Getting Metal Out of Beer

Ideal Locations for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors in a Brewery

Thankfully, it is very unlikely that you will ever find a piece of metal in your glass of beer.  However, when tramp metal in the form of screws and nails is accidentally introduced during the brewing process, it damages processing equipment and can even affect the taste of the beer.  In this article we look at the best methods of ensuring that the brewing process is unaffected by tramp metal.

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As with any food process, there are many locations where metal can be inadvertently introduced.  With raw materials being collected from the fields and then transported to the brewery in large trucks, contamination by metal and other materials is unavoidable.

Here we look at a typical brewery and identify where Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors could be located to remove any metal contamination.

Location 1 – Malt In-feed Line

When the malt is delivered by truck or rail, it is commonly pneumatically transported into storage silos.  A Pneumatic In-Line Magnet and/or Metal Detector would ensure that any tramp metal in the raw material feed is removed prior to storage.

Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-2

A Pneumatic In-Line Magnet is designed to easily fit into a pipeline without causing any obstruction.  It has a magnetically strong Plate Magnet mounted on one side which attracts and holds any ferrous metal.  This is then manually removed on a regular frequency.

The Metal Detector identifies and then ejects any remaining metal contamination, both ferrous and non-ferrous.  As most metal contamination at this stage is ferrous, installing the Metal Detector after the In-Line Magnet reduces the amount of metal detection rejects and thus reduces the loss of product.

Location 2 – Prior to Milling

cartridge_magnetsGrate Magnets are commonly positioned in or above the in-feed hopper to the mill, especially if there has been no previous metal separation or detection.  A Grate Magnet is a series of Tube Magnets designed in a grid to fit inside a hopper.  For maximum protection of the mill, the Grate Magnet uses a set of high magnetic strength Rare Earth Neodymium Tube Magnets.  Such protection ensures that no tramp metal enters the mill where it can cause serious and expensive damage.

Location 3 – Hot Water Feed to Mash Tun

Bunting Magnetic Liquid TrapWater is a common source of metal contamination in food processing plants and is also the one in-feed material that is often overlooked.  The nature of water means that rust is common and a simple Magnetic Liquid Trap is used to attract and capture any rogue ferrous metal, even in a very fine form.  A Magnetic Liquid Trap is designed to be easily introduced into a pipeline, with flanges or any other connector.  Inside the body, high strength Rare Earth Neodymium Tube Magnets project down into the material flow, attracting and capturing any ferrous or weakly magnetic materials.  The Tube Magnets are removed from the process and manually cleaned.

Location 4 – Between Mash Tun, Lauter Tun and Brew Kettle

Magnetic Liquid Traps could also be located between the Mash Tun, Lauter Tun and Brew Kettle, especially is there has been limited protection earlier in the process.

Location 5 – Hops In-feed Line

Protection is important whenever raw materials are introduced into the process and Grate Magnets and a Quicktron Metal Detector will ensure that hops entering the brew kettle are metal-free.  This design of Metal Detector is for free-fall material.  As the material enters the metal detector, any metal is detected and then automatically rejected.  The Grate Magnet reduces the amount of material lost during the rejection process by removing any ferrous metal.

Location 6 – Between Brew Kettle and Whirlpool/Settling Tank

After the brew kettle , a Magnetic Liquid Trap, with special Neodymium magnets designed to withstand high temperatures, will provide final protection prior to settling.

Location 7 – Yeast In-feed Line

As on the hops in-feed line, a combination of a Grate Magnet and Quicktron Metal Detector will ensure that any metal does not enter the process.

Location 8 – Between Conditioning Tank and Filter

To protect the filter, a Magnetic Liquid Trap is often installed after the conditioning tank.

Location 9 – Prior to Bottling

p-TRON-GM-V2As in many food processing plants, it is good practice to install a Metal Detector (in this case a P-Tron) at the final stage of the process.  This provides a final stage of protection to ensure that any metal introduced into the process from damaged processing equipment such as the filter or in the pipes is detected and removed.

This is a typical example of a Brewing Operation.  However, each plant is unique and often a site visit is required to assess and recommend the best ways to ensure a metal-free end product.

For further information on removing Metal during the brewing process using Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors, please contact the Bunting technical sales team on:

Other Food Plant Reviews include:

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Bunting Europe Announces Record Monthly Sales

Continued UK Manufacturing Success for Bunting

Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd has had two consecutive months of record sales in September and October 2017.

