An automated packing line, installed by Endoline Machinery, which erects and seals cases containing up to 26,000 bottles of wine per day, has enabled Europa Worldwide Logistics to meet their growing next-day delivery targets for their customer, a leading dot.com wine supplier. Plus it has improved pack presentation, significantly increased the throughput of boxes and enhanced the overall efficiency of the production line.
For one of the fastest growing online wine retailers, Europa Worldwide Logistics (based in Northampton) packs and delivers cases of wine within a tight 24 hour delivery timeframe to consumers across the UK. The original packing operation was a labour intensive process with manual workers erecting, filling and sealing the boxes themselves as Graham Dezelsky, Logistics Manager at Europa House, explains: "With the increase in demand coming from our customer’s website for wine deliveries, we required a packing operation which would be efficient in both speed to meet the increase in growth and also consistency to achieve quality pack presentation. Our original manual packing operation was labour intensive which often resulted in inconsistent pack quality due to human error."
As a leading provider of end of line equipment Endoline was contacted by Europa to explore automation options. Endoline’s solution was to install a 221 case erector, which had the ability to erect up to 16 cases per minute – a conveyor system was installed to feed the formed boxes through to the manual picking line – at the end of the conveyor system Endoline have integrated an FPT case sealer which automatically closes the top case flaps and seals the filled wine boxes ready for delivery. Andrew Yates, Sales Manager for Endoline Machinery, commented: "Slight modifications were made to the case erector to ensure that it had the capability to form the heavy duty, twin walled cases and special tape units were used to seal the base of the case with special wide tape to offer extra support giving Europa the product quality assurances that the wine bottles were secure – which would also assist them in retaining retailer confidence."
The new semi-automated production line installed by Endoline has the added capability of erecting a range of case sizes, from 6 bottles to 12 and 15 bottle cases, dependant on the customer demand. A simple changeover process allows Europa to easily change the size setting, enabling them to run a different line of boxes through the production line.
"Endoline’s solution has enabled us to achieve all of our original objectives. We have made considerable savings in labour costs during our peak seasons as the process of erecting the boxes has been automated. Presentation to the end user has been greatly improved now that cases are consistently sealed with standard lengths of tape and finally the increase in output has enabled us to keep up with the demand from our customer," concludes Graham Dezelsky.