Marking one of its largest orders to date, automation and integration specialist Foodmach has been awarded the contract to install an Industry 4.0-enabled turnkey filling line for global wine company Pernod Ricard Winemakers.
Pernod Ricard Winemakers – whose portfolio of premium brands include iconic Australian wines Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo and George Wyndham – is part of the Pernod Ricard Group, the second-largest wine, spirits and Champagne company in the world. In a bid to provide its Australian operations with capacity to satisfy ever-changing market demands, the company has invested in a new combination glass and canning line to be installed at its Rowland Flat site in Barossa Valley, SA.
The new line will include the GEA Vipoll All-in-One, a space-saving, high-speed filling system that performs all functions from rinsing to sealing in one monoblock. Supplied in Australia by Foodmach, this system handles a wide range of can and glass bottle formats with changeovers of just 20-30 minutes.
Foodmach CEO Earle Roberst says Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ ambition to be a centre of excellence in the Pacific, driven by a focus on technology innovation for enhanced speed, safety and efficiency, will be supported by the the award-winning GEA Vipoll All-in-One system. Foodmach’s Mach5.0 LMES (Line Management Execution System) will provide overarching control of the entire line, which will run at speeds of up to 24,000 containers per hour.
Roberts said, “The project will showcase Foodmach’s ability to deliver a fully integrated ‘Line as a Machine’ (LaaM), where our Industry 4.0 expertise allows the customer to consider the line as a single production entity. Our biggest challenge – and our greatest strength – will be the integration of third party equipment via a range of different controls protocols and PLC hardware.
The turnkey project delivery includes Foodmach palletising and depalletising equipment, Petek tunnel pasteurising, can and bottle drying, an extensive range of inspection equipment, Markem-Imaje laser and inkjet coding and print and apply labelling with compliance software, bottle labelling, multi packing, case packing and Robopac stretch wrapping, with all conveying, infrastructure, and safety systems.
Lee Docherty, packaging operations manager at Pernod Ricard Winemakers said, “The installation of our world-class filler will allow us to improve the speed of production and benefit from enhanced capability. However, we needed a management system that was going to match its sophistication and advanced technology. Foodmach has been a true partner in the development of this technology, and the collaborative approach has enabled us to design a system that is accurate, data-driven and completely intuitive. It allows us to control every machine in a fully integrated interface. We’ll enjoy the full benefits of Industry 4.0 with all the data needed at our fingertips and complete accuracy around OEE [Overall Equipment Effectiveness].”
Chris Yule, national sales manager, Foodmach, said, “The line we’ve designed for Pernod Ricard Winemakers is best described as a highly flexible, highly efficient combination glass and can line. It can handle a broad product matrix: still or sparkling liquids in cans or glass in multiple formats with a range of closures – and it can run multiple SKUs concurrently. “While the pasteuriser is self-cleaning, which takes 30 minutes, other SKUs will enter the line to reduce downtime. It is, without doubt, our most flexible packaging line to date.”
Roberts added that based on Foodmach’s experience with All-in-One installations at CUB’s 4 Pines and Lion’s Malt Shovel Brewery, the team will complete the bulk of the installation and setup with input from GEA technicians only at the very last stage of commissioning. “Having this level of skill in-house gives us tighter control over timing,” he said.
The project is due for completion in 2022.
Foodmach has a long history with the wines and spirits industry in Australia. The company has delivered major packaging line projects at Wolf Blass, Penfolds, Yalumba, Australian Vintage Limited, most of Australia’s large breweries and increasingly, craft brewers such as Pirate Life.