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Article | June 30, 2002
Clever layout enhances bottling efficiency (sidebar)
HDPE bottles, too
San Manuel’s line for 2.5- 1- and ½-gal HDPE bottles is every bit as versatile and automated as the PET line. Bags of bottles are debagged by a Dyco (www.dyco-inc.com) system that sends bottles single-file through a Quadrel Labeling Systems (www.quadrel.com) pressure-sensitive labeler. When the 2.5-gal bottles are being filled labels are applied to a top panel. But with ½- and 1-gal bottles the label must be applied to a side panel. The labeler’s sliding head permits this to be done with ease.
Immediately after labeling bottles are conveyed into the same overpressured “clean room” that houses the filler used for PET bottles. A diverter sends bottles down one of two paths. The 2.5-gal bottles go through a six-head filler from Reid Plastics Group (www.cccllc.com) and a Reid capper that applies a plastic “spiggot.” A Fogg rotary filler/rotary capper is used for both 1- and ½-gal bottles. In this case the cap is a snap/screw type: The capper snaps it on over the neck finish’s threads and consumers screw it on and off.
The ½- and 1-gal HDPE bottles which sit right-side-up throughout labeling filling and capping proceed directly to the drop packer. But the 2.5-gal bottle needs to be turned 90° onto its side before it’s in the proper orientation for the drop packer. This is accomplished effortlessly enough by a twist rail section through which 2.5-gal bottles pass just before they reach the infeed lanes of the drop packer. San Manuel packs two of the 2.5-gal bottles per case while the two smaller HDPE bottles go out in three- or six-count cases.
Ink-jet printing of corrugated cases is done by a Diagraph (www.diagraph .com) unit. Finished cases were being manually palletized on the day PW visited but a Priority One Pro-Pal Mini is soon to be installed for automated palletizing.
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