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Troubleshooting

troubleshooting
Meheen minimizes the number of moving parts and utilizes only the highest quality parts and engineering, with the aim of producing machines envied for their reliability and consistency.

However, brewing and packaging beverages are complicated endeavors with incalculable variables. We are your partner in packaging, so we want to help identify potential issues, whether at the filler or at some earlier stage of the process, and help you resolve them.

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions section as an initial resource. If a problem does arise that isn’t readily resolved by the FAQ’s, Meheen is always available for support, so give us a call or send us an email.

Do’s and Dont’s

faq
We have addressed thousands of questions over the years and these frequently asked questions are the most common. Take a look and see if we can answer your questions below. If not, feel free to contact us by phone or email and we will answer your questions ASAP.
 

Air Compressor

  • Do: use a compressor that can supply at least 15scf@90psi and provide constant pressure of 100+psi to the machine at all times.
  • Do: use a compressor with oil in the crankcase or industrial style unit.
  • Do: use a hose of at least 3/8″ inside diameter for runs 50′ or less.
  • Do: Connect the hose directly to the air compressor tank in most installations.
  • Do: It is best to provide dry clean air to the bottling machine especially in humid climates and it is a good idea to use an air drier of adequate size. Generally speaking this is a large unit capable of flowing 70scfm@90psi.
  • Don’t: use any oilers, filters or other equipment that will restrict air flow in the system.
  • Don’t: use oil-less compressors or oil free compressors.

Brite Tank

  • Do: use a Brite or dispensing tank that is glycol chilled, insulated and designed for carbonated beverage.
  • Don’t: supply glycol to the Brite tank that is not too cold. 28F and colder temperatures of glycol used to chill a tank can cause freeze and thaw cycles that will make the product foaming difficult to control. We recommend glycol temperature be set at 30F to avoid this issue.
  • Don’t: use single shell tanks in a walk in cooler if you can avoid it. This simply does not work well and will not provide a product in proper bottling condition.
  • Do: If you have to fill from single shell tanks in a cold room or warm products. The Snift delay control on the “N”-Series machines can handle many difficult conditions.
  • Do: chill the beverage to 32-33F and properly carbonate.
  • Don’t: fill products that are too warm for packaging, generally speaking 36F-38F is marginal at best and above 40F don’t package unless doing bottle condition products that would normally be filled close to room temperature.
  • Do: use only the type of hose originally supplied with the bottling machine to connect between the Brite tank and the filler.
  • Do: keep the hose between the Brite tank and the filler as short as practical and insulate it. Closed cell pipe insulation segments with the split down the side work well for this purpose.

CO2 Supply

  • Do: use separate CO2 supply source for the filler and dispensing from the Brite tank. This source can be bulk CO2 or individual tanks.
  • Do: set CO2 pressures according to instructions in your manual.
  • Do: remove petcock valves from regulators if it is determined that they are the cause of repeated counter pressure failures. Consult your manual for proper procedures and tests to determine the cause of the counter pressure failures.
  • Don’t: try to operate the bottling machine and the Brite tank from the same CO2 source.

Bottling

  • Do: rinse bottles with sterile water before filling.
  • Don’t: use sanitizing strength chemicals in your bottle rinser.
  • Do: keep the hose from the Brite tank to the filler as short as possible and insulate it to keep the beverage as cold as possible.
  • Do: chill the beverage to 32F without freezing in the Brite Tank.
  • Do: push the beverage in the Brite Tank at 1-2psi above the equilibrium pressure of the carbonated beverage.
  • Don’t: put any sort of pump or filter between the Brite tank and the filler.
  • Do: use the smooth bore beverages hose supplied with your bottling machine connected directly to the Brite Tank outlet.
  • Don’t: use brewers hose, multiple connections or larger sizes of hose.
  • Don’t: extended Snift, Speed and eductor off-gas vents with hose longer than 3″ and always keep hose ends open to atmosphere.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq
We have addressed thousands of questions over the years and these frequently asked questions are the most common. Take a look and see if we can answer your questions below. If not, feel free to contact us by phone or email and we will answer your questions ASAP.

 

Bottles fill unevenly during the filling process

  1. Move the fill straw and hose from the offending location and switch to another location in the fill block. If the problem remains in the same location on the fill block, run a leak test and look for small leaks. If no leaks detected, remove fill block from the machine and disassemble filling block completely and perform a though cleaning looking for debris that may have caused the issue.
  2. If the problem moved with the straw and the hose, the problem lies with the fill tube, hose or manifold. Most often this is a nucleation problem where a bubble forms reducing flow in that location. This can be caused by dispensing pressures too low for product conditions, over carbonation, product temp too warm for packaging or glycol system set too cold causing instability of carbonation.
  3. Liquid in the bottle side sensor or sensor line, causing incorrect counter pressure and fill detection issues.

Uneven foaming after filling heads lift, resulting in unevenly filled bottles after crowning

  1. Uneven filling as mentioned above can cause this issue.
  2. Low pressure is not correct, resulting in lifting time for the filling heads beyond the 1-second rule.
  3. Pulse CO2 pressure to the machine is in excess of 25psi, resulting in too much energy when pulsing.
  4. Liquid in the bottle side sensor tubing or sensor, retarding machine’s response to full bottles and incorrect control pressures.

