Efficient format changes for bottles at bottling plants

Bottling plant

Bottles in bottling facilities often come in several different sizes and in varying materials. This place demands on flexibility in the production, where machines must be changed quickly and precisely. The bottles often need to be both inspected and filled – both of which require efficient format changes.

The need for format changeover is found everywhere

Format changes are common in basically every industry, you just need to know where to look. If you just have the knowledge there are many times, a great opportunity to reduce costs, raise quality and improve technical solutions. The positioning system is a solution that can meet all these requests in a simple way. The process in a bottling plant illustrates this well.

Throughout the factory

In a bottling plant, more or less fragile bottles are transported at high speed. It can be as much as 72,000 units per hour. Usually, the bottles go through the following steps:

  • Rinsing and cleaning
  • Pre-mixing
  • Filling
  • Capping/corking
  • Labelling
  • Packing

Several of these steps include processes where the format in the machines handling the bottles need to be changes. It requires a machine design that minimizes the time for the format changeovers and maintains accuracy and precision.

Format conversion bottling plant

Format conversion in production line at bottling plant

Hygiene — an important issue

In factories that manage recycled bottles, cleaning is essential. The factory must be able to guarantee that the washed bottles are in proper condition when they are reused. An automated process, in which one press of a button is enough to change formats between different bottles in the machine, has many advantages compared to a manual solution. The need for human contact with the machine is minimized.

Time saving and error elimination

Automated format changeovers improve efficiency in several ways. The actual process of the conversion is instantaneous. Once the system is correctly set, the risk of errors arising through manual adjustment is eliminated, and the workload on the machine operator is reduced. Although the investment in positioning systems may initially be an increased expense, it will lead to large cost savings in the long run.

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