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dwhuff

Bottling line help

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We are looking for a solution to bottle as we grow. We started with an enlomatic 1 nozzle filler which worked great and then went to a Mori 6 head filler. The Mori has never had consistent fill levels no matter how its set up and we have fought with it for over a year. We can fill as many bottles with the single head enlomatic as we can the 6 head Mori when factoring in adjusting the fill levels 90% of the time. So right now we are doing about 200 bottles per hour but thats with 2 people and we need a faster, better solution.

So, we do between 3000 and 3500 bottles per month and I'm looking for a solution. Not going to spent $75K on an automated line right now but there must be something out there that will fill to correct fill levels we can use. I'm familiar with enlomaster, express fill, and some of the gravity fillers. Not looking to hear suggestions from anyone unless they actually use the equipment. I'm leaning towards the 4 spout expressfill volumetric filler and would be interested in hearing from anyone using this model.

Thanks!

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I've used both the Xpress volumetric fill and (currently) the enolmaster. I like the enolmaster over the xpress fill. I find the biggest advantage is you don't have to fill 4 bottles at a time. So you can constantly bring bottles in and out of the enolmaster. Since I usually bottle alone this helps keep a consistent flow because you can also increase or decrease pressure. And when you get down to the bottom of the bottling run you can just use it to bottle one at a time until you finish. I also like the stainless steel filters it comes with...and it's inherently explosion proof since it uses a vacuum pump so no product goes through the pump. I can fill, add closure and shrink wrap about 100 bottles/hour by myself with the enolmaster.

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34 minutes ago, glisade said:

I've used both the Xpress volumetric fill and (currently) the enolmaster. I like the enolmaster over the xpress fill. I find the biggest advantage is you don't have to fill 4 bottles at a time. So you can constantly bring bottles in and out of the enolmaster. Since I usually bottle alone this helps keep a consistent flow because you can also increase or decrease pressure. And when you get down to the bottom of the bottling run you can just use it to bottle one at a time until you finish. I also like the stainless steel filters it comes with...and it's inherently explosion proof since it uses a vacuum pump so no product goes through the pump. I can fill, add closure and shrink wrap about 100 bottles/hour by myself with the enolmaster.

Great info, thanks. I hadn't thought about the express fill not being able to do a single bottle or less than 4 at the end of the run. The enlomasters little brother has been a great filler but we do have a little trouble with fill levels with it so was thinking the enlomaster might have the same issues. I'm hoping to start having some of our staff fill bottles so I can get on with other task so the fill level issue was a big concern.  Good info about the stainless filters. I have about 15 of the other filters we use and they have worked great but stainless would be a better solution.

Thank you for the comparison.... I might  buy both and see which one works better for us.

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Hey David,

Sorry you're having trouble with the fill levels. The fact that you mention you're also having fill level issues with the Enolmatic leads me to wonder if there may be something else going on. Perhaps with the glass?

The Mori Filler—like all level fillers—operates on pretty basic principles, and fill level issues can usually be corrected once the source of the issue is found. To get accurate fill levels you need to have a tight seal against the mouth of the bottle. Overfills are caused because the seal is not adequate, and it can usually be corrected by lowering the nozzle cone, and thus increasing the tension against the mouth of the bottle. Underfills are usually the result of a blockage in the nozzle that's not letting air vent out. It can be corrected by disassembling and inspecting the nozzle to clear out blockages.

Give me a call if you'd like to troubleshoot. I think I may have talked to you or your wife last year briefly.

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fyi, the xpressfill level filler nozzles can fill independently.  Using the volumetric filler is setting yourself up for unlevel fills across bottles.  Your bottles most likely will not be identical especially if there's a narrow neck.   

 

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9 hours ago, dwhuff said:

. The Mori has never had consistent fill levels no matter how its set up and we have fought with it for over a year

Have you spoke with Michael at TCW? We have the four head and have never had an issue.  How far are the fills (by mass) out of spec?

Edit: Just say Michaels reply above. Mea culpa.

 

 

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I didn’t intend for this to be a mori is great or mori is bad thread. Should have never mentioned it cause someone always either defends the equipment mentioned or complains which was not the intended point of the topic. Our experience with it is what it is. There’s no user error. We have talked to michael several times. Service and follow up has been excellent.  The mori just doesn’t work for us. We took apart and cleaned nozzles after each use so there’s no blockage issue. Michael offered to take it back a month or so after we got it but at the time we figured it was a set up issue or something we were doing wrong. We now just use the pump and filter and use another machine to bottle with.The enlomatic, believe it or not, has filled over 100,000 bottles and we haven’t changes any part on it so now the fill levels are becoming inconsistent. I think it’s due to the spring being worn out, the rubber seal worn out, etc. it filled perfect for several years. 

