The final rinse stage of refillable bottle washing on Asahi's beer bottling lines is carried out with the bottles held upside down in "pockets" which position them over jet nozzles. The design of the bottle washers makes it very difficult for the operator to detect the clogging of individual nozzles during the process, which can lead to the filling of unrinsed or imperfectly rinsed bottles and the contamination of the beer with caustic. The development of a system for checking the nozzles, in which the rinser is periodically operated with empty pockets so that the jet from each nozzle hits an overhead plate (which is only fixed in place on one side, enabling the impact of the jet to be measured by means of a strain gauge) is described. If the nozzle is even partly clogged, or if it becomes deflected off centre, this affects the force of the jet and the system detects the malfunction.
Keywords : bottle washer measurement performance rinsing