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Cermax top loaders for wine and spirits

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article image Includes a simplified bottle infeed.

CERMEX has been a supplier to the wine and spirits market for many years. Their top loading solutions have been central to the company’s success, with many installations in the French, Spanish, Chilean and Australian wine industry.

Cermex also has strong historic ties with the multinationals within the spirits industry. The company is represented locally by Allied Industries Pty Ltd.

Requirements for the wine and spirits markets are similar to solutions for end of line automation. The markets, however, have widely evolved in terms of machines.

On this basis, Cermex decided to revise its case forming/loading/gluing solution by considering two levels depending on the bottling speeds:

* From 3000 to 7000 bottles/hour

* From 7000 to 14,000 bottles/hour for the wine industry (up to 18,000 bottles/hour and more for the spirits industry).

Cermax undertook a study of the automation requirements for its top loaders and decided to reduce the total footprint (machines and conveyors) for easier line layout.

The new loaders include an improvement in the general ergonomics and operation of the complete line (size changeover time in particular).

Cost optimisation and reduction in the number of parts was a priority in the new design. Consequently, the cost of change parts was reduced by avoiding the principle of 1 format = 1 specific set of change parts.

Lighter and simpler gripping heads are also featured in the new loaders.

The study was carried out on a TPM basis (easy maintenance). It is based on three modules (functions) case forming/loading/gluing, which although separate, are both homogonous and combinable:

* Forming then loading then gluing

* Forming/loading then gluing

* Forming then loading/gluing

* Forming/loading/gluing.

This approach meets the requirement for reduced footprint and simplified layout.

A complete review of the change parts included:

* A single adjustable loading funnel for all the bottle formats

* Adjustable gripping head on the basis of a gripping block for six bottles with a single point of adjustment (possible to link two blocks for loading 12 bottles at a time); reduction in the weight (<20kg) and reduction in the storage area required for change parts.

* Simplified bottle infeed - improved ergonomics and saving in operator time during size changeovers

* Customer ‘self-sufficient’ for handling new formats by simply adjusting the bottle heights and diameters (same for the cases), thanks to a programming aide.

Other features of the new Cermex loaders include:

* Access into the heart of the machine thanks to the new structure of the machine frame

* Installation of numerical counters to help with size changeovers and then production start-up

* Line operation from one side - access to control panel, forming, case magazine, loading and gluing

* New vertical forming solution taken from the SD range (multi-function machine - case forming, loading and gluing)

* Gluing solution shortened in length

* For versions case former/case packer or case packer/case gluer or case erector/case packer/case gluer = a single PLC

* Saving in machine cost is 10%

* Saving in terms of change parts is 30%.

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