The Ultimate Bottling Flexibility in a Craft Beer Filling Machine!
The 8 Shooter is an Automatic Counter Pressure Craft Beer Filling Machine designed by American Engineers with decades of liquid packaging experience. It is built in the Heartland of America Lincoln, Nebraska USA and is Patent Pending. Our Engineers design with you in mind. Give your operator precision control at every step along the way; bottle handling, pre-rinse, filling, crowning, and post rinse. The 8 Shooter beer bottling machine is your #1 choice for a high quality, cost effective, flexible automatic bottle filler.
So why should you buy an 8 Shooter Counter Pressure Beer Bottling Machine?
Flexibility of bottle sizes, reliable quality, precision servo controlled, and practical pricing you can afford!
Flexibility of Bottle Sizes
The Martin Robotics 8 Shooter Beer Filling Machine offers craft beer bottlers the Ultimate Bottling Flexibility. You don’t have to be stuck in a single bottle size, anymore. The 8 Shooter provides the ability to easily change between a variety of bottle sizes – IN ONE MACHINE! Servo motors & advanced PLC programming work together to allow for bottle change overs in mere minutes. Watch the following bottle change over video to see how easy it is to switch between common bottle sizes with the 8 Shooter Automatic Beer Bottle Filler.
8 Shooter (Quick Change) Bottle Change Over Video
8 Shooter (Quick Change) Supported Beer Bottle Sizes
The following is a partial list of beer bottle sizes that the 8 Shooter Automatic Bottling Machine easily accommodates.
Brewers, we know what you’re thinking. It’s one of the burning questions that can literally keep you up at night… “What about my D.O.?” It’s what you really want to know, right? Short answer – with the 8 Shooter, it can be LOW. Just how low varies depending upon your brewery’s setup.
However, with good practices in place, we expect most breweries to see Total Dissolved Oxygen Pickup readings somewhere between 10-30ppb. Results will vary, so yours may be lower or higher, but remember this – Martin Robotics 8 Shooter Beer Filler provides the Ultimate Bottling Flexibility. Thanks to our advanced programming and controls, it’s easy to decrease your DO pickup by increasing your purge time… adjustment is a simple touch screen operation.
“That’s incredible,” you say, but think to yourself, ‘If only I had my own D.O. meter to see where our brewery lands.’ Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Talk to our sales and service personnel to see about having our installer bring an Anton Paar Cbox D.O meter to your facility. We’ll let you take the bottle piercer for a spin and help put an end to those sleepless nights. Of course, we won’t be there to give you a reading for every bottling run, but we can provide you with a good baseline to work with. Your beer quality is as important to us as it is to your customers.
Speed vs. Productivity of a Beer Filling Machine
The next topics on every brewer’s mind is, “Ok, so the D.O. pick up is nice and low. But how fast is it?” Admit it. It’s what you’re wondering, right? Your bottling line’s productivity is the other thing which can literally keep you and your crew up all night. So the question is, ‘How do you define Speed?’ And, ‘How do you define Productivity?’ But is your definition the same as a packaging manufacturer defines it? Do they even define it at all? No matter how fast someone else claims to be, it’s your real world results (productivity) that matter for you. Is a speed really 2,400 bottles per hour if you have to stop every 5 minutes to make adjustments and fiddle with the equipment? Or if you run for an hour but were down for 20 minutes, are you pleased? These answers are important.
Let’s start with some definitions.
Productivity is how much you can get out of the machine for what you put into it. Where as Speed is merely the rate at which the machine is able to move.
Speed = Maximum Machine Ability
Our cycle times may run between 12 to 23 seconds for one bottle set depending upon variables. With our 8-at-a-time bottling cycle, this means we run between 20-40 bpm (bottles per minute) or 1200 to 2400 bph (bottles per hour). These times assume a 12oz (330mL) bottle with good bottling conditions. A key callout of speed is filling volume. Remember, the 8 Shooter is able to handle so many different bottle sizes! The fill time on a 750mL bottle will be longer than that of a 12oz bottle. With the 8 Shooter Beer Filling Machine’s Ultimate Bottling Flexibility, you don’t have to limit your brewery to one size. You may have a different speed for each beer bottle / beer variety combo you package.
Ok, so now let’s move forward and look at those two main factors of Productivity: #1. Facility Conditions, and #2. Bottle Handling Effectiveness.
