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Thread: Air Knifes used for bottle drying?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    12

    Air Knifes used for bottle drying?

    At the moment we have a small semi automatic bottling machine doing about 500 bottles per hour.

    Our problem is after filling the bottles are too wet to be labelled effectively.

    So we have to rack the bottles to dry.

    It would save us a lot of time if we could dry them then label them and pack them directly.

    Has anyone used an Air Knife and compressed air set up for this?
    Can you recomend any suitable equipment of bits and pieces to build something from?
    It would only have to keep up with 500 bph and semi-automatic or not automatic at all would be fine.

    Thanks for the help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    393
    try putting the lables on first

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Stavanger Norway
    Posts
    320
    we use air knives to dry the excess water off the bottles, at first we used those little ones that look like the things you would put on an electric razor if you know what I mean with the air compressor, it didnt do the job, so we put on something that looks like those things that dry your car after you come out of a car wash only smaller about 12" long on both sides and a high powered fan moter blowing air though them. I guess its hard to describe, but its working out fine.

    We run up to 3500 bph so I dont know if it would be worth it for you to do for a 500 bph, you could just run them through the labler the next day after the bottles have stoped condensating, it may be better. Or as Larry said you could prelable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    12
    The problem with pre-labelling is that our labels are not waterproof - they are natural textured paper.

    The problem with racking and waiting to dry is that we have very little space as it is (currently looking for bigger premises) we do not really have space to rack them - we need to get them packaged at the end of our production line.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Cambridge, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    192
    What does "natural textured paper" mean. All beer labels, be they pressure sensitive (labels with glue on them on liners) or standard paper labels or metalized paper labels that come in stacks have a water 'resistance' built in in the form of a sizing that helps prevent wrinkling. It's a grade known as wet-strength paper. If you don't have it and printed on regular paper, throw them out - there is no solution.

    Labeling on wet-bottles has always been a problem for small brewers but the problem is only partly removed by blowing off the surface water. Check out the thread on probrewer that uses the cow/horse blower to remove surface water. It's the best set-up I've seen yet.

    The blower solves 25% of the problem. The real issue is putting 0 degree beer into warm glass which is above the dew point and then trying to put a label onto a bottle covered in condensation. It will not go away for hours. Standard milk based adhesive (casein) works reasonably well at speeds up to 300 bpm (I know, it's not your world). Pressure sensitive adhesives struggle greatly against condensation and generally lose. I have tested 100's of adhesives and have found a few over the years that work fairly well. Shoot me a PM at robcreighton@295.ca and I'll see if I can find the file with the info in it. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    81

    Question to Rob and others on this subject

    Quote from above:
    "The blower solves 25% of the problem. The real issue is putting 0 degree beer into warm glass which is above the dew point and then trying to put a label onto a bottle covered in condensation. It will not go away for hours. Standard milk based adhesive (casein) works reasonably well at speeds up to 300 bpm (I know, it's not your world). Pressure sensitive adhesives struggle greatly against condensation and generally lose. I have tested 100's of adhesives and have found a few over the years that work fairly well. Shoot me a PM at robcreighton@295.ca and I'll see if I can find the file with the info in it. Good luck![/QUOTE]

    Is this most everybody's experience? Are most of you small run (Meheen, PPM, etc.) bottlers using cold glue if you label post-fill? Is anyone out there using pressure sensitive labels after the fill and having great success? Our brewery is looking at a new Meheen with one of those In-Line labelers built to hook right up to a four-head Meheen and pressure sensitive label immediately following the fill. The labeler is called an In-Line MH1000 (and I'd love any response on In-Line labelers while I'm at it).
    I've read the huge "Meheen users unite" thread. Some of you guys out there must have mastered labeling on these suckers. Any more wild "cattle-dryer" experiments out there that are solving more than just "25% of the problem" as Rob brings up?
    Anyone?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    185
    Quote Originally Posted by tsmack
    Our brewery is looking at a new Meheen with one of those In-Line labelers built to hook right up to a four-head Meheen and pressure sensitive label immediately following the fill. The labeler is called an In-Line MH1000 (and I'd love any response on In-Line labelers while I'm at it).
    Usually for pressure sensitive (self-adhesive) labels, people label the bottles BEFORE filling. why do you have to label it after the fill?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    81

    The way it's set up?

    Well, this is new to me (been a pub brewer for 7 years...crossing that scary line). The labeler from inline I mentioned is set up to feed the bottles from a 4-head Meheen post fill and then PS label them. Sound sketchy? Anyone used it? It's called the "Meheen 1000" (MH1000) and it's mentioned on the meheen website. Someone out there must be using this thing!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ponderay, Idaho
    Posts
    230

    label after bottling

    we run labels after bottling without any issues but then again I am the Guy with the cattle dryer bottle dryer

    Fred Colby

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    60

    labels after bottling

    We run 30 bpm, cold glue 51 lb semi-wet strength paper on a (1972 kronzes rotina) right after a water shower to wash a way foam. It's all right. We sometimes use a leaf blower to remove excess water (we got it a garage sale for $20).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    12
    Hi,
    thanks for the input,

    could you please give me some info on your cattle dryer bottle dryer

    can you post any pictures of it or tell me where to get it?

    thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ponderay, Idaho
    Posts
    230

    Bottle dryer

    if you look up the meheen thread there are pics of it if, you need more info you can email at laughing dog and we can go from there

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    691
    We took Fred Colby's advice (thanks!) and bought a cattle dryer from a local vet supply store. I built a simple rig of PVC pipe that has slots cut in it on each side of the bottle. The improvement in labelling was pretty dramatic. I didn't realize how much of our problems was being caused by water on the bottle. I think that Fred's pictures are on one of the other Meheen threeds.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Krebs, Oklahoma
    Posts
    40

    Label probs

    We use pressure sensitive as well and sporadically fought the labels wonít stick to the bottles phenomenon. We tried everything, looked at everything as the problem such as temperature, to much water and or condensation on the glass, adhesive and even the coating they spray on the bottles in the manufacturing process. Finally after spending way to much time trying to find a solution to the source of the problem that we couldnít identify and wearing thin my relationship with my bottle and label vendors trying to make them help, we threw in the towel. It was for us a lot easier to label the glass before filling and in the end we think that for us anyway itís a lot more efficient plus its cut down the amount of mislabeled beer to almost zero.

    Michael Lalli
    Krebs Brewing Co.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Newport, Rhode Island
    Posts
    142
    So I read through this thread. Do air knives get air UP AND UNDERNEATH the cap to get water out? Surface tension built up under the cap is keeping more moisture than I would like under the cap. In the summertime (fast approaching), this leads to rust sometimes YUCK! I can't do anything about the condensation, but I would love to at least get rid of the rinse water. Right now using a squirrel cage fan (140 CFM) into 3" PVC with slits cu into it...

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