A well-known dairy in Scotland contracted Asmech Systems Ltd to oversee the installation and line modification required for the replacement of three bottle labelling machines on three separate production lines, the aim was to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
The new machines would all be of the same design and incorporate modern technology and design to help streamline the spares, reduce maintenance time and cost; whilst also reducing staff training requirements.
The first two lines were successfully completed in September and November 2016; requiring less than a 24-hour loss of production on each line, to complete the removal of the existing bottle labeller, modify the electrical and pneumatic pipe, install the new labeller, electrically connect and commission.
Work on the third line was undertaken in January 2017.
The bottle labeller on the third line to be removed posed a larger challenge than the two previous. It was a large cumbersome machine being fed bottles straight from the filler.
It would remove bottles from the conveyor line, apply the label and return the bottle to the conveyor line, the actions of this machine resulted in the bottle being turned through 180 degrees when placed back on the line.
The new bottle labellers do not remove the bottle from the conveyor when applying the label so the bottle is not turned through 180 degrees. The bottle orientation is a requirement for the final operation on the line i.e. being fed into a trolley packer ready for despatch. Therefore, Asmech Systems designed two bottle turner machines, to ensure the bottle is in the correct orientation when entering the trolley packers.
The machines design, fabrication, build (mechanical, electrical, pneumatic) and testing were all undertaken by Asmech’s in house abilities.
The Bottle turner operation was from a single conveyor infeed line, the bottles are controlled, counted, turned 180 degrees and then fed out to four individual conveyor lines to satisfy the requirement of the trolley packers.
The conveyor lines before the bottle turners have been modified to direct bottles to both bottle turners or feed the bottle to a shrink wrap machine. Each bottle turner can handle the entire range of bottles produced (from 1 pint up to 6 pint). The performance of the bottle turners exceeds the production capabilities of the existing machinery.
The entire installation process was undertaken by Asmech Systems including co-ordinating the health and safety requirements, and also included the following:
- Site induction + Asmech Systems task specific induction
- Isolation of work area from customer’s employees
- Disconnection of electrical pneumatic supplies
- Removal of redundant machinery
- Modification of pipe and ducting for electrical and pneumatic supply
- Modify conveyor lines
- Installation of new machinery
- Electrical and pneumatic supply re-connected and new supplies.
- Commissioning process
The dairy had concerns about the loss of production while work was being undertaken and understandably wanted to minimise this; Asmech Systems co-ordinated the various aspects of the installation to minimise disruption to production working 24 hours a day. The four-day timeline set by the dairy was met, plus a further 24 hours for the commissioning process, which was undertaken during production on the line.