Seamer setup is currently considered an “art form” more than science. There are several settings that need to be perfect in order for the seam formation to be correct. In many cases, these are not followed carefully enough, causing bad seams and unscheduled stops.
A completely set up seamer has the following properties:
- It is perfectly timed
- The lifter plate pressure is set up correctly.
- The pin height (vertical position of the chuck) is set up correctly
- The 1st operation Roll is set up correctly.
- the 2nd operation Roll is set up correctly.
- All the toolings are perfect and undamaged
- All the bearings are prefect and undamaged
- The spring pressures are set up correctly
The initial steps for setting up a seamer are to first check all pressures and ensure that all of the heights and toolings are intact and without any damage.
Next, the lifter pressure and pin height are set up.
Next, the first operation rolls are installed and tested (by running the resulting cans in a SEAMetal system and validating the results). Finally, the second operation rolls are put into place, set up and tested using the seam inspection system. Any corrections now require a full set up again.
There are two ways to set up the rolls:
Roll positions are set up in their optimal set up position, which is typically identified by a special mark on the seamer.
Feeler gauge – basically a go/no-go solution – you put a feeler gauge or plate that is smaller than the value you are looking for, and verify that a larger (thicker) feeler gauge is not able to get in. This gives you a very rough idea of the distance between the roll and the chuck.
However, this type of solution does not usually prevent accidental setups that damage rolls, chucks and bearings. It also does not ensure that the vertical height setup of the rolls are set up correctly, which may result in accidental damage between the roll and chuck.
Clearance gauge – this optical instrument tests both the vertical and horizontal positions of the roll, thus ensuring that no damage will be done to the toolings. It also helps identify broken tooling, bearing and bring the setup to it’s optimal setting.
Examples on how to do this in practice:
The Clearance gauge is inserted into a seamer, attaches to the chuck and provides a visual view of the roll-to-chuck gap, thus letting the operator identify defects and set up the rolls positions.
the following image is the clearance identifying a broken chuck lip, which will likely result in a sharp seam.
Additional issues that the clearance helps with is identifying wrong roll profiles, and setting up all the seamer heads to produce exactly the same results. This is practically impossible, even for an experienced operator, using the old feeler gauge method.
For exact information, please contact your seamer manufacturer for exact setup instructions and tolerances for each of the values of your particular seamer.