Introducing Automated Canning!
What happens when a high end design and engineering firm with their own full service machine shop moves in next door to a craft brewery who has no interest in bottles?
The Micro-Can is born!
The Micro-Can is a small footprint, modular automated canning system featuring a pallet sized inlet for easy loading, auto feeding into a next generation filling system, lid capture, and seaming all inside 3 meters.
The heart of the operation is the patented technology of the next generation filling system. Simply supply half inch lines, consistent temperature and pressure, and the filler does the rest. By utilizing pneumatics every aspect of the pour is controlled, right down to how much foam. By manipulating the constriction of the lines inside the device, astounding pour speeds can be achieved with minimal foam. Calibrated flow meters ensure accurate volumes down to 0.1 oz, and best of all, included software accessed via USB or LAN provides detailed control so adjustment is a snap. The filler keeps track of how many cans per head so total output can be displayed on the panel or on the computer for easy book keeping.
In addition to the pour volumes, all aspects of the pour can be adjusted easily through a simple optimization process that eliminates foam filled cans and ensures accurate and consistent volumes every time.
The entire system has been designed around scalability. Upslope brewery, our neighbors, came to us with a the issue of through put. They had a had canning system in hand, and were interested in an upgrade without breaking the bank. We designed and produced a system that they implemented as a step by step upgrade to their existing equipment, while minimizing redundant equipment. The end product is a fully automated system that is capable of ~24 cans/ min while utilizing key components they had already purchased.
While the original intent was to simply automate their existing equipment, speed tests and a good look at the existing filler showed us we had an issue. A total upgrade was the only way.
We implemented the next generation filler as a manual unit straight into their canning line and almost doubled the output (after the adjusting and optimization of course!).
The next step was the integration. With the filler in place, we put our computer modeling skills and machine shop to work, and created a conveyor system to guide, spin, lift and shove cans into right places at the right times. We wrapped all the controls for the individual components into a single panel, added extensive control logic, and made it all work in concert. All the motion (except the actual turning of the belt) is pneumatic, so the only things in the ‘wet zone’ are sensors (spec’d for wash down) and air lines.
We’re now in full production mode and cranking out systems ! The Micro-Can system is running at Upslope, Breckenridge/Wynkoop Brewery, Austin Beerworks, and Michigan Brewing, with installations pending at Aspen Brewing Company, Eddyline Brewery, Southern Star Brewing Company, NOLA Brewing Company, Piney River brewing, Old Forge Brewing, and most recently, Austin Beerworks has taken the steps to upgrade from Manual to Automated. The Prototype system at Upslope cranking out a steady 22-24 cans per min and they love to show it off- swing by the tasting room. The MC-250 at Breckenridge is putting out 34-36 cans/min and is complete with deplitzation and our own CNC machined twist rinse. We have videos of the system in action for folks that are further away (see our youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/WildGooseEngineering ), so if you’re looking for a canning solution, either manual or fully automated, shoot us a line through the ‘contact’ page, or contact us directly at info (at) wildgooseengineering.com.