Practical Winery
65 Mitchell Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94903
phone: 415-453-9700 ext 102
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July/August 2008
Overcome unstable tapered bottles
Ben Garvey,
Garvey Corporation
apered bottles are popular with consumers, but they offer unique challenges on a bottling line. The bottles are wider at the shoulder than they are at the bottom and have a tendency to tip where normal straight-wall bottles travel easily on conveyors and traditional accumulation tables.
Rodney Strong Vineyards (Windsor, CA) installed a new bottling line in 2006 to allow filling and packing of the bottles (often called reverse tapered). Material handling technology was a very important and critical part of the engineering process when designing the new bottling line components.
"We were setting the line up to run tapered bottles at 180 per minute and it just made sense to use the Garvey Infinity tables. Last-in first-out tables do not work for tapered bottles," says Jim Magness, Rodney Strong Vineyards facility manager.
Three Garvey Infinity accumulation tables were installed to accumulate and single-file tapered bottles. Other accumulation systems, such as a bi-directional conveyor, cannot handle tapered bottles because they rely on back-pressure and right angle transfers to move bottles between conveyors. The Garvey Infinity accumulates and side transfers
The first Garvey Infinity accumulation table retains a full supply of empty bottles (see cover) so the filler never runs out. If the upstream uncaser stops (on right, out of photo), the accumulator table (1,000 bottle capacity) can feed the filler until the uncaser delivers more bottles. Bottles enter the table from right, exit onto conveyor [top-left] to reach the filler. The Garvey conveyor chain has high-precision, plastic integrated sliding surface allowing for smooth bottle transfers and elimination of down bottles.
on a moving surface with zero back-pressure. "You can't have more than about six to eight tapered bottles accumulate on a bi-directional conveyor or they start to fall," adds Magness. "With the Infinity tables, the bottles do not back up."
"The theory behind Garvey Infinity Accumulation is simple," explains Bill Garvey, president of Garvey Corporation, Blue Anchor, NJ. "We eliminate the all too common belt-sander effect where conveyor chains run underneath stationary bottles.We allow bottles to travel continuously around our patented accumulation loop with zero pressure and then single-file on demand using a pneumatically controlled outfeed gate."
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