Sunny Delight España is a company owned by Orangina Schweppes. Worldwide known for its orange flavored soft drink Sunny D, the European production located in Spain distributes its products throughout the Spanish, Portuguese and French market. The Sunny Delight plant in Mataró, Spain, produces HDPE bottles of the fruit-flavored beverage, which are packaged on cardboard trays and encased in shrink-wrap for distribution.
The flow of the soft drinks packages needs to be split in two in order to maximize the throughput of the palletizer. There are three different package sizes, which arrive at a 1:2 switch infeed with either the short side leading or the long side leading.
The plant had used slat switch technology at the palletizer infeed for over ten years. While the slat switch had the potential to operate for many more years, the plant was familiar with the typical problems that occur with slat switching technology— high maintenance and unexpected, expensive breakdowns—and wished to avoid suffering from those in the future.
At the 2009 Drinktec trade show in Munich, Germany, the plant’s production manager and engineering manager saw Intralox’s innovative Activated Roller Belt™ (ARB) package-handling technology for the first time.
Impressed with the ARB equipment’s lack of controls, easy maintenance, and safe design with no exposed moving parts, the plant managers looked into replacing their existing slat switch with an Intralox ARB™ Switch S400.
At the time, the slat switch cost the plant approximately 2500 euros per year in annual maintenance costs in addition to 20 minutes per week of downtime to perform lubrication. Furthermore, unexpected breakdowns, which cost 8 hours or more of production time at 700 euros per hour, were always a risk. As the Mataró plant is currently the most important European location producing Sunny Delight, a serious breakdown could have major implications on delivery for the Iberia and French markets.
The plant managers recognized that the Intralox ARB Switch had the potential to significantly reduce its maintenance costs as well as safeguard the plant against unexpected breakdowns; they retrofitted the machine in January 2011.
In the ten months that it has operated at the Mataró plant, the Intralox ARB™ Switch has required zero maintenance and has caused zero line stops. This has allowed the plant to not only meet expectations for significant reductions in maintenance time and money, but to virtually eliminate any risk of unexpected breakdowns and long production stops due to switch dysfunction. In addition to operating reliably and providing a safer environment for workers, the ARB Switch operates at a lower noise level than did the slat switch.
“We decided to install the Intralox ARB™ Switch S400 because we thought it was simple, easy, and clean. This was the best solution to our problem,” said Juan Peñaranda, Maintenance Leader, and Jose Antonio Loste, Production Manager at the plant.