What do you (the beverage packager) need to be happy with your canning equipment?
Most of our customers reply that they need canning equipment that doesn’t break down and produces a consistent, quality canned beverage. Whether you are packaging beer, wine or even water, the following six steps will minimize equipment issues, maximize the quality of your product and keep your canning equipment running.
Is there single thing in your brewery, distillery, winery, watery (probably not a word in this context), coffee/kombucha/soft drink/energy drink/cannabis beverage facility that costs more than a packaging line? Is there anything more complex with more working parts, more required maintenance, more potential failure points? The truth is: canning line equipment requires a lot more knowledge, care, planning and support than the hand-operated bottle fillers so many beverage businesses start out with.
Step 1 – Get a mechanical maintenance person for your canning line.
Canning lines need tweaking, tuning, troubleshooting, and maintenance. If you don’t have the skills and can’t hire someone who does, find a skilled friend that loves to drink your stuff and make a trade for their services. We encourage you to use the manufacturer (hopefully they are trained Monkeys) to help from afar. But often you need to get your batch finished right away and having someone who you can call upon is a necessity.
Step 2 – Get spare parts.
All canning equipment breaks. Unless you don’t mind waiting for a replacement parts, plan on buying spare parts to keep on hand. To avoid production delays and even spoiled beverage, talk to your canning equipment manufacturer and discuss common breakdown issues that customers have and what you need to order so you can avoid downtime.
Step 3 – Perform preventative maintenance.
Skipping maintenance will come back to bite you. Don’t let your canning equipment stop in the middle of the run because you forgot to make adjustments, etc. Setup a maintenance schedule and assign responsibility. Buy the tools you need to make sure your equipment is in top shape every time you run.
Step 4 – Clean!
Cleaning your canning line is a must. Not only does a proper cleaning help your equipment operate as intended it also helps you produce a more quality beverage. A clean line means you don’t risk your brands reputation. We’ve seen some very unclean canning lines . . . bad enough that our own people no longer drink products from those brands.
Cleaning your canning line will make it last longer, looks better and you can show it off without reservation.
Step 5 –Give feedback!
Share with your canning equipment manufacture the good, the bad, and the ugly. All that feedback is what we live for and improve from. It’s good to know what is working and what isn’t.
Step 6 – Keep records.
You should be keeping records of process variables for each batch of beverage you create, such as the temperatures and times of processing the various steps. You should do the same with maintenance records, seam measurements records, the beverage conditions at time of packaging, the amount of canned product and notes about the day. Having good records assures that you’re keeping up with things and helps you look for patterns and areas of improvement.
Do these six steps and you should have a very successful future canning your beverages.
The Twin Monkeys team has decades of beverage and automation experience. Our canning machines are designed to be affordable and easy to maintain. Call one of our representatives to learn more about Twin Monkeys, our canning equipment, our service team and how we can help you grow your beverage company.