• The swabbing robot in action.
    The swabbing robot in action.

A new swabbing robot has been installed at Orora’s glass manufacturing facility at Gawler in South Australia.

The DG Tandem IS-Machine mainly produces 0.75-litre wine bottles in a blow-and-blow operation.

The Orora team worked with Germany's Heye International and robot supplier Socabelec to commission the automated swabbing, which is unique in Australia.

Andrew Barreau, technology and business development manager at Orora Glass, said the robot had performed well so far.

“The initial operation has exceeded our expectations,” he said.

“Over the next few months we'll collect and analyse data to see if there are more opportunities to optimise the swabbing robot operation.”

The robot not only swabs the blank mould, but also the neckring area with the same spraying head and lubricating oil, so less tooling is required.

The IS-Machine has a safety barrier grid to protect the operator working on the blank side. The Heye and Orora engineering teams developed special software to integrate the safety barrier and swabbing robot systems.

“Using the automated swabbing technology allows us to improve safety and optimise process stability on an ongoing basis,” Barreau said.

“Our operator’s time is redirected from manual swabbing to focus on process quality.”

The installation of the swabbing robot follows Orora’s recent $42 million expansion investment to increase glass bottle production at the company’s glass manufacturing facility at Gawler.

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