Mecmesin Helps Test Cork Extraction Strength

A specially engineered test system from Mecmesin is helping a cork manufacturer to measure cork extraction strength in order to optimise its products. In order to measure the cork extraction force from champagne and sparkling wine bottles, Oeneo Bouchage worked in partnership with Mecmesin to develop a specific motorised cork-testing system, which ensured constant test speeds, consistent accuracy and improved operator safety over manual-based testers. 

The company needs to identify cork extraction strength to optimise its cork products to enable easier opening by consumers, yet retain a good quality seal to avoid wine taint and minimise exploding corks. The system, known as the Combi Cork Extraction Tester, operates by applying a twist action to the cork, held within a special grip, to release the cork from the bottle, while the bottle is simultaneously lowered away from it. This enables the system to identify the release torque required to extract the cork. However, with a simple changeover of the loadcell housing, the system can also measure straightforward cork pull-out forces from still wine bottles. 

This added versatility means that with just one system cork manufacturers are able to assess corks made for different types of wines, and wine producers can evaluate multiple types of end product before it reaches the consumer. The system incorporates a number of specially designed features to provide straightforward routine testing with high accuracy. These include user-friendly grips to hold both the bottle and cork securely in position, plus a drip tray and other safeguards, which provide protection to the unit from any accidental spillage. Mecmesin's Universal Display records measurements before exporting them to a PC, printer or datalogger, for further analysis. Dominique Rabiot, RandD manager for Oeneo Bouchage, said: 'The Combi Cork Extraction Tester provides consistent reproducible and safe measurements, without any risk of injury to the operator. 'We can establish valuable opening torque specifications, which are currently used for quality control measurements and development of new products,' he added.


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