Production of sustainable wine bottles – technocrat

The collaboration between Festo and PCE Automation has helped Frugalpac Limited, an expert in recyclable packaging, deliver high production capacity and precision assembly to meet the increased demand for the innovative cardboard-based Frugal Bottle.

The Frugal Bottle is the world’s first paper-based wine and spirits bottle. Its innovative design consists of a shell made of 94% recycled cardboard and an inner, food-grade pouch. Frugal Bottle is fully recyclable, five times lighter than glass, and emits much less carbon dioxide than traditional wine bottles. It also offers an all-around branding for a better look on the shelf.

Frugal bottles are made from two sheets of cardboard that are precision cut, glued, and moistened at the front and back before being stacked ready to be fed into the bottle forming machine. Achieving the desired number of pieces is a major challenge as the path of the adhesive is complex and needs to be tailored to the profile of the bottle. In addition, apply exactly the right amount of glue to avoid deformation or ugly excess glue on the finished bottle.

For the solution, Frugalpac contacted a company dealing with adhesive systems, but they could not achieve the desired cycle time. However, PCE Automation and Festo have worked closely together to develop a fully automated line of adhesives and wetters that meets the tight tolerances and complex bonding patterns required to achieve 630 bottles per hour.

Ronan Quinn, PCE project manager, said:

“The gluing process was more complex than anything we’ve come across before. The tight tolerances for the bonding pattern, the short cycle time and the critical thicknesses were a real challenge. We usually do the complete design and assembly in-house, but this time Festo supplied us with the complete assembly of the handling systems, which was a real added value in terms of component compatibility and commissioning. ”

Secure gluing

The automation cell of PCE Automation requires minimal human intervention. An operator loads the raw materials for the front and back of the bottles at the front end of the equipment. The machine then picks up, loads, reloads, glues, reloads, wets and places the prepared raw materials in a container at the end of the process. The materials are then transferred to a bottle forming machine.

PCE Automation designed the automation cell using the Festo Handling Guide Online (HGO). This free online tool drastically reduces design, assembly and delivery time and allows customers to create an instantly deployable handling system: whether it’s a single-axis system, a linear and plane portal, or a 3D spatial portal. With a few clicks, HGO provides the right standard handling system, including the CAD model, animation and full EPLAN documentation. Each step (including request for quotation, layout, quotation, and CAD design) that used to take 10-15 days can now be completed in minutes. The reduction in design and documentation time has allowed PCE to meet Frugalpac’s shipping requirements.

The unique bonding and wetting solution has been tested and scaled at Festo’s UK application center to prove that the desired cycle time is achievable. As a PLC, the Festo CPX-E-CEC controller is used to implement interpolated soft motion, which controls several axes simultaneously to achieve complex curves of gluing paths. The advantage of Festo CMMT servo controllers in the three handling systems is accurate and repeatable loading, gluing and unloading. Festo’s basic pneumatic products, valve islands and process valves are also widely used in the gluing and wetting system.

Successful bottling

The PCE automation cell only needed to achieve a cycle time of 19 seconds to meet Frugalpac requirements. The gluing and wetting solution provides 50% faster gluing time than expected, so the machine was able to complete the required total cycle time. This is achieved by gluing eight bottles at a time, using different gluing patterns for the front and back raw materials.

According to John-Paul Grogan, Product Director at Frugalpac:

“Frugalpac is committed to developing more sustainable packaging. The use of automation in the production of Frugal Bottle will help us achieve our goal of reducing CO2 emissions from wine and spirits packaging. ”

In connection with this article, we recommend our article on the precise gluing of smartphone screens, the application of thermal paste or the fixing of microcameras in the right place: Precise dosing of materials of different viscosities

Source: technokrata by

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