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Lenny

More efficient solution for filling, corking, labeling?

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Without going full blown automated system for packaging... has anyone here advanced to a packaging solution beyond the complete hands-on approach of hand placing bottles in the filler... filling... inserting bartops... rolling on labels... applying closures?

Our current method of bottling is slow enough that we foresee problems as we begin to up our volumes of spirit to be packaged -but- we're not going so big that it makes sense to drop 50-100k for a full blown packaging robot. There must be a sensible solution somewhere in between... has anyone found it? Recommendations?

 

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We really found that the slowest part of the bottling process was the labeling, so that is what we addressed first.

We have really increased our bottling throughput by adding a CDA labeler.  The labeler first applies the bottle capsule closure that is then shrinked in the heat tunnel, the label is then printed on (sequential bottle number and lot number) then the front and back labels are applied.

While not cheap ($23K) it is much much better and faster than hand rolling each label on even with a semi-auto single bottle labeler.  As we continue to grow we will add an auto rinser/sparger, filler and capper to the lineup.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, sonnyk said:

We really found that the slowest part of the bottling process was the labeling, so that is what we addressed first.

We have really increased our bottling throughput by adding a CDA labeler.  The labeler first applies the bottle capsule closure that is then shrinked in the heat tunnel, the label is then printed on (sequential bottle number and lot number) then the front and back labels are applied.

While not cheap ($23K) it is much much better and faster than hand rolling each label on even with a semi-auto single bottle labeler.  As we continue to grow we will add an auto rinser/sparger, filler and capper to the lineup.

 

 

I've never seen that company but I am really interested. $23k isn't bad at all considering what it does.
https://cda-usa.com/our-products/labelling-machines/wine-beer-and-spirits/auto/regionale/

One item that we have spent some money on for increasing our bottling speeds are rotary accumulation tables. If you don't have enough staff for every step of the process the rotary tables reduce the amount of time one spends switching back and forth, or moving bottles down a table. They cost roughly 3 grand each and take up a lot of room but have also saved us a lot of time.

Sonny, is there any thing about that CDA machine which you do not like?

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While I have not got there yet, I can see it coming.  Have you considered preprinting bottles?   That removes one step although it requires more inventory, but if volume is up, not as much of an issue.   The other time consuming issue for me is the cap strip.   For high volume I am considering a printed sleeve or even a screw top.   Both would remove another operation in the proces.   

 

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4 minutes ago, bluefish_dist said:

While I have not got there yet, I can see it coming.  Have you considered preprinting bottles?   That removes one step although it requires more inventory, but if volume is up, not as much of an issue.   The other time consuming issue for me is the cap strip.   For high volume I am considering a printed sleeve or even a screw top.   Both would remove another operation in the proces.   

 

We struggle with maintaining what we consider to be our own strong brand attributes. Pre printed bottles or screw tops wouldn't be the right fit for our product - obviously could make sense for others. This CDA machine sounds like it might be a great solution though. Thanks for pointing this one out, Sonny.

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We just assemble line it.  Set up 6 or 7 people and we can turn out about 1,400 bottles in around 4 hours.   One person filling, one corking, one spinning on labels, one adding safety seal and clear Shrinkwrap seal, one shrinking the seal and one numbering and putting it back in the case.   

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