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Old 03-30-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
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Default How do commercial bottling lines cap the beer?

This is more out of interest (and possible distant future use) but….
How do commercial, or DIY, bottling lines cap the beer. I have searched on here and found a couple of automatic bottle filling lines (Claudius one is trick) and a few pneumatic cappers but nothing on putting it all together. If you were to build one the capping part would be easy as it would be nearly identical to the filling station but with a capper instead, my issue is how you get the crown caps onto the bottles for capping. My thoughts have leaded me down the track of the capper picking up a cap with an electromagnet (but not sure how to either pick up only 1 if the caps are stacked or how to easily have a column of caps stacked “side-by-side” without personally sitting there and ending up with a 5 foot column of caps)
Anyone that has worked in a bottling plant want to share the secret?

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Old 03-30-2010, 10:05 PM   #2
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stack the caps and have an electromagnet that is barely strong enough for one cap at a time?

Or use suction to lift one cap at a time.

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Old 03-30-2010, 10:14 PM   #3
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Suction sounds like a good idea, The other thing I thought of is at the last place I worked (steel mill) the used electromagnets to pick up plate stock, high voltage would come on picking up the first few in the stack, then the voltage would drop to a lower level so that all but the first plate was held, but suction sounds like a good way to go!

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Old 03-30-2010, 10:48 PM   #4
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I would think the actual capping part would be easy. You could use an electromagnet that turns on to pick up the cap and off to drop it. You could use suction (on and off), or you could use something mechanical to push the cap on. I would think the harder part would be getting all the caps lined up and right side up so that the machine grabs 'em right.

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Old 03-30-2010, 11:21 PM   #5
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Yeah I guess that is what I was meaning by having them stacked side by side in some sort of slotted frame - PITA to do that. Manually stacking them ontop of each other would probably be a bit more acceptable but still annoying. I reackon you could stack 100 caps ontop of each other (in some sorta tube) in a few minutes.

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Old 03-30-2010, 11:36 PM   #6
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I just thought about the need to keep the top of the stack at the same hieght no matter how many caps are left. My first concept is to "clamp" the second cap in the stack and have a end plate that slides away. The caps would be pushed up against the end plate by a spring, when the capper is ready to pick up a cap the clamp holds the second cap in place, the end plate slides away, capper picks up cap (suction/magnet), end plate slides back, calmp realeases and caps are pushed one space upward.
I don't think you would need an electromagnet for this either as a permenant magnet would hold the cap but wouldn't ba able to lift a bottle so the capped bottle would not be lifted off the line.

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Old 03-31-2010, 01:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
This is more out of interest (and possible distant future use) but….
How do commercial, or DIY, bottling lines cap the beer. I have searched on here and found a couple of automatic bottle filling lines (Claudius one is trick) and a few pneumatic cappers but nothing on putting it all together.
My original toy bottling line was equipped with a rotary filler and single cap crowner.
The crowns came down a chute by gravity into a guide. The indexing motion of filler made the bottle lip pick up the crown.
The second version used a pneumatic cylinder and magnet to guide the crown.
Since the filler-capper was not equipped with a crown sorter bowl I used preloaded cartridges plugged into the chute.
The nice thing about using the cartridges was the sanitizing of the crowns, just dipped the unit into SaniClean.
Someday I might build a new crowner for my current museums piece.
Have to finish a more imported two year old project.


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Old 03-31-2010, 02:00 AM   #8
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Cheers Claudius,
YouTube is blocked at work but I will be watching the video when I get home! I was wondering if you could get prepackaged stacks of caps

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Old 03-31-2010, 02:10 AM   #9
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Wow Claudius. Your brewery or you make the automated equipment? I'm assuming your a controls guy for the machine builder.

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Old 03-31-2010, 03:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
YouTube is blocked at work
Smart employer
Quote:
I was wondering if you could get prepackaged stacks of caps
Not to my knowledge, bottle crowns are fed side by side down the chute.
If you do can filling the lids come stacked.

Quote:
you make the automated equipment?
Yes, and with the help from some great guys.

Quote:
I'm assuming your a controls guy
I know the basics

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