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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Silverton, OR, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default 120 Cowen vs 120 Cook n beals

    I would like those of you who have the cowen and cook n beals extracting system to pipe in, with what you like and don't like about your system that you have.

    I plan on buying the spin float this year and maybe the heat exchange unit too from cook and beals. These two units, in my opinion are a must no matter what system you have. I would like to get a system that if push comes to shove that one person could operate.

    Thanks for your time

    Andy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,594

    Default

    Will not get a machine that takes only one person, well, it will take alot longer.

    I run a 60 frame Cowen, frame lifter, with sump and older spinner. It takes three guys to run efficiently, four makes things easier mainly becasue the spinner takes some time.
    I have been running 250 - 350 supers in an 8 hour working day, two 1/2 h coffee breaks and 1 h dinner.
    It is a well built machine, I dont have any suggestions on improvements.

    When deciding to buy my extractor, I was in the same mind set as you. I tried to get information with CooknBeals, but get me pretty much no where. Even tried to talk to a guy about his machines for sale, and he pretty much shoved me aside. Freight will cost you a pile, as he suggested they are made over seas,.?

    Talk to the fellows at Cowen. They will talk to you, and they have a great website to view.
    Good idea getting the spin float, with flash heater and pump.
    Costs a pile but I think its better than the cheaper route I went!! Cowen has a pretty good spinner though, and would work without a heating system or fancy pump.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Beecher Il
    Posts
    76

    Default

    Cook n beals is in Nebraska. They are a small family based shop. Good people but they can get backed up on orders and can have a lead time.
    The cook unit has a larger diameter than the cowen and runs at a lower RPM. We replaced 2 120 smooth wheel Dadant's with 1 cook 120. You can run it by yourself. Today 2 of us did 80 supers spaced for 8 frames in 2 hours and had time for a couple of beers. The cook takes up a lot of room for the feed conveyor and the unloading rack. I like it. It is nice not loading and unloading by hand. The cook drips a little honey on the frames when you open the top. Haven't been around a cowen . They sent us a video of one running before we bought it. I would give them a call and ask them about it. Cook was working on a top and bottom bar cleaner but they haven't got all the bugs out of it the last time I talked to them.
    Al

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,622

    Default

    I have used a C&B extracting system for about six years and also use a Cowen uncapper, deboxer and capping spinner, so I have dealt extensively with both companies and can't really say anything bad about either one. I can't really speak as to why you got the response you did from C&B but I would just say that Pat (the owner) is the guy you want to talk to, he is quite knowledgable and accomodating. I really don't understand the price difference but I wouldn't discount C&B as having poor equipment because they are cheaper (their uncapper is more expensive). I just recently had to replace the DC motor on the extractor to the tune of almost $500 dollars (I would guess it was probably at least 15 years old as I bought the machine used). Pat apologized that he was having to charge more but his old supplier had started to use foreign made motors and he said that was not acceptable to him and he found a supplier that was still selling American made motors he was also quite surprised to hear it had burnt out as he couldn't remember another one that had.
    The extractor itself has a larger diameter than the Cowen so it isn't necessary to run the RPM's that the Cowen does, I really don't think that is much of an issue though. We run almost all mediums with 9 frames each and typically run 40 to 45 boxes per hour with 2 persons, 60-65 per hour with 3 persons and 70+ with 4 working. This is with all boxes stacked and drip pallets washed and ready to go as we are running. The only real bottleneck in the system is the capping spinner is about maxed out if the boxes are real full. Again I have nothing against Cowen, I am sure you will be quite happy with any purchase you make from them. I just wanted to speak up for C&B

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Silverton, OR, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default

    Thanks so far, for all the reply's. Ian I have a friend that has a Cowen 60 frame extractor I like his set up except I would change and mix the honey from the extractor and the encapper together and run it all thru a spin float.
    Ian how many drums do you consistantly do in a day.(average would be nice to know) I was looking at a 120 extractor in hopes I could consistantly do around 15 to 20+ barrels a day, with help of course. That would also be nice to know, what can actually a 120 do in a day?