The latest announcement of record monthly sales follows a prolonged period of growth.  Sales in 2016 reached a record high for the European operation and in January Bunting announced the acquisition of UK magnetic separator and metal detector competitor, Master Magnets.

Dave_Hills_Bunting_Magnetics_Europe-8758Dave Hills, Bunting Europe’s Head of Sales, gave an insight into the background of the latest record figures:

“Despite media reports of a potential slowdown in manufacturing and continued concerns about BREXIT, we [Bunting Europe] continue to see a growing demand for our products.  Our ongoing growth is the result of continued investment in our resources, both mechanical and personnel, whilst expanding our presence overseas.  It’s been tough, but we continue to work hard to execute our strategic plan.”

Sales growth has been across the Bunting product portfolio that includes the supply of high powered Magnets such as Neodymium, complex and bespoke Magnetic Assemblies, and Magnetic Separators for processing and manufacturing industries such as plastics and food.  The latest figures do not include sales for the Master Magnets part of their business, which has also seen significant growth in 2017 since the acquisition.

24 months ago, Bunting Europe set out a strategy to significantly expand their overseas network of sales representatives and distributors.  This has been supported with regular support at trade fairs, training and visiting customers to countries including Poland (SyMas Exhibition, October), Dubai (Arabplast, January), Spain (Exposolidos, February), South Africa (ProPak, March), and Belgium (AJ Solutions Open Day, March).

Bunting Master Magnets at RWM17
Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators operating on the Bunting and Master Magnets stand at the RWM17 exhibition (Sept 17)

The export focus has also been supported by exhibiting at five major trade shows in the UK.  Bunting featured at the international plastics exhibition, Interplas UK in October, and also joined Master Magnets for a joint presence at two major recycling shows, Waste 17 (June) and RWM17 (September).

“Our marketing activity in 2017 has been very busy,” explained Hills, “and the result is sustained sales growth.  With that growth, we have to invest by expanding our team: in the offices, on the road, and on the shop floor.  It is an exciting time and we already working hard on implementing our plan for 2018.”

For further information on Bunting Magnetics Europe’s record sales months or their range of Magnets, Magnetic Assemblies, Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors, please contact us via:

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Supporting Tomorrows Engineers Week

Bunting Managing Director Highlights the Importance of Developing Future Engineers

The UK’s Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (6-10 November 2017) highlights the need for the development of young engineers.  The organisation identifies that 186,000 people with engineering skills will be needed annually through to 2024.

We talk with Simon Ayling (Bunting Europe’s Managing Director) to find out the importance of such initiatives.

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel

“The United Kingdom has always had a fantastic engineering and manufacturing reputation.  We have had engineers whose work has changed history including Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), who was the engineer behind the building of the Great Western Railway and even redirected the River Taff in Cardiff, and in more recent times Sir Tim Berners Lee who invented the World Wide Web.

In the UK Bunting designs and manufactures engineered products and equipment at two sites.  Our Bunting Magnetics manufacturing plant in Berkhamsted focuses on magnet technology, utilising the magnetic forces to develop magnetic systems that power wind turbines and and drive electric motors.

At our newly acquired Master Magnets manufacturing facility in Redditch we specialise in the design and manufacture of Magnetic Separation equipment.  These systems use magnetic forces to separate materials and are used widely in recycling and mineral processing.

In both operations we depend heavily on the engineering skills of our employees.  We have a Technical Sales Team, with engineering backgrounds, who are skilled in assessing a client’s problem or requirement.  In the offices we have Engineering Teams, designing magnetic based solutions.  Once the design has been confirmed, our skilled engineers on the shop floors then have the responsibility of building the equipment.

Without engineers, our business would not exist.

However, the number of people who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering is a concern.  In fact, when many young people leave school they are unaware of the exciting opportunities in engineering.

Bunting Magnetics Magnetic Assemblies

A career in engineering will be dynamic, challenging and exciting, unlike many others.  We are designing and building equipment that is helping the environment by automatically recovering aluminium cans from waste (Eddy Current Separator).  We design and supply magnetic materials and magnetic assemblies for commercial and military aerospace partners with some bespoke components supplied into the satellite industry.  Our magnetic equipment makes a difference.

Initiatives such as Tomorrows Engineers Week will hopefully encourage companies like us to shout about what we do and ignite the imagination of our future engineers.  We need you!”

For further information on Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors please contact us on: