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Improve Bottling Lines With Machine Monitoring

May 21

Bottling Lines refer to production lines which fill large quantities of products, typically beverages, into bottles. Many prepared foods such as sauces are also bottled. The industry has been growing rapidly because of global urbanization, increasing income levels, and changing consumer preferences.

Bottlers are able to improve their processes by implementing machine monitoring, which identifies bottlenecks. This allows them make minor adjustments such as changing worn parts or adjusting speeds without having to hire additional staff or purchase new equipment. Additionally, they can run a greater number of batches per day. This results in a higher profit margin and a more consistent final product.

To build and operate Bottling Line Solutions, manufacturers use a variety machines, such as washers sterilizers pasteurizers, fillers bottle cappers, labelers or case packers. These machines must be calibrated to work in harmony. They are often separated from each other and there is little to no communication.

A bottleneck occurs when the line can only produce a single container per minute. This can be due to machine failures or inefficiencies which result in a loss in yield from one station to the next. Plant Applications by GE Digital is a MES that allows manufacturers to analyze their line performance and reduce bottlenecks. This software tracks the uptime of the line, its rate, units (filled) and yield. It can also identify any problems and alert operators, such as a bottle left uncapped or an inoperative machine.

Traditionally, bottlers monitored their lines manually. They used spreadsheets for tracking downtime and another database to record machine performance data. Plant Applications offers a sophisticated MES system that allows bottlers to improve productivity by identifying and removing bottlenecks. The software can also measure and track key metrics such as line uptime, bottle-per-minute rates, units produced (filled), and total yield from bottle to box.

The beverage sector holds a significant portion of the global bottling-line machinery market. It is followed by the chemical, food, and cosmetics sectors. The non-alcoholic beverage sector has been growing significantly due to the COVID-19 epidemic and a shift in consumer preferences toward healthy drinks.

Bottlers will save time and money if they choose a premium bottling system that is designed to meet the needs of users who value time and are looking for a high quality final product. For example, some lines offer features such as a bottle phasing system that prevents labels from being applied over the seam. Premium lines require little or no lubrication, thanks to their low-friction and self-lubricating features. So, the producers can concentrate on their tasks while ensuring a high quality finished product that will standout on the shelf.

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