    Thanks again

    Andy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,594

    Default

    >>I can't really speak as to why you got the response you did from C&B but I would just say that Pat (the owner) is the guy you want to talk to, he is quite knowledgable and accomodating.

    I cant figure it. Forget who I was talking to, but it didnt seem right. Probably talking to the wrong guy.


    >>Ian how many drums do you consistantly do in a day.(average would be nice to know

    On the work day I suggested, with my set up and man power we are extracting 18-20 barrels a day. Thats on the canola flow. Right now we are tracking at 10 barrels on sunflower and buckwheat, not as full boxes.

    Didnt mean to shoot C&B down, not my intention, Sorry for that.
    I know they make a good spinner, pretty much all that is used up here.

    Andy, mixing the honey and cappings to go to the spin float is the best way to go if you have the money to get it bought.

    Good luck!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta, Utah
    Posts
    494

    Default

    I have a 60 frame Cowen system set up with deboxer and Cowen's cappings spinner. I would have purchased the C&B spin float but I bottle much of my honey and honey that's gone through the spin float will never look as crystal clear as honey that has not.

    I can run about 150 supers myself in a day or 250 with two people. I'm sure we'll speed up with time, I haven't had it long. If I added steam to the extractor and another person I think I could get my cycle time down to 6 minutes.

    Let us know what you get and how it works.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  8. #8

    Default

    Jim Lyon-

    Sounds like a better setup then the system that I used this year!

    Rob Renneker

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
    Posts
    254

    Default Input From Pennsylvania

    here are Fisher Bee Farm we run a dakota gunness uncapper with 2 additional conveyors hooked to it, to feed our 3 Dadant 120 Frame extractors, the honey and wax is seperated in our Cook n Beals spinner. And lots of roller track to transport the empty boxes around the extractors to be filled with the once again empty frames.

    With 3 extractors, our uncapper rarely stops, the man unloading the line simply walks around the filled extractor to a freshly emptied one in front of him. it is a fulltime job for one person to be emptying the extractors as they one behind him is filled.

    We have our boxes scraped for propolis as they are emptied to ease the task of refilling it with 10 frames. It is also a great time for inspection of the woodenware, to be replaced if needed.

    And with a barrel being filled nearly every 15-20 minutes, one man is dedicated to lidding full barrels and delidding the empties as he moves them in and out of the barreling area.

    This system can be operated with as few as 2 people, but it takes 5 to get all frames and boxes scraped extracted and restacked.

    is Capable of 25+ drums a day, 30 if you have really good capped boxes of honey.

    There is also a Cook n Beal king melter near the spinner so all capping wax is melted fresh out of the spinner.

    Aaron

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,622

    Default Rob's setup

    Howdy Rob
    Don't complain I told you to bring your honey over and we would run them for the mere cost of a few cold beers. Of course I understand there is the small matter of a few hundred miles of driving. Hope your honey harvest went well and Kim and kids are doing well.
    Jim

  11. #11

    Default

    Ha! I really wanted to bring them over there , it's just the few hundred mile drive for a few supers that kept me back. I didn't have the greatest luck with the old extractor that I ended up with, but it got the job done (kinda). I guess I was pretty spoiled being raised around those bigger radial extractors that you and Charlie used. Sounds like you are having great results with the C&B. I'll probably give ya a call one of these days and see if you have any advice for wintering. Kim and the kids are doing great, say Hi to the family from us!

    Rob

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Silverton, OR, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default

    Thanks again for the replies.

    For right now I have decided to purchase what I know I want and that is a spin float and the heat exchange unit. Upon talking with Pat I decided to get the optional heat unit with it. (oil)

    This fall and winter I will also ask others what they use. I will compile that and sometime later will make a decision.

    Thanks again

    Andy

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    401

    Default

    Cowen or cook and beals is like personal preference to a ford or chevy.The nice thing about a cowen is it takes up less space and no heat exchange is needed.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ayer, Massachusetts
    Posts
    759

    Default

    You should check out the Maxant Continuous Feed Thru @ Reno in January.
    www.maxantindustries.com
    American made Honey Processing Equipment "Built to last a lifetime"

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