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Water bottled in Kuwait has U.S. flavor

A portable bottling line housed in a 20’x8’x81¼2’ container is quenching the thirst of troops and personnel in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Started up in fall 2003, the 25 bpm self-contained line provides 1.5-L bottled water on-demand for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) troops and support personnel, according to AAFES Food and Theatre program manager Tom Wilson.

The portable operation can be moved as needed.

“It’s like a U.S. water bottling plant that just happens to be located outside the U.S.,” says Wilson. The line operators are International Bottled Water Assn.-trained civilians, Wilson points out.

The operation comprises two cargo containers, one from Culligan Intl., United Kingdom, containing a reverse-osmosis water purification system piped to the second container. It’s a HEPA filtered, Class 10ꯠ cleanroom that houses the bottling line. The straight-line bottling operation was assembled by Filler Specialties using its Model GWFS-63 filler-capper, a six-station volumetric filler and three-station capper that fills the bottles and applies the 28-mm screw cap. Upstream of the filler-capper is an Auto Labe Model 110 labeler with a 4’’ wrap station and infeed metering device that applies a pressure-sensitive label printed with the Culligan label. After labeling, the bottles go through a rinser.

Bottles are hand-fed onto a 3’’-wide conveyor that leads inside the bottling line container. Filled bottles exit the container and are hand-packed into boxes that are sealed on a semi-automatic taper. Boxes are then manually palletized.

“The line was intentionally made to be simple,” Wilson says. “There’s not a lot of maintenance available over there. So far it’s worked slick.”

Nightly, the systems are secured against bioterrorism, Wilson says: “Since it’s containerized, we can lock and seal everything up including steel plates over openings.

“The concept is a good one,” adds Wilson, “and we are considering a second, duplicate system.” —RL

Rethinking Packaging Robotics to Prioritize Flexibility
In this eBook, you’ll learn how to guard against the traps that CPGs sometimes inadvertently set for themselves when implementing robotics that lead to automation “brittleness.”
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Rethinking Packaging Robotics to Prioritize Flexibility
Rethinking Packaging Robotics to Prioritize Flexibility
In this eBook, you’ll learn how to guard against the traps that CPGs sometimes inadvertently set for themselves when implementing robotics that lead to automation “brittleness.”
Read More
Rethinking Packaging Robotics to Prioritize Flexibility