New developments in high speed bottle filling technology.
Kronseder, H. and Schwarz, R.F.
'Jetting', 'Pre-evacuation' and the relationship between beer spillage and air pickup is explained in terms of the 'jetting parameter', a multiple of nozzel cross-section, pressure, jetting time and foaming time. Three new technical developments for improving filling performance are described. In the UKVCF system a short tube pre-evacuation filling valve is used to pressurise the bottle with CO2 after pre-evacuation and corrects the fill level at the end of the filling cycle. Trials have shown that beer loss can be reduced to 0.5 ml/bottle, a 10-fold reduction when compared to the standard pre-evacuation performance. Air pickup was similar at 0.2 cc/bottle. Although CO2 consumption increased 4-fold to 2.1 lb/barrel, savings in beer resulted in an overall annual saving of $302,500 on a 1000 BPM line. In the 'Purge' system a portion of the reservoir exhaust gas is diverted into the bottle prior to pre-evacuation. With moderate CO2 usage a higher bottle purity can be obtained even without pre-evacuation. In the 'Double Evacuation' system a reservoir purity of 99% CO2 was achieved and CO2 usage reduced to 1.7 lb/barrel. Each system has been analysed from a theoretical, operational and performance standpoint. Their application has reduced pickup and spillage by up to one third and the variation in fill level to about half that of current values.
Keywords : bottling brewing industry development high-capacity equipment