The customer had been using a beer valve from an Italian company for many years as this was the standard in the industry. His sister company had worked with MAC Valves in the past on new projects and when we approached them to discuss our liquid valve technology they were quite interested in seeing what we could potentially develop.
The customer was looking for something using the latest technology which would not be affected by pressure change so it would deliver a consistent volume, was smaller and lighter and would not heat up the beer when the coil was over voltaged to overcome 60 psi static pressure which was the case with the original valve.
In large facilities where the beer kegs could be a long distance from the point of sale in the basement of a stadium for example the beer needs to be pumped at a higher pressure to make sure it reaches its destination. At this higher pressure (60 psi) with the original valve, it is necessary to put 28 Volts through the 24 Volt coil or it will not open. The overvoltage causes the beer to heat up and after constant use at half time in match this can be as much 3-4 deg C which causes customer dissatisfaction, as the beer is best enjoyed cool. With the automatic version of the beer dispenser it is important to get consistent volume delivered to the customer as too little beer requires a top up and time wasted by the server and over filling costs the vendor. This is the case with the original valve hence the interest in improvement.
MAC is famous for offering valves in various filling applications with greater consistency and repeatability offering always the minimum acceptable volume and only a small overfill within it’s filling tolerance. The fact that MAC Valves are unaffected by pressure variation due to their balanced design and can be modified for accurate repeatability mean that they are the preferred choice for beverage manufacturers particularly when the drink is of high value.
The challenge was set for MAC to use its inherent valve design strengths to create a new Advanced Beer Valve for the customer to give them the competitive advantage in their market place.
Site visits – problem identification
Initially we presented the new Liquid Bullet Valve Technology from MAC which was of interest due it’s compact size and incredibly high cycle life. The potential specification was developed taking into account the issues the customer wished to overcome.
Concept / Design
After several visits 4 key design features were identified.
- A media separated coil
- Smaller, lighter and more compact design
- Lower power consumption – less heat produced at highest pressure (60psi)
- Eventual EN1935 Certification