• The GEA All in One filler
    The GEA All in One filler

4 Pines Brewing Company will soon be putting its famous beer into bottles and cans on a new filling line, to be supplied by Foodmach, at its Brookvale facility.

4 Pines' Brookvale brewery
4 Pines' Brookvale brewery

The brewery is due to start up its GEA Vipoll All in One filler in September. The machine is a combined rinser/filler/capper/seamer in a single monoblock. It can accommodate carbonated and still beverages – either hot or cold – and it can fill glass, PET, and cans in several formats. The filler can work at a pace of up to 30,000 containers per hour. It also has the potential to reduce the energy used in bottling and canning beer and reduce water use.

Foodmach designed a medium-speed packaging line around the filler. This packaging line includes a new bottle/can depalletiser; traceability and inspection systems; conveying; and a line control system to link all existing equipment.

Earle Roberts, CEO of Foodmach, said, “We use our experience from working with high-speed bottling and canning lines at 2000 cans per minute to ensure that we get the buffering and accumulation right on any speed line. We've designed 4 Pines Brookvale to minimise those short delays and bottlenecks that will otherwise reduce throughput.”

Cans are an important part of the craft beer sector
Cans are an important part of the craft beer sector

Chris Willcock, chief brewer at 4 Pines, said cans are an increasingly relevant section of the craft beer market. “They're a vessel very well-suited to a variety of drinking occasions and something we really needed to provide to our customers alongside our diverse range of bottled beer products,” he said.

“The challenge at Brookvale has been our restricted space, which makes it impossible to build a second pack line exclusively for standard and sleek can filling. Off-site filling was an option, but it's expensive and elevates our risk of problems with product quality.”

Willcock said 4 Pines takes its use of resources seriously. “Whatever filling line solution, we came up with needed to reduce our water and power consumption,” he said.

4 Pines has joined its parent company, AB InBev, in its plan to become a “100 per cent renewable energy brewery”.

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