Beverages

Beer Bottles of any Size

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The inline lines used by breweries are most effective when they are engaged in production with standard crates and pallets. Any variation in this throws a proverbial monkey wrench in the works, making many container shapes simply impossible. The more versions thought up by the marketing or commercial department, the more anxiously the manager of operations looks at his or her charts.

This is why Carlsberg decided on an offline packaging center from IPS and Schubert. This concept convinced the customer because it solves packaging problems comprehensively and very flexibly. In addition to the existing formats, expansions can be made at any time thanks to the TLM technology used.

The line is currently producing sixpacks with the classic cardboard sleeve or top clip and loads them into various carriers, e.g. 30x crates, centersleeve crates and Logipack trays. The Carlsberg packaging center unloads from 20x, 24x or 27x crates. A variety of standard bottles (Longneck, NRW, Steinie) and two custom bottles are processed. There are also programs for unpacking full and empty bottles into different crates.

To handle these numerical acrobatics, the brewery is optimally outfitted with TLM technology. A TLM-F4 four axis robot (which was specially developed for the beverage industry) can, for example, flexibly create a buffer first and then access it later to repack a 20x crate into an 11x crate or to create six packs from 27x crates. TLM-F4s also ensure flexibility when loading into secondary packaging in which containers can be rotated separately and inserted individually.

The line, which is composed of eight sub-machines, processes up to 14,400 bottles per hour. Incidentally, the concept for mid-sized breweries with an output level of 5,000 to 8,000 bottles per hour has already been devised. Get in touch with us if you're interested!

By the way… …the concept for medium-sized breweries with an output of 5,000 to 8,000 bottles per hour has already been laid out. Let us know if you’re interested!

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Champagne

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A year ago, we would not have considered it possible for a picker line to package champagne bottles. That is, until we received an order from Veuve Cliquot, along with the idea of placing the high-quality product into cardboard cartons directly using F44 robots. The original plan was for a grouping chain to group the 150 bottles per minute, as there was no requirement for flexibility with regard to the products.

Grouping chains not only lack flexibility, but also have other disadvantages. The products are not handled gently while being grouped, and the bottles ahead of the grouping chain must be rejected or backed up when the machine (and thus the grouping chain) is stopped. Rejecting champagne bottles certainly isn't a good idea, and a backup would mean that the bottles run into one another. The requirement that the labels on the bottles not be touched by the machine was a particular source of headache for us.

When the idea to replace the grouping chain with F44 robots arose during the design meeting, everyone was immediately thrilled and the decision was made to use F44s. However, a new challenge for the picker line was posed by champagne bottles, which weigh 1.7 kilograms and also had to be swiveled 90 degrees. To make sure that 150 bottles could be packaged per minute by six F4 arms, testing was carried out before the machine was built. The result was a fine packaging machine capable of a level of efficiency of over 98 percent in dayto- day production thanks to a small number of simple functions.

The machine is narrow and easily accessible. The Transmodules on the left transport the boxes, the Transmodules in the middle transport the cardboard cartons and the product belt on the right transports the champagne bottles. The cardboard cartons are erected by an F2 robot and placed into a tool on the Transmodule. The shape of the tool secures the cardboard cartons, which eliminates any need to glue the carton. Once the cardboard cartons have been put in place, the Transmodule sets off and joins a group of several Transmodules which move together like a chain. The group of Transmodules run in the opposite direction of the products. The speed of the group is controlled by the F44 robots, which place the bottles into the cardboard cartons with the required orientation.

A special function of this machine is the provision of a batch number on the bottom of the bottles. The numbers are burned in by two laser printers while the Transmodule slowly moves past them. This additional function was ordered by the customer after the machine had already been constructed in the assembly hall. Thanks to the flexibility of the TLM machines, the customer's wish could be fulfilled before the packaging machine was delivered.

A protocol from Veuve Cliquot is further evidence of this flexibility. Since the Veuve Cliquot company had no prior experience with TLM machines, and due to a fear of reductions in efficiency during the startup phase after a size change, the original idea was to purchase a machine for only one size. The machine was then ordered with two sizes. One sentence on the pre-acceptance protocol from Veuve Cliquot was printed in bold letters: “Readjustment is not required after a size change”.

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Beer Bottles

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Drink bottles in a multi-use system should have some kind of device that allows them to be transported more easily. In fact, they do. The Logipack company created the Logipack system specifically for this purpose. Now, any man or woman can easily bring home a 4, 6-, 8-, 10- or 12-pack via a carry handle.

Repacking from the Logipack tray to the containers in the Logi-tray is carried out fully automatically in the TLM Logipacker. The Logipack trays, usually filled with beer bottles, are fed into the first TLM sub-machine (photo) starting from the right, unpacked and placed on transmodules outfitted with the corresponding transport tools. If desired, the bottles are turned in an aligning station (second machine frame) in such a way that all labels point to the desired position. Orderliness is key. At the same time, baskets are erected from pre-glued box blanks in the first and second machine frames. In the third sub-machine, the bottles are placed in the baskets. In the fourth and fifth submachines, the baskets are closed with a lid piece. In the sixth TLM sub-machine, the baskets are placed back into the Logipack tray.

The packaging capacity of the Logipacker is 28,000 bottles per hour or, to say it another way, 7.7 bottles per second. The Logipacker can be converted for various packaging units within a few minutes by changing tools.

The Logipacker is the first packaging machine equipped with the new transmodule and thus the most flexible packaging machine available in the world at the present time.

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