Project:  Middle English projecte, from Medieval Latin projectum, from Latin, neuter of projectus, past participle of proicere to throw forward, from pro-jacere to throw”

(Merriam Webster dictionary definition of “Project”, an Encyclopedia Britannica Co., 2014)

Continuous Improvement 

Twenty five years ago we entered the Food and Beverage manufacturing industriual sector after five years designing electronic circuits and automations of Packaging Automatic Machines in a Technical Department.  A significant part of the past decades working  to improve electronic, automation and mechanical aspects, of the Layouts, engineering and integrating systems. 

Also, studying Procurement and CAPEX aspects' fine-details to let every new Project become a future Successful Project:

  • examining Vendors’ offers, 
  • preparating electronic inspectors Minimum Requirements, 
  • controlling and fine-adjusting tens of new Lines’ layouts or upgrading the pre-existing, 
  • designing conveyors, sampling, electronic blocks, reject accumulation tables, optimised to take out the maximum performances of the Electronic Inspectors,
  • integrating Electronic Inspectors,
  • meeting Customers' preferences, choosing the Inspectors’ Optoelectronic configurations optimised for their products and peculiarities;
  • root cause analysing tens of failed Packaging Lines' Layouts.

Design and System-Integration


To design a winning Layout does not signifies to oversize bottles’ accumulations, distances, adding tons of expensive Conveyors’ stainless steel.  Remember the V2 rockets which started to fall over London in 1944?   They were single-stage rockets.   What should have happened if Werner Von Braun should have continued to follow such a design-strategy also for its Saturn V rocket destined to the Moon, rather than to pass to the mathematician K. E. Tsiolkovsky’s fathered multi-stages concept?  Surely the first Man on the Moon should have been…Russian!  Von Braun thought in the wider space opened by Tsiolkovsky.  He understood that the mathematician’s theoretical demonstrations established strict physical limits: a new design address, different than his own V2 was necessary to let the Lunar Project be some years later a successful one.   This is true also in our Food and Beverage Bottling Lines, when acting to assure success to a Layout’s design.  What means ...project?    Following the Merriam Webster dictionary (an Encyclopedia Britannica Co., 2014) ethimological definition: “Middle English projecte, from Medieval Latin projectum, from Latin, neuter of projectus, past participle of proicere to throw forward, from pro-jacere to throw”.  To project something really means to imagine all what should later happen, if a very long row of design choices should be made factual.  It’s like to study in what a way a tree of identified botanical variety, shall thinkably grow along future 10, 20, 30, …, 50 years, if planted there, in that season, on that ground, with that solar exposure, close to those other trees, etc. etc….. who, what, when, in what extent plus their complementary excluded amounts and categories.  Twenty-five centuries old canons of Philosophy, revived in the way to create a successful Project or to Root Cause Analyse an effect.

To assure success to a Layout first of all implies a deep and true comprehension of the Customer's fundamental desires and of the eventual criticities implicit in these desiderata. 

One time this comprehension is considered complete, it is necessary to pass to the second step, how the Customer wish list can be made factual. This is the phase where an initial temptative Layout is drawn.   In this phase, it is necessary to really know:

  • each Machine in the Layout.  What each Machine (or Device) needs in terms of containers accumulated before, of spaces available later, distances between containers and their maximum deviations, temperature of the containers, etc.
  • overall correlation between Machines, Conveyors, Services.  A banal example being the vital necessity to assure Operators and Maintenance staff an adequate space to access the Machines.  An operative condition perfect for a Machine 50 meters afar and before can imply an impossibility to let another operate correctly.

Cerveza Corona, is bottled in Mexico by Cerveceria Modelo®, S.A. de C.V.   Its Quality and safety is assured by many tens of glass returnable Empty Bottle Inspectors. The tens of newly upgraded Layouts all-around these EBIs, Electronic Blocks, accumulations and reject tables, we were asked to study and optimise, front of the limited pre-existing spaces in May 2003.  We accomplished the design activities, when commissioning in the meantime other 7 Heuft® and Stratec® Electronic Inspectors in 2 new glass and PET bottling Lines in Russia along May 2003 for the Customer Yarpivo®, Baltika Group® itself part of Carlsberg Group® (image abridged made available under CC 3.0)

Modelo Bottling Lines Corona 922x616@1x

When summing Design activities to those of Field Service Engineering, the total number of SASIB Beverage™, SIG® and Sidel® (Tetra Laval Group) Bottling Lines where the technical solutions designed by our staff are being applied jumps to nearly 300.  Just an example the 60000 bottles-per-hour glass returnable Bottling Line of Yantar® Brewery at Nikolayev, Ukraine (a SABMiller® company).  Here, in September 2008 we contributed to the Design of the positions, Conveyors' dimensions and configurations of the Electronic Inspectors.  A value added to Bottling Line masterplan. Later, that Layout was preferred to competing offers by other OEMs and is since 2009 running and productive. 

conveyors in an aseptic bev med hr

Running examples are the tens of Grupo Modelo® (an ABInbev® company) glass returnable Bottling Lines in Mexico filling the Corona® beer in the bottle visible here on right side.  For these Beverage Bottling Lines our staff (in the meantime installing, system-integrating, starting and commissioning also the then fastest Linear EBI of the world in Yarpivo® at Yaroslavl, Russia, a Baltika® Group company), in Spring 2003 redesigned a new optimized Line Layout.   This new Layout was made necessary when Grupo Modelo® decided to replace tens of rotary EBIs with tens of Linear EBIs.  

  Imagine a Bottle Hall clogged by Machines, Devices and Conveyors.   We have 25 years of experience in its immediate optimisation, encountering space for Operators’ and your Maintenance Staff access, where it seemed non-existing

 A sight to the Conveyors in feeding and out feeding the Labeller machine at Jacobsen beverage Bottling Line, a Brewery producing Carlsberg® range of beers (image credit Carlsberg® Group, 2014)

100-250  Inspections

“To have two independent consecutive Electronic Inspectors processing the same bottle on the same conveyor, should not allow to equal these levels of Food and Beverage safety, on the opposite we’d ameliorate only ~10 times”

Tens of other examples, are running in a long row of Sidel®’s Lines. In November 2010 we designed the interfacing necessary to handshake the Heuft® Systemtechnik Full Bottle Inspectors (FinalView™ or Squeezer™ models) with the Sidel®’s Aseptic Blocs, including AROL’s Cappers. Design and execution of an interfacing allowing to reduce thousands of times the occurrences in the Market of the leaking bottles prone to become later dangerous contaminated bottles.  One with sensors in-the-machines, operating at a speed 1.5 m/s at 52000 bottles-per-hour.   Devoting tens of parallel-working CPUs to the simultaneous management of 1.1 millions/day of bottles univoquely identified along the combined areas featuring: 

  • over 100 Aseptic Filler valves;
  • 24 Capper's heads;
  • 12 meters of conveyor after the release point of the Capper's out feed starwheel. 

This way, the innovated Bloc became the first worldwide having its internal aseptic filling valves and capper heads, associated to their own indipendent inspections, integrated by a rigorously synchronised Electronic Inspector, having its own independent inspections. Electronic Inspector providing the rejection device and way-out for each bottle designated to rejection.   We are speaking of a Bloc's grand total amount of inspections :

  • reciprocally independent;
  • based on different physical principles;

which, following the size and model of the Bloc ranges (100 - 250).   With always at least 4 inspections applied to each one individual bottle, to increase the  knowledge of the physical property being measured in the object, increasing this way Food and Beverage safety. (A condition of maximum knowledge which could only be met by a single measurement device if the interaction could last along an infinite time). Conditions for maximised Food and Beverage safety, which may be synthesized as measurements which have to be:

  • consecutive,
  • reciprocally independent,
  • based on different physical principles.

This is the only true and real way to reduce over 100 times the amount of Customers contaminated drinking by bottles which stood too long time in the Bloc, which had their cap non perfectly closed when applied, which had their cap non perfectly closed when checked in the Full Bottle Inspector.  One-hundred times times less than what an Electronic Inspector can do operating standalone.   To have two independent consecutive Electronic Inspectors processing the same bottle on the same conveyor, should not allow to equal these levels of Food and Beverage safety, on the opposite we’d ameliorate only ~10 times.   Why ?     The reason lies in the fact that:

  • torque inspections, in each head of the Capper Machine,
  • time (and other parametric) inspections in the Filler Machine,

are based on physical principles different than the mere electromagnetic of the Cap inspections existing in today's camera-equipped Cap Visual inspections. From a much deeper point of view, this is a consequence of the exploration of a wider section of the Hilbert space, where fully and really the capped bottle exist. It implies the extension of the measurement to the eigenvalues of additional eigenvectors.

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