New partnership is enabling craft brewers to use carton board packs when scaling up production

Two PPMA members have collaborated to build three solutions capable of packing a range of can or bottle sizes for craft brewers wanting to scale up its retail offering.

The collaboration between Siemens and packaging machinery manufacturer T Freemantle has designed and built machines to offer those breweries looking to scale up the opportunity to deliver multipack carton board retail packs, as well as meet the increasing demand for more environmentally friendly packaging.

“As craft breweries become more successful, they are looking to scale up,” explains Tony Freemantle, managing director at T Freemantle. “The next step after their own tap rooms is to supply retail and get products onto the supermarket shelves but traditional packaging machines handling significant volumes are completely unnecessary for our customers. 

“The brewery market needed something more bespoke for small to medium volumes,” he continues. “Our partnership with Siemens has offered a solution to the industry and helped our business penetrate a new global market.”

T Freemantle, based in Scunthorpe, has received 20 orders in the last 18 months, including The London Beer Factory; Vocation; Beavertown, Northern Monk and Thornbridge.

T Freemantle saw a gap in the market and approached its preferred technology supplier, Siemens Digital Industries, to develop these bespoke machines for the craft brewery market.

After more than 40 years serving the food, beverage and household goods sectors, the family-owned business is predicting significant growth in the craft brewery sector following the adoption of new technologies to develop the bespoke can and bottle multipack cartoning machines.

Siemens deployed its total integrated automation solutions from Simatic HMI, range of servo geared motors and PLCs to develop the new machines which are optimised to meet specific human machine interface needs, using open and standardised interfaces in hardware and software which allow efficient integration into the lifecycle of the machine’s automation.

This allows manufacturers flexibility in production processes, integration into new technologies with scalability into Internet of Things (IoT) software solutions. The increase in efficiency which is delivered makes it possible for a faster time to market of the products.

“It validates our decision three years ago to make Siemens our preferred supplier of technology for all our machines,” says Freemantle. “Siemens offers us world-leading technology coupled with a high level of technical support and assistance at the point of commission to ensure a smooth installation to our customers.”

The three machines all include a full deployment of Siemens technology including HMI, servo drive, control gear and programmable logic controller (PLC).

The specifically developed semi-automatic beverage cartoning machine is perfectly suited to can and bottle multi-packs in counts from 4 to 24 and can run comfortably at a rate of up to 14,000 cans or bottles per hour.

T Freemantle is now offering its customers various options including the starter model multi pack which works well for smaller breweries as these are manually packed. The semi-automatic and the high speed fully automated packaging solution, which connected directly to a canning line, have a speed range of handling cans or bottles from 3,000 to 35,000 per hour.

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