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Lifting the spirits in a bottling hall

03 January 2017

One of the World’s largest premium alcoholic drinks manufacturers appointed Conveyor Systems (CSL) to provide a solution to transport case loads of flat packed Whisky cartons from a lower floor storage area up to the bottling hall before entering a carton erector and robot packer. 

The main challenge of this application was the limited access between floors due to the upper floor close pitch concrete beams and a crowded bottling hall. After careful planning the solution was found with a Qimarox Prorunner Mk1 vertical elevator which, due to its small footprint, helped keep the hole size to a minimum. Other benefits include the use of reinforced belt instead of chain which makes the line quiet and it can operate at higher speeds and low maintenance. The elevator was fitted with a motorised roller conveyor platform to allow for the automated infeed on the lower floor and outfeed transfer on the upper floor.  

To feed into the elevators, CSL used 24v zero line pressure (ZLP) accumulation roller conveyors, to singulate cases onto the elevator platform conveyor from a non-contact queue the lower floor infeed conveyors are hand loaded from pallets at an ergonomically suitable height and feed – through mesh fence safety guarding onto the lift platforms. 

Once the elevator platform reaches the upper floor discharge position the case is driven onto another section of 24v non-contact roller conveyor which feeds single cases to an operator who loads the flat cartons into a newly acquired carton erector. The outfeed conveyor is fitted with a build back sensor which will stop the elevator delivering more cases if there is no space on the conveyor.

All three separate bottling lines have their own independent conveyor panel with a touch screen HMI for conveyor status information and fault diagnostics.  To ensure the elevators are safe and CE compliant mesh guarding was fitted on the lower floor and stainless framed clear polycarbonate guarding in the bottling hall above. All guard doors are electronically interlocked and will close down the CSL system in the event of a door needing to be opened. 

Commenting on the solution, the bottling hall projects manager, said: “The system has made significant improvements over our previous system and has allowed us to increase productivity to meet growing demand.” 

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