienced a myriad of problems. But when asked about your problems you can't respond because they are too numerous to count. So,specifically, what were/are your MAJOR problems and have they been resolved? What were the fixes?Originally Posted by Brother Ethan
Our seamer is the only piece of gear that didn't need too much modification. Just a bit ridiculous to have the electrical cabinet extend over the back of the table it's mounted to (and open towards the rear!). Otherwise, we've changed out parts on the six packer that were carbon steel--carbon steel springs on the cone fingers? That wasn't smart. Now using rubber bands. Put a drip tray under the filler so that any drips/spills did not end up in the lid sink. Other than a few modifications like this, we've had great luck. Especially with the seamer.
Palau Brewing Company
gitchegumee... what machine you running by Cask?
2head manual? 5 head auto?
Brother Ethan.. I loved when I saw this post because I am about to purchase a canner(could be another 6 months though) and would love to hear more about peoples' experiences with these machines. I guess now I would ask you to spend that 2 hrs time slot when its convenient to add to this vital and interesting topic you started and share your problems challenges and triumphs.
I know the brand spanking new Baxter Brewing in Maine is about to start running their 2010 model 5head cask machine. Maybe Michael will chime in here?
matthewbrews @ gmail (dot) com
Tell me what problems you are having, what can manufactuer you are using and I can let you know how to fix it.
What was the motivation for the rubberbands on the fingers? Do they do a better job at picking up the cones? I can tell you that if I could find a way for the 6 packer cones to resist the temtation of attacking everone around the canning machine we would all be able to put our guns away!
Butternuts Beer & Ale
This is a curious thread. Brother Ethan proclaims his myriad difficulties with his seamer and requests a dialogue to discuss the issues. But when asked to recount his difficulties and fixes the good Brother is strangely silent. Did the good Brother take an oath of silence? Maybe its just me but I find it rather odd that someone would bring up a subject and then be averse to discuss it because the problems would "take too long to write about." Will the good Brother please come to confession and let us know the error of his seamer's ways. Until the good Brother shows us the light, I will forever suspect that the good Brother knows not a seaming roll from a jelly roll. O' Brother, where art thou?
Matthew, we're running a two head filler, single seamer, basic manual canning setup by Cask. Been quite happy with it, but there were some engineering SNAFUs that I corrected. The carbon steel springs on the six-packer were the first thing. Rusty water-catchers those. Bad call by Cask, but maybe they've corrected it by now. #64 rubber bands were the solution, although even an old bicycle inner tube would have worked. We also adjusted the fingers to catch the cones a bit lower for a better grip on them. Glad to hear that we're not the only ones with cones flying about the room. Seems like the simplest machines make the most problems.
Palau Brewing Company
Phillip and Gitcheegumee: what kind of package air values do you run?
Our market is very limited. We have a very fast turnover on our product; typically two weeks between restocking and rarely a month. We purge with Nitrogen, not CO2, so our airs are probably higher than ideal. We put a three month shelf life based on taste. I've found that at three months I can detect a bit of oxidation in our lightest product. No Zahm, no quantitative assessment of DO2 in our packaging.
Palau Brewing Company
The issues that we have had have been mainly incorrectly seamed cans. We have purchased many of the proper instruments for measuring and adjusting the seams, but still continue to have problems getting a good quality seam. We have can seam calipers, a depth gauge, a CMC-Kuehnke can seam analysis computer, yet with all the measurements in spec, we still get leaking cans from time to time. We do seam tests every 45 min-1 hour while running. We have had issues with the bearings going ever so slightly bad on the first and second operators, causing leaking seams, air pistons going bad on the operators, not actuating fast enough or with proper force, table bearings going bad causing seam issues, seamer motor bearings going bad. All these things, we pick up on, but often times too late.
More often than not, we will fix a problem or make an adjustment, check that we are within the specs and then started up and running again only to find out several days later that the cans are still leaking. We tear apart the leaking can and measure the seams to check specs and they are with in spec, but still leaking. So we will make another adjustment and hope that it is good.
If anyone has experienced leaking cans, it sucks. You run a large run of cans put, put them in inventory, only to see some pinhead signs of beer leaking out around the seam, several days to a week later. It appears to be a random problem depending on the severity of the problem. The tiniest 'tick' in a bearing on an operator or the table can cause a seam issue in just one section of the can. It will go bad in the middle of a run and you won't pick up on it for a couple of pallets or until you start seeing leaky seams, several days/runs later.
We like our machines, but they just need constant monitoring and more predictive maintenance schedule in order to prevent these issues from happening. Check your bearings daily or even more frequent. The more you check your seams, the better off you will be. The sooner you can identify a very minor problem, the less beer you will be throwing away due to leaking seams.
Anyone else had any issues with poor seam quality? If so what kind of maintenance and adjusting are you doing? What are your seam test procedures?
The cans and lids come from Ball.
Some other things we have done to help some of the other issues:
I've added a lid prox sensor before the seamer that will not let a can advance forward unless there is a lid present. It paid for itself on the first day! It does have its pluses and minuses: 90% of the time it catches the can before it goes into the seamer and does its job. If you quickly throw a lid on the can it will sense it and advance forward. It requires some finesse to get it on in time with messing up the operation. The other problem is when the beer is fairly foamy and the lids are riding high on top of the can. This usually happens at startup when the beer hasn't been dialed in yet. It will sense the lid as it is coming into the piston and will knock it off upon entering the seamer. As long as the operator is tapping the lids down until the beer calms down it works great.
I've also added an air pressure alarm to the incoming air that sounds an alarm if the pressure drops below 90 psi.(we run at 100-105 psi). We have had an excessive use of air in the brewery causing low pressure while running the canner and before someone picked up on it, we had half a pallet of cans seamed at too low pressure causing serious leaks.
We modified our six packers with foot triggered air pistons that has greatly increased our throughput on the end of the line. We also installed a better feed system with guide rails to better increase the ability to get the cans in the sixpackers faster and properly aligned
Built a can depalletizer that can be loaded with a pallet jack, a photo eye height stop and manual sweep. This has virtually erased our can loss from cans falling during depalletizing and also doesn't tie up a forklift during canning.
Added a couple of guide rails to the infeed and outfeed of the rinse cage to better align the cans and prevent jamming and falling into the rinse catch.
We purchased a hand strapping unit with buckles for tying up the partial can pallets after a run. This has eliminated the use of plastic wrap and Ball no longer wraps the pallets for us.
This was a bit of a Christmas Day rant.......
Merry Christmas to All!
We at half acre are going through a really bad patch of seam issues running a 2010 cask acs using ball cans and lids and have gotten a load of help from Ethan and Matt from ska. I am currently at a loss on how to get the seams correct. We adjust the first and second op heights and travel and the table height pusher to ensure the seam dimensions are in spec, using calipers and a micrometer which in itself has plenty of room for error, tear down cans after first and second ops to visually look at wrinkling, and still get leaky cans.
We do not have enough experience to really understand all the factors involved in can seaming and hope this thread can help us all much like the meheen thread.
As buster said, because of the time delay in leaky seams, this problem gives you an ulcer, indicated by posting on Christmas! Thanks to Ethan for getting this going