Fill valve does not open to pour product

This is a counter pressure failure, which simply means that the computer did not have the correct pressure in the bottles to begin pouring product.

  1. CO2 supply does not deliver enough volume soon enough to bring the bottles up to the proper pressure.
  2. Bottles come up to pressure, but pressure does not bleed down to proper level due to Snift valve failure or blocked with debris.
  3. A leak in the system that does not allow the bottles to pressurize properly.
  4. Diagnosis of fault. Under normal operating conditions the blue CO2 bar on the screen must go 1psi higher than the yellow product pressure bar very quickly, then Snift valves opens to bleed off pressure just below liquid pressure to open fill valve.
  5. If blue bar moves slowly or never gets above yellow bar a CO2 shortage or leak in the system is the problem.
    1. Run a leak test to determine if the machine has a leak. If leaks are detected correct the problem
    2. If leaks are not detected the problem is a CO2 delivery shortage, most often caused by a recently filled bulk system or the shut-off valve on the CO2 regulator which houses a back flow preventer. The shut-off valve can be replaced with a straight through fitting which in most cases will resolve this issue.

Crown slides do not stay full of crowns

Most of the time this is attributable to incorrect rotator speed of the crown sorting magnet hubs. Crown sorter should rotate into the hopper to get crowns in about 1.5 seconds and should take 4-5 seconds to place them in the crown slides. Also, the rotator must turn 450 degrees of rotation into the hopper and 450 degrees to put crowns into the slides. If speeds are not correct, adjustments should be made by adjusting the speed controls for each direction of rotation.

No crown is dropped or two crowns are dropped

Most often this is a result of liquid on the crown slides. Remove crowns from slides and dry them. NEVER attempt to sterilize or get crowns wet before use. This ruins the protective varnish and causes crowns to misfeed.

Bottle detection system fails to detect bottles present even though they are indexing correctly

Assuming the bottle detection sensors have not been moved, this is most often caused by a droplet of liquid getting into the sensor hoses or the red sensor hoses not being completely plugged into the bottom of the panel.

How do I bypass the bottle detection system?

Go to the manual override screen and select the bottle detection screen. In the upper middle part of the screen is a black & red button that when pressed becomes a numeric key pad. Type “3 1 2 4” on the key pad and press “Enter”. The button turns green. Do not touch the green button as this will turn the system back on. Press the “Reset” button and “Main Menu” to continue working with the bottle detection system bypassed.

Automatic fill detection detects bottles as full when they are partially filled

Automatic bottle fill detection uses the change in product line pressure from before flow starts and just after flow starts to determine the correct filling number needed to detect full bottles with dark pours (meaning no gas breaking out of solution).

  1. Dispensing pressure is not adequate to keep CO2 in solution for the conditions of the product; increased pressure may help.
  2. Product is over carbonated; adding pressure to the dispensing tank may help.
  3. Glycol is too cold and product has been through freeze/thaw cycles. When this happens product cannot be properly packaged and should not be bottled. Turn glycol system to 30F for the next batch.
  4. There is liquid in the bottle side sensor or sensor line. Clear line and sensor.
  5. Remove bottle side sensor line labeled “A” from the bottom of the panel and manually override the Pulse valve to blow it clear.
    1. Unscrew the fitting from the bottom of the panel and flush the sensor using a squire bottle with clean water or alcohol, then roll the corner of a paper towel to a point and make sure the sensor is clean and dry inside.
    2. Reassemble
  6. There are leaks in the system causing sudden changes in bottle pressure. Run a leak test and correct leaking components.

Bottles start to move before filling heads are completely clear of the bottles

  1. Bottle indexing speed is too fast, which will also cause bottles to misfeed due to sliding past filling and capping stations.
  2. Not enough full bottles on outfeed deck to keep bottles on sloped infeed ramp from sliding on their own. Ensure that filled bottles are not removed from out feed deck until after leg attachment point to frame.
  3. Out-feed deck has been sprayed with silicone lubricant. Remove all traces of silicone lubrication or flip deck over.
  4. Air pressure or volume of air is low coming into the machine.

Crowner makes loud bang when crowning or does not finish crowning all the time

This is a compressed air shortage of either volume or pressure, identifiable by watching the gauge on the air regulator mounted on the machines frame. Nominally set at 95psi in the static condition, the air pressure gauges should not drop below 80psi anytime during operation. If the air pressure does drop below 80psi, most likely the cause is a restriction to air flow, such as quick connect fittings or extra air prep equipment such as driers, filters, regulators, etc. which do not flow enough air.

Product flows backwards up fill hoses momentarily after fill valve opens

Pressure in the bottles at the moment the fill valve opens is slightly higher than incoming product.

  1. There is liquid in the bottle side sensor or sensor line affecting the pressure reading to the computer.
  2. Over-carbonated or unstable product that the agitation from snapping the pinch bar opens releases gas from the product momentarily over pressuring the bottles.
  3. Product pressure sensor has been damaged resulting in an elevated pressure reading of the product. Replace or calibrate sensor.