Keg Line Monitoring
The Rotech Keg Line Monitoring System is a comprehensive package comprising:
Hardware: Your standard keg, any size or type, is converted to an electronic sensor keg, by fitted it with non-intrusive sensors. It is supremely easy to use and robust — with a single button operation and non-contact infra-red data transfer from the keg (no cables or loose parts).
Software: Dedicated Windows software, totally racker-oriented. Clear and easy to use for both Operator and Manager. Has numerous features for instant analysis of hygiene, visual screen checks, macros, and many others - a long list.
Experience, training, and advice: Rotech does not just sell electronic kegs. By analysing your line results with you, we can provide fast experience-based solutions for almost any problem or requirement — quality, hygiene, energy efficiency, throughput, fill, etc. We invite and expect our customers to send or e-mail their records. We analyse and report on findings and make specific recommendations.
How do you use it?
• Put the keg through the line as normal,
• including filling. It logs every cycle, every
• Recover from the outfeed/decant; send
• run information to the PC when you are
• View and analyse results with powerful
• user-friendly software.
The Rotech Keg will tell you everything about your keg filling line — including its energy efficiency, whether it is properly sanitising kegs, if your utilities consumption is excessive, if and why you have filling problems, how to increase your throughput without risk to quality, and generally how closely performance matches program targets. It is an indispensable tool for tracking down engineering problems, persistent or intermittent.
You sweep away any mystery about what is happening inside the keg — you replace guesswork with instrumented certainty. Step at leisure second by second, back and forward, through every cycle on every head. Compare with yesterday, last year, an ideal cycle, every other head/lane, the machine program, etc. Regular or intermittent high counts or quality problems? — Pinpoint the cause(s), and derive solutions in the shortest possible time. Verify the results of changes in minutes.
Technical Info — some real uses of Keg Monitoring:
Steam Disinfection & Saturated Steam
Pressure steam is one the most effective disinfectants; micro-biologists prefer it, and most rackers worldwide use it to sanitise their kegs. It actively gets to every surface inside the keg, including all the ‘difficult’ areas — like the outside of the spear and all the crevices in the closure and valves.
Pressure steam has approximately 5 times the energy of water at the same temperature. When steam condenses on the keg walls and spear, this extra ‘latent’ heat is delivered onto the surfaces. This is the energy which destroys beer spoilage organisms, and it is essential for good disinfection to have this condensing. It will only happen if the keg atmosphere is pure steam (i.e., no air or gas present) and the steam is not superheated.
Rotech’s patented software features uniquely highlight on screen if your steam is saturated. You can instantly:
Examine steam quality (closeness to saturation)
If it is not saturated, you can readily analyse for the superheat or steam/air/gas mix.
Check contact times
Set brewery targets for contact time and temperature. The software automatically calculates actual times.
Provide instant simple visual checks
You pre-set a range for as many important parameters as you wish (e.g., disinfection temperature, contact time, wash temperature, final top pressure, etc.).
The software will show immediately if parameters are out of range - anybody can look at the record — no knowledge of programs or cycles or anything is needed for this.
The other elements of any disinfection cycle are temperature and contact time. Rotech’s unique software will automatically calculate contact time above any given temperature, as set by brewery standards.
Control of Filling
The objective is a fast, low-fob(froth), meter-controlled fill.
Is the counter-pressure correct at start of fill?, during fill?, at end of fill?
Most lines use pressure balance to control beer flow. Proper management of counter-pressure is vital for controlling fill speed and for keeping gas balance in the beer. Loss of pressure at start of fill, and poor control during fill, are responsible for most filling problems. The Rotech Keg will show you precisely what is happening, and enable you to correct and verify without guesswork.
Is there much fobbing (frothing)?
Fob/froth means loss of gas, filling difficulties, and loss of taste and poor presentation when the beer is served to the customer.
Is the meter working?
If you are over-filling your kegs, in addition to giving away ‘free’ beer, the top pressure at the end of fill is not in control and could be almost anything — this will affect the gas balance in the beer and the taste and presentation when it is dispensed.
What are fill times? Is the fill profile control working?
The standard Rotech Keg will give you intermediate and final fill times — use these to check the fill profile and follow cycles of slow-fast-slow fills.
In addition, the level-sensing option will continuously give actual liquid contents, and instantaneous rates of filling or emptying.
Maximum throughput is controlled by the longest combination of cycles on a head, plus transfer time on lane rackers. The principles of increasing throughput are straightforward — minimise all delays and reduce unnecessarily long cycle times.
The Rotech Keg shows clamp and release on each head, and the start and finish of every cycle can be checked to within less than a second. With this information, every opportunity for cutting delays can be identified and used. It is quite possible on many, many filling lines to increase filling by at least 10% without any risk to quality or disinfection, and at little or no cost to implement.
Energy and utilities are very costly, and a prime use of the Rotech Keg (and commercial justification) is to reduce energy costs — without any risk to quality; rather with an improvement in most cases.
Many rackers use excessive quantities of wash utilities and steam in a mistaken (or unrecognised) notion that ‘more is better’. In many, many cases the very opposite is true — cutting steam consumption by 20-50% can actually bring substantial improvements in wash quality, and at the same time cut consumption of detergent and rinse utilities, and remove risks to keg hygiene and seemingly inexplicable occasional high counts. And the cost to implement is often just some re-setting/re-programming.
This is an extraordinary win-win-win situation. In a large racking operation, the savings in energy alone can pay for the Rotech Keg in a month or two; and it is possible only because of the availability of actual, reliable, in-keg data. Can it be real? — absolutely, we have dozens of examples.
The Rotech Keg will diagnose a host of other actual or potential line operating problems and obscure faults. For example:
Poor washing: If wash liquors pool in the keg, the lower walls and dome will not be scoured.
Air/O2s in the beer, regular or occasional. This can be caused by inadequate or marginal steam/gas purging, and can easily be identified.
Condensate in the beer; potential taint problems — can be caused by inadequate purging, and can be easily identified.