A major beverage manufacturer was experiencing quality issues directly related to its manual packaging release system. The existing system involved product delivery from 23 storage tanks to any of the 10 destinations consisting of packaging lines and pasteurization systems. Utilizing piping swing elbows and hoses, it required a manual set up each time a brand / type of beverage was changed. The inefficient system not only adversely affected product quality, but also created microbial issues due to excessive manual handling.
Well versed in automation technology in the food and beverage industry, SSOE was selected to design a more efficient packaging release system for the client. Our team provided the design and installation of a fully automated solution involving 12 valve matrix skids and 600 valves. The system utilizes valve manifolds to control fill and transfer operations to and from the tanks.
Installing new systems in fully operational production facilities presents a number of unique challenges. For this project, our team was faced with significant space constraints, as well as maintaining production operations throughout installation. To address the limited space between existing tanks, laser scanning was used to help define the available envelope for pump, piping, and skid installation. Valve matrices were then split up and fit into the space between the horizontal tanks. Temporary headers and piping tie-ins were employed to allow for the sequenced installation and tie-ins to each packaging line, while maintaining production on all other lines. Programming changes were made at each step to accommodate each new line as installation progressed. At the conclusion of the project, our team successfully delivered a fully automated beverage delivery system that not only eliminated the quality issues and microbial threats inherent to the manual system, but also reduced water and product waste.