Is there a solution other than express fill or enlomaster anyone is using?

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By fill levels do you mean visually looking at the bottle? Or do you mean physical weight/volume? As mentioned earlier, you might have a problem with your glass. Did you recently change glass suppliers? We've had problems in the past with glass that was wildly inconsistent when it came to internal volume. If the problem is with your glass then this issue will persist no matter what filler you get.

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Dave,

Have you considered purchasing multiple Enolmatics?  3 enolmatics will fill faster then the enolmaster and they cost less.  I used to sell both the enolmatic and the enolmaster.  They are great fillers but the manufacturer was always  months late on deliveries to me so I finally got fed up and quit selling them, but while I was selling them I sold some customers multiples of the enolmatic instead of the enolmaster because it cost the customer less and the enomatics would fill faster, than the enolmaster, when there were 2 or 3 of them lined up.

 

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Sorry if I derailed the thread, David, or intimated that any issues are the result of user error. Not my intention. Since we have Mori Fillers working well in hundreds of distilleries I was keen to hone in on why exactly it wasn't working for you. I've yet to find an issue that couldn't be root-caused and corrected. Still, it sounds like you're past that point and I totally understand.

If you choose to sell your Mori Filler to another distillery I'd be glad to help you sweeten the pot for the next owner by providing a set of nozzle seals and o-rings free of charge to the new owner. Just have them reach out to me.

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12 hours ago, Southernhighlander said:

Dave,

Have you considered purchasing multiple Enolmatics?  3 enolmatics will fill faster then the enolmaster and they cost less.  I used to sell both the enolmatic and the enolmaster.  They are great fillers but the manufacturer was always  months late on deliveries to me so I finally got fed up and quit selling them, but while I was selling them I sold some customers multiples of the enolmatic instead of the enolmaster because it cost the customer less and the enomatics would fill faster, than the enolmaster, when there were 2 or 3 of them lined up.

 

I actually have a second as a back up. Have used it a few times with the other one and it does go faster I am just trying to find a system we can get set up so employees can fill bottles and there’s some assurance of consisten fills. We use the same bottles we’ve always used so nothing changed there. I’d really like to have an automated line but haven’t found anything at a price point we are ready to pay. 

 

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5 hours ago, MichaelAtTCW said:

Sorry if I derailed the thread, David, or intimated that any issues are the result of user error. Not my intention. Since we have Mori Fillers working well in hundreds of distilleries I was keen to hone in on why exactly it wasn't working for you. I've yet to find an issue that couldn't be root-caused and corrected. Still, it sounds like you're past that point and I totally understand.

If you choose to sell your Mori Filler to another distillery I'd be glad to help you sweeten the pot for the next owner by providing a set of nozzle seals and o-rings free of charge to the new owner. Just have them reach out to me.

No worries Michael. I wish I could get the thing to work right. I wonder if our bottles are too short to fill properly. We use a Morgantown bottle from piramal glass here in Missouri. It is shorter with an angled area where the fill level is. Its unforgiving when over or under filled. 

I have a few people interested in buying it so I will probably sell it and send them your way. I appreciate your generosity! I’ll spend that money with you on some filtering equipment.

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Since you are ready to move on from the Mori I probably shouldn't even post this! :) 

But I will anyway in case it helps someone else having issues with a Mori. We had issues with short bottles that we were filling for someone else. Ended up solving it by building a wood platform that sat on the metal Mori platform. The key to getting consistent bottle level fills with the Mori is to make certain that the bottle pushes the sleeve above the oval opening. That was the only way we could get the bottle high enough to push the sleeve up far enough.

We also modified our Mori by adding infinite adjustability on the platform by welding in screws that raise and lower the level of the bottle platform. We can now fine tune the fill height to a very accurate level. I will be happy to post pics if anyone is interested. 

We fill 3 - 4 thousand bottles per week all year around on our little Mori. 

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37 minutes ago, Rum said:

Since you are ready to move on from the Mori I probably shouldn't even post this! :) 

But I will anyway in case it helps someone else having issues with a Mori. We had issues with short bottles that we were filling for someone else. Ended up solving it by building a wood platform that sat on the metal Mori platform. The key to getting consistent bottle level fills with the Mori is to make certain that the bottle pushes the sleeve above the oval opening. That was the only way we could get the bottle high enough to push the sleeve up far enough.

We also modified our Mori by adding infinite adjustability on the platform by welding in screws that raise and lower the level of the bottle platform. We can now fine tune the fill height to a very accurate level. I will be happy to post pics if anyone is interested. 

