Clever bottling

With its superior diagnostics and space-saving configuration, Weidmüller’s u-remote guarantees a reliable control process in the Belgian plant-manufacturer Crown-Baele's new filling machine.

Clever bottling

Clever bottling – Crown-Baele, Belgium

Clever bottling – Crown-Baele, Belgium

Philip Vorsselmans, Senior Project and Automation Manager at Crown-Baele, invited Weidmüller to be present at the commissioning of their bottling machine at brewery Het Anker in Mechelen. Weidmüller’s u-remote is used in the control system of this bottling machine

High quality bottling machines

For more than 50 years, Crown-Baele has built up a worldwide reputation for manufacturing reliable and high quality bottling machines, designed to last at least a lifetime. Mission of Crown-Baele is to be a premium service and solution provider for all kinds of bottling issues. Crown-Baele has a dedicated and passionate team of experts and field engineers to improve the performance of machines all over the world.Three years ago, Crown-Baele revitalised its automation department. Where in earlier solutions modems were used, nowadays remote maintenance via the Internet has become more and more important. There is hardly a place in the world where the experts and field engineers cannot work. As long as there is a connection to the web, there is always the possibility to remotely monitor the customer's machine and provide the customer with advice.

21,000 bottles per hour

For years, city brewery Het Anker in Mechelen used a dated bottling machine, but due to the regular occurrences of downtimes and the increasing need for a higher bottling capacity (rising from 7,000 up to 21,000 bottles per hour) brewery Het Anker approached Crown-Baele to design a bottling machine with a capacity of 21,000 bottles per hour. Brewery Het Anker decided to work with Crown-Baele because of their reputation as a reliable supplier and maintenance partner.

Crown-Baele is not only specialised in the bottling process, the company is also committed to the entire packaging process from an empty bottle to a corked and labelled bottle of Gouden Carolus.

After the assignment of Het Anker, Crown-Baele screened the whole packaging line to determine whether the existing machines could handle a new machine with increased bottling capacity – of 21,000 bottles per hour. After a thorough screening of all processes, Crown-Baele started checking the whole packaging process for efficiency and added improvements to the machinery.

Clever bottling and efficiency

After an extensive search for a suitable remote I/O solution for the bottling machine of Het Anker, Weidmüller’s u-remote managed to convince by its diagnosis and space-saving configuration.

A Siemens S7-300 PLC with PROFINET controls the bottling machine and a touch panel provides a clear visualization and operation. The rotating bottling machine has 56 positions, in which each bottle is filled individually. Thus, each filling position has its own controls and sensors. Here, u-remote is used at the rotating part, where the various sensors and control valves are directly connected to the u-remote modules. A valve island, connected to PROFINET, controls the cylinders that clamp the bottles for the bottling process.

At the future machine, the local PLC I/O will be replaced by u-remote due to a compact and optimal I/O design. Also, using u-remote, it is easier to standardise the component layout in the control cabinet in case the end user wants another PLC brand.

Clever bottling and safety

The bottling machine of Crown-Baele was designed that clever that it can fill bottles with a capacity of 0.2 and 0.75 litre, as well as intermediate sizes. All these changes can be made via the settings on the touch panel. Another clever feature is that the machine detects broken bottles. In such a case, an automatic cleaning procedure is activated, which takes several filling rounds.

During these rounds, the position of the broken bottle is automatically cleaned thoroughly, as well as the positions next to it. In this way, safety and hygiene are strictly monitored. The strong diagnostic features of u-remote are an important part of this process. "The benefits of u-remote are clever, like our bottling machines,” Philip Vorsselmans says.

To the question how Philip Vorsselmans would describe Crown-Baele, he answers: "Innovative and customer-oriented, and that is what we look for in partners like Weidmüller."