Practical Winery
65 Mitchell Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94903
phone: 415-453-9700 ext 102
email: Office@practicalwinery.com
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July/August 2008
PACKAGING
Bottles running on an Infinity Accumulation table always move in one direction, allowing for minimal bottle contact. This decreases label damage, allows for higher outfeed rates, and reduces noise. The table resembles an oval-shaped race track and incorporates an innovative loop system. The table does not use a traditional return chain underneath the entire conveyor, but rather returns chain immediately back to the tail section. This minimizes chain quantities and makes it easy to clean.
As bottles are single-filed, they flow smoothly out of the accumulation loop with the aid of Garvey's patented Slow Down Lane, a slowermoving conveyor that helps prevent bottle turbulence near the outfeed, making tapered bottles run just like straight-wall bottles.
Garvey challenges the conventional wisdom that highly efficient and effective packaging lines require miles of installed mass-flow conveyors stringing between machine centers.
Those types of conveyors have a small percentage of available accumulation space, but Garvey Infinity tables utilize 90% or more of the available space for accumulation, shrinking the overall length of the line in the process.
Like the age-old adage "a chain is as strong as its weakest link," a bottling line without accumulation is like a chain waiting to break.
Accumulation adds value by decoupling the efficiencies of each machine so when a malfunction occurs on one machine, other
machines are unaffected. Constraint theory tells us that every production line has a single bottleneck that limits its maximum output capacity.
Rodney Strong Vineyards and Garvey identified the 180 bpm Bertolaso filler/corker as the limitation and made preventing downtime on it a high priority. The other machines operate at slightly higher speeds in order to empty or refill the accumulation tables. (Maximum productivity of the previous bottling line was 120 bpm.)
The first Garvey Infinity accumulation table is installed between an ABC uncaser and the Bertolaso monobloc (cleaner / filler / corker / capper). The uncaser feeds the Infinity table at speeds of up to 240 bpm and the Infinity can hold up to 1,000 750ml bottles, allowing for a maximum downtime of 5.5 minutes on the uncaser before the monobloc runs out of empty bottles. This keeps a sustained population of bottles on the accumulation table upstream from the constraint at all times.
A second Garvey Infinity accumulation table is placed between the Bertolaso monobloc and the Robino & Galadrino (R&G) capsuler. Unlike the first table, which is normally full, the second Infinity table is normally empty and waiting to accept product during downtimes on the R&G capsuler or the Krones labeler. This table gives the filler/corker the ability to keep operating even if the rest of the line is stopped for up to seven minutes.
The second Infinity table holds up to 1,245 bottles. Garvey added capacity of an additional 245 bottles, so once a bottle begins the filling process, the Infinity will always have capacity to accept it.
A third Garvey Infinity accumulation table is placed between a Krones labeler and a Standard-Knapp case packer. This Infinity outfeeds the product in three distinct rows directly into the case packer. It has a maximum capacity of 600 750ml bottles and protects upstream machines from case packer downtime for up to 2.5 minutes.
Most tapered bottling requires operators to stand up fallen bottles feeding into their automated case packer. Once bottles are filled, capsuled, labeled, and ready to be packed, the last thing you want is rework on them. When a tapered bottle falls, it tends to take a few other bottles with it, creating huge issues at the case packer.
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This Garvey Infinity accumulation table allows the filler to keep running if the labeler is down. It accepts up to 1,245 bottles from the filler, and feeds them single-file to a conveyor leading to the labeler.