Modular solution brings packaging gains for new drinks packs

A cider-led beverage company has combined modular elements of an existing packaging line with new equipment to create the ‘ideal’ solution for a new product.

Paul Clifford, Aston Manor’s manufacturing & engineering director, turned to machinery supplier Yorkshire Packaging Systems (YPS) for advice on potential equipment options.

“Across Aston Manor, we strive to be efficient and sustainable in everything we do,” Paul said. “I discussed with YPS how to incorporate under-utilised equipment, that we already owned, into the new line.

“The modular nature of the equipment we owned from YPS could be easily combined with new machinery to create a full packaging line for the new product. Throughout the discussions, YPS sought to find the best solution for our new requirements.”

The product in question features a 24-pack of canned drinks, shrink-wrapped onto a tray for stability. The new rework operation allows Aston Manor to take multiple SKUs and sort into a mixed SKU single case. Previously, the operation was outsourced and the YPS equipment had been used to wrap a different product altogether.

The finished pack sizes were fairly similar, so the ULMA heat shrink tunnel from the previous line could be included in the new line with ‘minimal’ re-configuration. Aston Manor purchased a new sleeve wrapper with an integrated inline in-feed to cater for the new product.

The result is a new line with the same tunnel coupled with a new sealer.

YPS trialled the products on the proposed line before supply of the new shrink-wrapping equipment. The trials demonstrated the new line could ‘more than cope’ with the desired throughput levels.

PS explained that the flexibility of the new inline sleeve sealer should prove a ‘great investment for the future’, as it is able to handle further product innovations or many of the products and collations from Aston Manor’s wide range.

Switching between products or collations requires a few ‘simple tweaks’, such as altering the height-adjustable sealing jaw, with no requirement to change any machine parts.

“This investment delivers additional packing capacity with flexibility that could prove invaluable as our business moves forward,” Paul added. “We’ve been happy with the equipment, service and support from YPS in the past and are extremely pleased with the solution they put forward this time.”

Glyn Johnson, MD of YPS, commented, “Our focus is always to help our customers to find the ideal solution for their packaging needs. For Aston Manor, it was clear that we could include part of their previous line into their new line without compromising on performance, so this resulted in the most cost-efficient solution for them.”