We fill 3 - 4 thousand bottles per week all year around on our little Mori. 

Our bottles push the sleeve above the oval. We have different fill levels on different nozzles at different time. We put same nozzles in same place after each cleaning. I can take a bottle that over fills on nozzle 1 and dump it and fill it on nozzle 2 and it will fill correctly. Or take one over filling on nozzle 2 and dump and refill on nozzle 1 and it will fill correctly. This seems to eliminate the question of bottle differences. Next thing is, are we putting the bottles on correctly. Yes we are. I could write a book on all the things we have done to isolate the problem. We certainly wanted the filler to work for us. 

Can we please get back to the actual question the thread was created for?

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On 9/1/2018 at 10:37 AM, dwhuff said:

I'm leaning towards the 4 spout expressfill volumetric filler and would be interested in hearing from anyone using this model.

We have this model (non gas sparge) as our second filler. I suppose I'm happy? We audit fills (by mass) four times during each run for each spout.  We easily hit our internal +/- 1% fill level target with ease. In our experience, the fills are not equal. Spouts #2 and #3 are consistently slightly overfilled.  I can query out those figures for you if you'd like.  Still well within our tolerance limits.  It would be nice to be able to use a polishing filter with it but since it pulls the spirt, rather than having the spirit pushed to it, we're unable to do this. On the whole, I'm pleased with it. 

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54 minutes ago, indyspirits said:

We have this model (non gas sparge) as our second filler. I suppose I'm happy? We audit fills (by mass) four times during each run for each spout.  We easily hit our internal +/- 1% fill level target with ease. In our experience, the fills are not equal. Spouts #2 and #3 are consistently slightly overfilled.  I can query out those figures for you if you'd like.  Still well within our tolerance limits.  It would be nice to be able to use a polishing filter with it but since it pulls the spirt, rather than having the spirit pushed to it, we're unable to do this. On the whole, I'm pleased with it. 

Great info. My only concern is being ttb compliant and it sounds like this filler, for the most part, will do that. No need for figures, what you have described is what I was hoping for far as information. One thing about the mori, it has a good set up for filtration. 20” filter housing and air pump pushes through it.

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On 9/5/2018 at 4:47 PM, Rum said:

Since you are ready to move on from the Mori I probably shouldn't even post this! :) 

But I will anyway in case it helps someone else having issues with a Mori. We had issues with short bottles that we were filling for someone else. Ended up solving it by building a wood platform that sat on the metal Mori platform. The key to getting consistent bottle level fills with the Mori is to make certain that the bottle pushes the sleeve above the oval opening. That was the only way we could get the bottle high enough to push the sleeve up far enough.

We also modified our Mori by adding infinite adjustability on the platform by welding in screws that raise and lower the level of the bottle platform. We can now fine tune the fill height to a very accurate level. I will be happy to post pics if anyone is interested. 

We fill 3 - 4 thousand bottles per week all year around on our little Mori. 

Please post pics of your modification.

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Following, I was hoping to move to a Level Filler, specifically the Mori, and am now questioning it.

We use a volumetric filler that's highly accurate.  Problem is, we now realize that bottles are not even remotely close.  Fill height is visibly inconsistent due to variation in bottle volumes.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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13 hours ago, daveflintstone said:

Please post pics of your modification.

New thread started with pics.

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16 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Following, I was hoping to move to a Level Filler, specifically the Mori, and am now questioning it.

We use a volumetric filler that's highly accurate.  Problem is, we now realize that bottles are not even remotely close.  Fill height is visibly inconsistent due to variation in bottle volumes.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Don’t let my experience keep you from a mori. Lot of people happy with it. Just doesn’t work for us.

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On 9/7/2018 at 5:56 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

Problem is, we now realize that bottles are not even remotely close.

Other than aesthetics, why does that matter? 

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On 9/7/2018 at 2:56 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

We use a volumetric filler that's highly accurate.  Problem is, we now realize that bottles are not even remotely close.  Fill height is visibly inconsistent due to variation in bottle volumes.

I know nothing of the technical info here.  Ignorance is bliss.  Silk City - re damned if you do and damned if you don't -  a winery told me many years ago there was a reason  they used neck labels.   Neck labels hide apparent differences in fill level when the contents are actually within tolerances. 

TTB's only guideline on this that I know of on headspace, "Section 5.46  - headed standard liquor bottles,  provides "Headspace. A liquor bottle of a capacity of 200 milliliters or more shall be held to be so filled as to mislead the purchaser if it has a headspace in excess of 8 percent of the total capacity of the bottle after closure."  

Hope this isn't too far off topic.

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