Links to the pages:

Why Crate Inspection?

Food and Beverage Bottling Lines are normally equipped worldwide with one or two Full Containers (glass bottles, PET bottles, cans, kegs) Electronic Inspectors.  But only a relatively small amount of them has also Case or Crate Inspectors on side of the Full Container Inspectors.  This happens because frequently also some OEMs consider the presence and operation of the Case Inspectors alike a luxury, nearly-unnecessary “optional” of the Packaging Line.  Then, are directly the OEMs not insisting when suggesting the prospected Food, Beverage or Pharma Customer of new Packaging Line.  To hint the rationale of the Crate Electronic Inspectors we suggest you to imagine a high-speed FMCG Beverage GRB Bottling Line, whose production speed measured at the Filler Machine is 60000 returnable glass bottles-per-hour.  Reasons of accumulation and Line balancing implies a Conveyor for returned crates like the one visible below where they pass ~3300 crates-per-hour, almost one crate each one second.  Now, ask yourself simply how can just an individual Production Operator:

  1. remove upside and/or tilted bottles which could stop or damage the De-Crater Machine?
  2. remove opaque foreign objects lying into returned crates ?
  3. sort incoming crates of the wrong colour and logo?
  4. remove semitransparent foreign objects?
  5. remove crates with an erroneous or unreadable barcode?
  6. remove crates with an erroneous or unreadable Best-Before-Date code?
  7. add bottles to incomplete crates?

  The nearly impossible mission of an Operator who’d have to assure a high constant flow of crates to the De-Crater Machine or to the Palletiser, assuring in the meantime its Quality (  SABMiller plc Poland/Tom Parker-OneRedEye/2013)

 Crates and cases are part of the Beverage Bottling history 

The easy, wromg answer is: …increasing the amount of staff constantly exclusively devoted to those tasks.  Say increasing to two Operators per Production shift, plus a “spare” third which, multiplied by the number of shifts in the 24 hours means nine staff.  Nine Operators to try to do what two Electronic Inspectors, a Full Crate and a Returned Crate, shoul have done, at least by the point of view of Quality (i.e., measurement repeatability) much better.  

Why Case Inspection?

However impossible at all to do something useful with cases full of filled cans.  It is mandatory a non-invasive inspection system (X-ray or Weigh Checker) to understand at least if the case is complete, and complete with duly filled cans.  Cans may have micro-holes which let them slowly loose beverage, a process which only gives effects which can be measured  at the end of the Line, say before the Case Palletiser.  As a matter of fact, the Polish SABMiller™ plc Bottling Line where the figure above was shot has that Operator just to handle crates and not to inspect crates.  The Bottling Line has Full and Returned Crates Electronic Inspection.

 Full Crate Inspection in Koestrizer Brauerei. Crates proceeding toward a serie of metal cap presence detectors, enacted by mean of digital photoscanners 

A visible example of the problem implicit in a Food, Beverage or Pharma Packaging Line not having fully functional or, nor having at all Case Inspection equipments, in the figure below.  Imagine to be at the end-of-Line, immediately before the Palletiser Machine.  Two fundametal questions: 

  1. how to handle the eventuality that any of the packaged glass bottles reached the pack slightly broken and later completely broken itself?  

What typically originates by the mechanical stresses during the packing operation.  Bottle that typically break itself and, spreading beverage, damages the entire cardboard case.  Who operates the end-of-Line machinery knows that this eventuality is not remote.  An answer can be: removing the case;

  1. how can the Operator be sure that a closed case has not any of the following basic kinds of eventualities making defective a case:
    • broken bottles or deformed cans;
    • sort incoming cases of the wrong colour and logo;
    • remove cases with an wrong or unreadable barcode;
    • remove cases with an wrong or unreadable Best-Before-Date (BBD) code; 
    • incomplete cases;
    • underfilled bottles or cans.

  One time cans, bottles or vials are packed human eyes can only intervene and correct a malfunction when it’s too late

The answer is that it is not possible to prevent these (and other kinds of defects) from reaching the Customer.  To detect defects like these they result mecessary X-ray, Barcode or Camera-imaging inspection equipments.  One time containers, cans or bottles, are packed human eyes can only intervene and correct a malfunction when it’s too late.  An alternative could only be represented by a huge amount of (expensive) Operators active in permanent Quality Assurance (QA) functions before the end-of-Line.  On prcatice, in the area of the Packer Machine.  But, if this Layout hypothetical scenario seems an interesting one, in the reality, it creates another problem.  Human-inspection and rejection has low-Production efficiency.  The Packer Machine area, if charged by this additional human-QA activity, may become the Packaging Line's additional, undesired  bottle-neck.  As a consequence, the presence and operation of the Case Inspectors has not to be considered alike a luxury, nearly-unnecessary “optional” of the Packaging Line.  Rather, it is fundamental.

Links to other pages:

                                                                                                                       © 2013-2015 Graphene.  All rights reserved                                                Protection Status                    

TRUSTe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy
Site protected by 6Scan