Productivity Factor #1 – Facility Conditions
Now let’s look at what effects bottling productivity. Multiple facility conditions are at work: incoming beer temperature, Brite tank conditions and plumbing, Brite tank transfer methods, carbonation levels, adequate incoming pressures for CO2 & compressed air. So when the ‘other guys’ quote a speed, you should wonder what assumptions they made. How carbonated was the beer they used to cite their speed? Did they even time their speed with beer, or is it based on a non-carbonated fill with water? These are relevant questions for a Brewery owner and Brew master. A warm high carbonation beer traveling a long distance from Brite to Filler creates far from ideal conditions. Average to low carbonation beer kept near 0 Celsius with a short travel distance creates more ideal conditions.
Productivity Factor #2 – Bottle Handling Effectiveness
We can break Bottle Handling Effectiveness down further into two categories; Mechanical Reliability and, In-Feeding.
Mechanical Reliability – Servo’s vs Pneumatics
With the Martin Robotics 8 Shooter, you can count on reliability. Get more bottled in less time because it keeps running without breaking down. Our integrated robotic servo motor controls beat the conventional approach of pneumatics. What makes one Beer Filling Machine better than another? Reliability? Bottle handling accuracy? Less Bottle breakage? How much your operator has to fiddle with it? The 8 Shooter’s got you covered on all fronts.
We don’t simply rely on loud, cranky, imprecise pneumatics to be ‘good enough’ for your bottle handling; we use quiet, reliable, precision servo motors and electronic controls for most of our bottle handling movements. The 8 Shooter can actually bottle down to the last set of loaded bottles without operator intervention due to our innovative approaches to bottle handling. Such innovation includes our unique individual bottle detection system, flat inlet conveyor and servo driven bottle pusher.
Bottle In Feeding
The 8 Shooter’s flat motorized inlet conveyor brings stability slanted surfaces don’t offer. Bottles gently drop down to the filling deck when the PLC control inlet belt advances. By not relying on gravity from an angled slide deck and spray lubricants, we eliminate the opportunity for incoming bottles to either get stuck or fall over. With a reduced chance of bottle handling failures, your operator doesn’t have to waste time manually pushing bottles into place or cleaning up broken glass (the typical aftermath of a misaligned bottle). Less downtime means more beer in bottles to make you money. We also carry an Autoloader/Rinser option that provides additional automation efficiency.
As a stand-alone 8 Shooter, you can have your operators manually off load from the stationary accumulation outlet deck. Alternatively, you can setup to have bottles pushed off the accumulation deck onto a conveyor for the next step in your operation, such as Beer Bottle Labeling.
THE 8 SHOOTER BEER BOTTLING MACHINE PROCESS
How does this bottling machine work?
The basic 8 Shooter Beer Bottling process can be broken down into five steps consisting of; (1.) Speed Loading, (2.) Pre-Rinsing, (3.) Counter Pressure Filling, (4.) Crowing/Capping, and (5.) Post Rinsing.
1.) Speed Loading
Start your beer filling machine off easy, as you pluck bottles right off the glass pallet. There’s no need for an extra person to readjust bottles to fit in a certain configuration. Our easy to operate “SpeedLoader” loading mechanism for loading and pre-rinsing makes life simple. With other manual rinse systems, operators are worn out by the end of a long day. Other loaders require operators to apply manual force to squeeze open a grabber. However, in the 8 Shooter’s SpeedLoader, we let physics do the work. We pick bottles up in an ergonomic manner, 16 bottles at a time. With only 16 bottles per load and little exertion, your team won’t be as worn out after a bottling run. SpeedLoaders are available for any bottle size the 8 Shooter services. They are designed to pair perfectly with our manual pre-rinsing. A Martin Robotics exclusive for Ultimate Bottling Flexibility.
2.) Pre Rinsing
Grab that full SpeedLoader and flip onto the pre-rinser, easy as pie. It is not back breaking work to place bottles. The pre-rinser is about waist high for the average gal or guy. This vital step ensures you fill into nice, clean, debris free glass. We all know bottles aren’t 100% dust free by the time they reach your brew houses’ dock. Wash your worries away either using our standard factory pre-set rinse time, or if you choose, adjust the rinse time to meet your specific needs.
