Gandae HandlingAtelier, from Ghent in Belgium, has developed extensive expertise in the dragging and unloading of bottles and flasks. The unloading of beer bottles was still done manually with insufficient capacity for larger volumes. Gandae's question to MetaQuip was whether they could develop a laser machine in which the beer bottle with a sleeve was inlaid on the one hand and the bottle with a cut-off sleeve on the other hand, so that the sleeve could be easily removed. The advantage of removing shrink film with laser is that every bottle is cut loose and no knives become blunt.
MetaQuip Fully Automatic Laser Bottle Decomposing Machine
Process researchMetaQuip first investigated whether it is possible to use laser technology to consistently cut the sleeve over the entire length, even when the diameter of the bottle varies. After a number of tests, we concluded with Gandae that this was possible.
Product developmentThen, after the necessary funding was available, a first machine concept was developed. MetaQuip then fully developed the machine, including laser safety and CE certification. For the mechatronic system, we worked with two partners: Newton and 1K3.
The machine works fully automatically. Incoming bottles are detected and the laser process is started automatically. If bottles are placed incorrectly, they are not processed. The machine can be adjusted so that other shapes and sizes of bottles can be processed. The current capacity of this machine is 1000-1200 bottles per hour.
SafetyThis machine is used in an environment where people with disabilities work. That is why MetaQuip has looked extensively at the potential risks of the machine with a focus on the mechanical components and the laser components. The existing safety systems ensure that the machine switches off immediately if an error is detected.
Machine in operation
The machine is currently at Gandae's. The machine is fully integrated in the production line. The entire machine concept is well documented and can be easily replicated if capacity needs to be increased.
Gandea in the news
GANDAE GENT AUTOMATICALLIES FOR BREWERY VAN STEENBERGE
GHENT / ERTVELDE - Gandae and Van Steenberge brewery have been working together for 20 years. In order to accommodate the growth of the brewery in Ertvelde, however, there was a need for automation.
Every year, the Van Steenberge brewery grows, creating more employment for Gandae's target group employees. But all these extra hands could not fully absorb the increasing work. That is why Gandae designed a machine for decomposing beer bottles together with the Van Steenberge brewery and design agency Metaquip.