We’ve talked about how to brew beer and what equipment we need to make beer. Now let’s see how to set up a canned beer filling line.
Before, due to logistical and packaging technology constraints, we could only drink local beer or sell our brewed beer locally. With the development of science and technology, we can now drink beer anywhere in the world, and we can sell our beer all over the world.
Common beer packaging containers on the market are glass bottles, steel bottles, plastic bottles, and cans. In this article, we focus on canned beer.
There are tin cans and aluminum cans. The tin can is harder and has better acid and corrosion resistance. So it is generally used in the packaging of acidic foods such as fruit juice and ketchup. Aluminum cans are more used in the packaging of carbonated beverages such as beer. It has a recovery rate of up to 90%. It is more friendly to the environment than other packaging containers.
How are aluminum cans made?
Aluminum cans are made from aluminum coils. The production process has 7 steps:
1. Cup forming–2. Body making–3. Bathing–4. Printing–5. Necking–6. Inspection–7. Palletizing
What we need are cans on pallets.
Generally speaking, beverage factories buy cans from can suppliers. Even a company as big as Coca-Cola doesn’t make aluminum cans by itself.
What’s the price of aluminum cans? The price of aluminum cans is affected by raw materials, origin, can model and order quantity. In China, a 202 model of 330ml aluminum cans costs around 0.07USD, with a lid of about $0.02 per unit. Can prices have also been volatile due to fluctuations in raw material prices so far this year. We should pay attention to raw material prices, timely lock the most favorable can prices.
When empty cans are palletized and shipped to the factory, we will begin the filling production.
What machines are there in the entire canned beer filling line?
1.Depalletizer- 2.Can Rinsing Machine-3. Filling Sealing Machine-4.Level Inspector-5.Pasteurization Machine-6.Blow Drying Machine-7.Date Printer-8.Packing Machine
The depalletizer will depalletize cans and send them to the conveyor. Then empty cans will enter the entire production line.
2. Can Rinsing Machine
Rinse and clean the empty cans before entering the filling machine. Rinse off any possible impurities.
3. Filling Sealing Machine
We use a counter-pressure filling machine for carbonated beverages such as beer. In the alcohol filling machine article, you can find the filling principles and filling procedures of canned beer. Please click to view.
In the beer filling, we must solve Air and foam.
In beer filling, rich foam is an important factor affecting the filling level. We have to control the procedure well that beer enters into filling tank. Or there will be a lot of foam in filling tank. Rich foam affects filling. Imagine that there is foam in cans, not beer. There’s nothing worse than that.
Linho uses advanced diaphram valves to avoid rich foam from the beer inlet. The diaphram valve makes the beer inlet lighter, rather than allowing beer to flood into the filling tank.
German counter-pressure filling technology avoids excessive foaming during can filling. And uneven filling levels.
Excessive exposure to air can affect the shelf life and flavor of beer. So we use filling sealing 2 in 1 machine. Its compact structure reduces the contact time between beverages and air after filling.
Before filling and during filling, an adjustable two-times vacuum mechanism discharges air from cans as much as possible.
3 vents in the filling valve to ensure that the air in the can is discharged out of the filling tank. The beer in the filling tank also minimizes contact with the air.
Between the filling machine and the sealing machine, Linho uses two-times CO2 routes to blow the can mouth. After filling the beer, reduce air contact before entering the can sealer.
Sealing is also very important. Good sealing determines the life of a can of beer.
Linho uses Italian original import sealing heads. The sealing performance is perfect. The number of effective sealing can be as high as 20 million. Significantly more than China sealing 2 million times, Taiwan sealing 6 million times.
About mechanical control, Linho uses the German Siemens PLC and touch screen control. All small components are from France Schneider. All these make machine easy to operate, and maintain.
Independent control cabinet. Workers operate machine at a safe distance. This is to ensure the safety of workers and reduce the failure rate.
The operating pressure of the filling machine is adjustable, simple and clear. Easy for regular pressure detection and adjustment.
Linho offers more models.
12-1：12 filling heads, 1 sealing head, Speed 2000cph
20-4: 20 filling heads, 4 sealing heads, speed 8000cph
36-6: 36 filling heads, 6 sealing heads, speed 15000cph.
You can choose different models of machines according to your production requirements. Linho always provides customers with safe and efficient machinery.
4. Level Inspector
Even with precise filling, we should avoid possible filling level errors. Consumers will get mad if the beer is not at right level in cans. It also affects the image of the beer brand. Then, the level detector is very necessary. Through X-ray irradiation testing, every can of beer with substandard levels is automatically removed from the production line. You don’t have to worry aboucarry t the damage that X-rays can do to your body. The latest generation of level detectors no longer use isotope radiation sources. It is very safe for workers to use the machine within the normal range (without touching the measuring sensor).
5. Pasteurization Machine
Pasteurization of beer can carry out before or after filling.
Pasteurization before filling is carried out by a UHT. The sterilization principle is to keep the beer at 72-73℃for 20-30 seconds. This sterilization machine requires a small area, has less sterilization time, and affects less of the beer quality. But, it requires higher filling environment. Filling must be complete in a sterile environment. Clean workshops are often necessary. If you are making draft beer, you need to replace the UHT with plate and frame filter.
Another type of pasteurization is carried out by a pasteurization spraying sterilization. Spray sterilization machine uses hot water to spray the cans. Canned beer enters into the spray tunnel. There are preheating area, sterilization area and cooling area in the tunnel. The cans are warmed up in the preheating area, and then stay in the sterilization area (60-62 ℃) for 18-25 Minutes. Then enter the cooling area to be cooled down to room temperature. The entire spray process lasts about 30 minutes.
Spraying sterilization takes longer time and consumes more energy than UHT. From the whole product safety, spraying sterilization machines sterilize beer with cans together. The sterilization carries out in the final stages of production. There is little chance of re-infecting the bacteria. UHT is at risk of secondary contamination during the filling process. Thus, UHT requires sterile filling.
General small packaging such as PET bottles, cans choose more spray sterilization machine. Large packages, such as barreled beer, use more UHT.
6. Blow Dry Machine
If use a spray sterilization machine, the cans that come out of the tunnel need to be blow-dried with a blow dryer. To carry out the next production, Linho uses a spider-foot blow dryer. All blower angle is adjustable. The angle of blow-drying can be adjusted according to the height of the cana.
7. Date Printer
There are ink type and laser type for date printer. The same efficiency of the date printer, ink is cheaper than laser. The difference can be as high as $10,000. The inkjet head of ink type need to be cleaned to prevent it from clogging. And it required consumption goods such as ink . Laser type seems to be more suitable for areas where purchasing consumables is inconvenient. Laser coders require almost no consumption parts and have few problems. Apart from being expensive, it has few drawbacks. Laser coders are more used in China. Next time you go to the supermarket, you can observe. Which coder type is more common in your country.
The most popular coder brands on the market today are Linxin from UK, Imajet from France, Videojet from US. Made-in China are more used in China. This mainly benefits from its excellent cost-effectiveness.
The more used packaging methods are film packing, one-piece carton packaging, and half-tray packaging.
One-piece carton packing machine and a half-tray packaging machine are more expensive. If your production line is small, or you have a limited budget, you can use semiautomatic packing. Put cans on tray or carton manually, and then do the film packing by full automatic film packing machine.
Depending on your specific needs, you can also choose a palletizer and pallets packing machine. This makes it easier to transport products. Great savings in manpower.
This is a complete line of canned beer. From empty cans to the final product, there are many processes. It also involves a lot of technical expertise. With this article, hope you’ll get a general idea of the canned beer line. If you have any ideas, please contact us. We look forward to talking with you.