A bottling line consists of a series machines that work in tandem to bottle liquids. These lines are employed by a wide range of beverage manufacturing facilities, including wine, soft drink, and other liquids.
Depending on the type of product being produced, bottling lines may differ in the specific set up of their machinery. The amount of human labour involved in various stages may also differ. All bottling lines must have certain basic features in order to be considered the same.
For example, the majority of Bottling Line Solutions should be equipped with a machine which can wash bottles and check their cleanliness before they are filled. They should also include a pasteurizer, a filling system (rotary or on-line), and an instrument that can verify the amount poured in each bottle.
This type of machine should be positioned as efficiently as possible to prevent bottlenecks. If bottlenecks are created, the production rate of the entire line will drop significantly. The quality of each product may also be compromised. By identifying and eliminating bottlenecks, producers can improve production speed and increase their yield without having to invest in additional equipment or hire more workers.
Machine monitoring is one way to achieve this. It is an effective tool in detecting and resolving any bottlenecks. For example, by connecting the bottling line’s machinery to an MES platform like ShiftWorx(tm), it is possible to track each machine’s performance and output. The software can count signals coming from each machine, and use them to calculate a line’s rate (bottles produced), units produced (bottles packed), and yield. For example if 1,000 bottles are blow molded within a certain time period, but only 90 of those bottles are filled, capped and packed, the yield is 90%.
A special bottling inspection system is another way of improving yield. These systems scan each bottle to detect defects, such as bubbles, scratches, or foreign materials. The manufacturer can correct these problems before the bottles are sealed and shipped. This can save the manufacturer a lot of cash in terms of cost per bottle, and at the same time provide the customer with a higher-quality product.
A third factor to consider when achieving a higher yield is to have equipment on the bottling system that is easily adjustable to new bottle specifications. This is an important feature because it can eliminate the need for manual adjustments, which is costly and may result in a delay in production and/or missed delivery dates. There should also be a system to record all machine stoppages so that problems can be quickly and efficiently resolved. Plant Applications, part of the GE Digital suite of Manufacturing Execution Systems solutions, is an excellent option for this purpose.