Like other craft brewers in the U.S., Victory Brewing of Downingtown, PA, listened to the contact for cans a handful of many years back and responded by installing a brand new canning line in its Parkesburg, PA, plant.
“We’ve been chatting about it off and on for about the previous 3 a long time, viewing to see what it was that customers want,” claims Scott Dietrich, VP Brewing Operations at Victory. “Portable and non-breakable is what they needed, and it was quite distinct that an aluminum can was the format they have been gravitating toward. So then we went back and forth a little bit on the question of how quick a line we ought to be searching for. We made the decision in the finish for a line that does a hundred and fifty cans/min. It provides us an possibility to get into this element of the market and see, realistically, how significantly beer we’re going to sell in cans. We have been running it now because April.”
So significantly only 12-oz cans, equipped by Ball, are in production. Depalletizing, rinsing, and filling/seaming gear all arrives from Italy’s Comac. It was also Comac that led to the pallet’s secondary packaging equipment supplier, extend wrapper packing machine.
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“Comac is represented by Eurosource out of Dallas,” claims Dietrich. “We acquired really good suggestions from a quantity of their customers. And what Eurosource was exhibiting us was so significantly more expense-successful than some of the other options we looked at. We desired to be pragmatic about this new container category, and did not require nor could we afford a high-pace line. The tools Eurosource was displaying us properly stuffed the area of interest just below the actually large-velocity options. Comac builds large-high quality machines with a great track record for minimizing oxygen pickup. And they’ve truly stood driving their product.”
Dietrich adds that the same could be stated about extend wrapper packing equipment. “Their market is in that variety of 30 to 40 cartons a moment,” claims Dietrich. “We have two of their devices on the line.”
One is the Spartan steel tube packing machine, which erects paperboard cartons and inserts possibly four, 6, twelve, or 24 cans and then uses stretch wrapper packing machine’s program of glue daubers to glue the cartons shut. Also from extend wrapper packing machine is a Spartan Wraparound Traypacker that pushes possibly two 12-packs or 4 six-packs or 6 4-packs onto a corrugated tray and then folds the tray around the cartons. It makes use of a Nordson hot-melt adhesive program to seal the corrugated tray around the cartons.
When the Spartan steel tube packing machine is putting 24 cans in a carton, the carton just bypasses the Wraparound Traypacker.
Depal is very first
At the head of the line is an overhead depalletizer that Dietrich describes as “a truly fascinating piece of tools built just proper for this kind of line. When you feel of automated depalletizing, it’s usually expensive, sophisticated, and very robust. This 1 is fairly various. It does every thing we require, but simply and cost successfully. The operator locations a pallet of cans on the infeed conveyor and then manually gets rid of the top body prior to pushing the pallet into the equipment. From there it’s all automated, which includes removal of slip sheets among layers and discharge of pallets once they’re empty. For our functions it’s just the proper balance of funds investment and labor-lowering automation. Every 25 minutes or so an operator puts in a new pallet and then walks away. It actually works effectively.”
Line stress and a motorized discharge conveyor single file the cans, which then transfer down a lowerator toward the rinser.
“One optional component we additional for Victory is the ionized air rinsing device,” states Frederic Petit of Eurosource. Provided by LWT, it produces an electrical demand that, when combined with sterile air, is really effective at cleaning the insides of the cans.
A quick distance from the rinser is the rotary filler/seamer block. The 16-valve short-tube counterpressure filler purges the cans initial with CO2 to decrease oxygen pickup. Then the four-head seamer applies the can ends.
A can hotter arrives up coming. “It cuts down on the condensation that types on the exterior of the can,” claims Dietrich. “You really don’t want that moisture forming when you’re putting cans into cartons as we are.”
Downstream from the hotter, cans are inverted so that a Domino ink-jet coder can set a date code on the can bottoms. Cans are then uprighted in a twist rail and move into the stretch wrapper packing equipment Spartan steel tube packing device. It erects possibly four-, six-, twelve-, or 24-rely paperboard cartons, collates cans, pushes cans into the carton, and then glues the carton shut.
“The extend wrapper packing device alternative for secondary packaging is attractive to a lot of craft breweries these days as they look for ways to bring much more higher-effect graphics into their can packaging,” states Eurosource’s Petit. “If you think about Victory’s six-pack presentation in a carton compared to 6 cans in a ring carrier, it is quite distinct which structure has the far better shelf impact. And it’s all automatic, such as the insertion of cartons into corrugated trays. Bringing the Comac and stretch wrapper packing equipment systems into an integrated entire worked properly for Victory Brewing.”
An ink-jet printer, once more from Domino, applies date code details to the carton, which is an 18-pt SBS printed offset in 4 colours by NEPA Carton and Provider Co. At this level the cartons are ready for the extend wrapper packing machine Wraparound Traypacker. It pushes two 12-depend or four 6-depend or six 4-count cartons on to a flat blank of corrugated. Then it types the tray around the cartons. Trays receive a bar code from an Elmark ink-jet coder.
Must Victory Brewing choose to add 16-oz cans to its mix, Petit claims that changeover will be a comparatively straightforward procedure. One useful little bit of equipment design is the rinser’s twin-lane infeed. “A pneumatic gate directs cans into the essential gate if you go from twelve to sixteen oz,” claims Petit. “Otherwise there would be a amount of time-consuming steps concerned in altering the infeed guides.
With four months of creation beneath their belts, Dietrich and colleagues are more than delighted with how the new can line has done. “Both stretch wrapper packing machine and Comac did a excellent job of providing us dependable, dependable output and top high quality,” claims Dietrich. “Not to mention a tiny footprint. We shoehorned this line into area which is allocated for tanks in the potential. The base line is that we now have an possibility to get into a new market.”
Laser coding on bottles
In other places at Victory Brewing’s condition-of-the-art Parkesburg facility is a bottling line where a D320i scribing laser from Domino was additional recently. It’s able of producing unlimited lines of text in any orientation, and in several fonts and dimensions. In addition, the laser can be managed by Domino’s intuitive remote TouchPanel. This means the printer can be located on the manufacturing line, although the manage panel is located wherever it’s hassle-free for the operator. Finally, the D320i applies plainly legible codes to a vast array of materials, at reduced to large creation speeds, with unmatched dependability. According to Director of Engineering Steven Galliera, “One of the crucial reasons we selected Domino is the dependability and repeatability of their laser. And the cause that is so essential is during changeovers, we really don’t want to lose any production time, since we know we have customers that are waiting around for our product.” Galleria notes that in addition to 12- and 22-oz bottles, Victory also fills a 750-mL bottle.