3.) Counter Pressure Bottle Filling
We’ve got carbonated filling handled with the 8 Shooter’s Counter Pressure Beer Filling Machine. Our patent pending design was conceived in-house. Our fill process doesn’t just pour some beer into a bottle. The 8 Shooter Beer Filling Machine is fully computer controlled & tunable by your Brew Master. Let’s look at our multi-step fill process.
Steps of the Filling Process:
1.) First, the aligner lowers to meet the bottle top and create a seal. Once a sealed, a quick vacuum is pulled to verify all bottles are present.
2.) Then, the fill nozzles lower to the bottom of the bottle. The machine continues to pull a vacuum until it reaches the desired set point.
3.) Next, CO2 is injected into the bottle, pushing out the air from the bottom. Then, we stop the CO2 purge and continue pulling a vacuum until the 8 Shooter detects whether a vacuum has been met. Next, we re-pressurize the bottle with CO2 to a differential pressure set based on the characteristics of what you’re currently bottling. The number of CO2 purge and pre-evacuation cycles is input with the working set on the touch panel and is remembered for the next time. The operator may adjust the quantity of pre-evac cycles. So, if you want to get serious about DO, you can add more cycles. Usually 1 or 2 cycles are adequate.
4.) Then, the machine slowly fills the bottles from the bottom in a laminar fashion so as to not shock your beer into releasing CO2 gases.
5.) Once the fill nozzle openings are covered with beer, the nozzles are gently raised while continuously adjusting the CO2 pressures and optimizing speed, thus preventing undesirable turbulence from occurring during the fill.
6.) Finally, when the nozzles reach a predefined stopping point and the liquid is at the desired neck level, a F.O.B (foam on beer) shot of CO2 is released. This ensures that your beer will be nicely blanketed with CO2 for crowning onto foam. You can keep the desired carbonation level dissolved in your beer and keep the Oxygen out.
Don’t be forced to compromise on your carbonation standards to package your beer. If your process needs to be different than this, we have you covered with the Ultimate Bottling Flexibility . Advanced controls allow the 8 Shooter Beer Filling Machine to fill bottles in multiple ways, including a fermentation in the bottle mode.
4.) Crowning or Capping
Perfect crowning doesn’t need to be earth-shaking or glass-breaking. With our Beer Filling Machine the crowning process is a pnuematics free zone! You shouldn’t need to spend precious time worrying if your air compressor is maintaining a tight pressure. The 8 Shooter isn’t concerned. With our precision servo control and factory pre-set programming, we keep our crowning operations smooth, quiet, and reliable. You can adjust the tightness of the crowning with a push of a touch panel button- no manual adjustment. Let your Brew Master adjust away to their heart’s content in 1/100th of an inch increments. Our crowning dies are made out of the finest quality hardened stainless steel. You don’t need to worry about rusting or premature wear. That is a concern with lower grade materials as crowning-on-foam process does expose the die to liquid.
Crown Handling Process:
Our unique patent pending crown shuttle ensures a properly located crown is in place every time before the crowner goes down. The 8 Shooter comes standard equipped with a sensor at each crown chute; This ensures that the bottling machine isn’t trying to crown without a cap ready. If an operator forgets to refill the hopper, the machine pauses itself and gives the operator a message. Our servo controlled drum sorter has two spring loaded excluders. You don’t need to have any tools handy for manual adjustment; nothing as small as a paperclip or large as a mallet! The 8 Shooter’s programming and advanced Engineering does it all for you. We are so sure you won’t have to stand around loading your crowner chutes by hand, that we have a hinged poly-carbonate cover over our sorter to keep out dust and debris.
Lastly, you can’t let your beer bottler leave things a mess before boxing. The 8 Shooter’s job isn’t done until the bottle’s all clean. Some jobs are a bit messier than others, so our post rinse timing is adjustable via the touch panel.
Foam doesn’t like to just stay put, waiting for you to wash it away, it gets to rolling down your bottle.
Our Post-Rinser moves up and down the bottle neck, in a synchronized manner with the crowning system. When a customer cracks open a bottle at the end of a long hard work day, the last thing they want is to wrap their lips around dried up beer crud from under the crown. With the 8 Shooter Automatic Beer Bottle Filling Machine… we spray up under the crowns during the post rinse cycle to help circumvent this problem.
Watch The 8 Shooter – Beer Filling Machine in action