Summary

Melitta is a coffee manufacturer whose roastery is located just down the street from Precision Automation® in Cherry Hill, NJ. They have been roasting coffee there for more than 40 years, and were looking for a new canning line to increase speed and improve efficiency of their already extensive roasting operation. We presented them with a material handling system that covered every step of the coffee process: from de-palletizing the empty cans, to filling, capping, labeling, and finally palletizing and labeling the cases.

Challenge

Develop an updated production line to handle, fill, label, and palletize cans to increase their manufacturing speed and introduce more of their premium coffee products to their market.

Insights

Melitta has established itself as a household name in the coffee industry. They have been utilizing their method of fire roasting small batches of beans at their Cherry Hill facility since 1964, and needed some support to modernize. Precision Automation® was happy to answer this request.

Through our tried-and-true sales engineering process, our Conveyor Solutions team started with analysis of their facility and developing a general concept. Modular chain conveyor was selected to be the primary type of material handling equipment to transport the empty and full cans. The line is commenced with a depalletizer to unload cases of empty cans and dispense them onto the conveyor line. A pressure-less combiner then ensures smooth filing of the cans one by one, as they are sent downstream and accumulate in specific places as needed.

The empty cans are then filled with beans/grounds and move down toward the seamer. Each can is topped with an aluminum seam cap before it continues toward the plastic lid capping station. Here is another spot where can accumulation is designated if movement is delayed at the point of the Capper. After each filled can is capped, they continue down the line toward labeling. This machine delivers a wrap label around the entire side of the can, and a vision system is implemented which identifies any label that was not correctly applied & discards it onto a separate line.

Once all the cans are filled, capped, and labeled, the final step of Melitta’s process is the palletization of all the cans. This step of the overall system packages cans together in cases, and the case labeler then applies a separate label onto each case. Finally, the cases are stacked and palletized and a stretch-wrapper prepared the pallets to be shipped out to their final destination.

  • Modular Chain Conveyor
  • Single-file Material Handling
  • Multiple Points of Accumulation

The Solution

The new canning line allowed for streamlined high-speed production and smooth operation while minimizing customer labor costs.

Solution

The fully developed system succeeded in helping Melitta achieve a higher rate of coffee can production & project was completed in a timely manner, satisfying all customer requirements. Furthermore, a relationship was established between Melitta and Precision Automation® for future opportunities to help grow their business and maximize efficiency.