Fibre King integrates canning into Stone & Wood’s existing bottling line with limited space.
The Challenge: Stone & Wood Brewing Co wanted to introduce a canned beer option to their product line to enable them to supply beer into markets where glass was not permitted, e.g. Festivals & Sporting Events. The solution needed to be cost effective as well as compact to be able to fit into their existing facility.
The Solution: Taking into account that can volumes would initially start low, and build over time Fibre Kings solution included integrating the canning into the existing bottling line with the view to reuse the relevant parts of the system when the volumes increased. The solution was affordable, compact and flexible.
The final solution involved using a common depalletising system and splitting the bottling and canning streams to the individual filling machines. Once the cans are filled, they run through the bottle filler in a bypass mode and into a common Cluster-Packer, Case packer and Palletiser system. In order to achieve this Fibre King needed to re-rout and modify the conveying system, relocate the de-palletiser, case packer, palletiser and labeller, and replacing the cluster packing unit. Additional conveyors including an elevator for empty cans were also added in order to feed the new can filler. The delivered system allows either bottles or cans to be run but never both concurrently.
“The solution was a cost-effective way to be able to run the cans without investing huge amounts of capital while we grow the product.” Said Nick Cornish from Stone & Wood Brewing Co.
The beauty of the solution was that the Fibre King Case Packer and Palletiser could accommodate the new product formats and didn’t need to be replaced. While the machines were designed and built in 2013 to pack and palletise specific formats, Fibre King were able to provide additional change parts and program updates to allow the new formats to be run.
“If the existing equipment was unable to be reused and upgraded then this project would have been prohibitive and another solution would have had to be found that ultimately would have had higher capital costs.” Says Greg Constantinidis, Senior Engineering Applications Manager at Fibre King. “When purchasing new equipment, it is important to look at lifetime value and ensure you don’t purchase throw away machines. A cheap machine may do the job for a short time but if you want flexibility and reliability inferior equipment will cost you more over its effective life and won’t be able to adapt as your business grows.” Adds Greg.
“Having worked with Stone & Wood back in 2013, where we helped install their bottling line it was exciting for us to work with them again as they expand and explore new markets. It was important for us to deliver a cost-effective solution that would provide flexibility when the growth potential was realised.” Said Greg.
Eventually as demand for cans increase, Stone and Wood will need to incorporate a dedicated line, at which time the can specific equipment can be relocated.
“When looking for a company to work with for the needs of the business we are always trying to partner with companies who are keen to build win-win relationships. Over the years working with Fibre King we have been able to grow with them and work on solutions together. The follow up customer service from the team has been fantastic. It’s one thing to deliver a project but it’s the 1 percenters and follow up questions and work that make the real difference.” Said Nick.