try putting the lables on first
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
try putting the lables on first
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.
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.
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 email@example.com and I'll see if I can find the file with the info in it. Good luck!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
Usually for pressure sensitive (self-adhesive) labels, people label the bottles BEFORE filling. why do you have to label it after the fill?Originally Posted by tsmack
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!
we run labels after bottling without any issues but then again I am the Guy with the cattle dryer bottle dryer
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).
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?
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
I can help engineer a couple of solutions. One is a blower set up as described in the other posts. This will work. If you have the air compressor capacity( a few CFM) to spare, air knives are another option. Third is cooling the bottles prior to filling. A vortex cooler can be set up to blow cold air( below freezing) over the bottle's label area. This should stop condensation in the area long enough for labeling. Or a combo of these will work. Please call Kevin O'Connell at 620-875-1083 to discuss further.
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.
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.
Krebs Brewing Co.