Derbyshire-based advanced automation specialist, Knight Warner, has helped to solve a major handling problem for a large dairy using plastic packaging at Pennybridge, Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
To overcome various challenges, such as ensuring an adequate supply of the right type of milk bottle available at the right time, in the correct orientation and undamaged, Knight Warner, alongside Nampak, a UK producer of plastic milk bottles, has developed a state-of-the-art handling system which delivers High Density Polyethylene bottles to the milk filling heads at speeds of up to 500 bottles per minute.
Colin Powell, Technical Director at Knight Warner, said: “Our engineers designed a solution which was manufactured and tested in Chesterfield, Derbyshire and then shipped and installed into the dairy in Pennybridge.
“The key was in the integration of our patented ‘stripping system’ in conjunction with the latest PLC technology and sophisticated safety systems which allowed us to provide a solution which met all the requirements of the dairy, along with the installation of the equipment into the minimum possible footprint.”
The installation comprised of de-baggers, conveyors, and management information system interfaces. Nampak Plastics’ Commercial Director, Jamie Tinsley, said: “Provision was made in the design to cater for the handling of Nampak’s new, award-winning lightweight ‘Infini’ bottle, which reduces the weight of existing milk bottles by up to 20 percent. The ability for remote access to the equipment allows continuous plant condition monitoring and produces efficiency performance data. It can also highlight alarm trips and fault codes, and maintenance requirements.