Parker Sorts 76,800 Bottles of Beer an Hour--And has the YouTube video to prove it.
There may be 99 bottles of beer on the wall, as the song suggests, but it’s no longer necessary to take one down and pass it around if you’ve got the right motion control device in place. Automation is still the name of the game in manufacturing, and Parker Motion Control Systems is providing the necessary components to make it happen—76,800 times an hour.
At Beck’s Brewery in Bremen, Germany, Recop Electronic sorts empty beer bottles using Parker automation products. Here in the heart of the distribution center, Parker provides the gantry system and the Compax3 servo drive/controllers for the recycling operation.
The system was built to make sure the right type of bottle is put in the right type of crate for the recycling process. Essentially, the motion provided on the system is the heart of the machine. The belt drives move the pneumatic “head” around to pick and place the bottles, and the Compex3 handles all the intelligence needed to process the commands. Parker provides many of the components.
Ben Furnish, linear products manager at Parker, believes offering several different components to Recop was the reason they were tapped to work on the project in the first place. “The ability to source as much or as little as you need for the machine from one ISO-certified corporation with global support and expertise in motion and control is a great advantage,” Furnish says. “So many suppliers only offer a limited amount of components, forcing customers to work with multiple vendors and the challenges associated with products not mounting together.”
The equipment used on the sorting machines is used in several other industries as well. The HPLA belt has been utilized in the semiconductor, LCD, glass cutting, packaging and palletizing industries. The Compax3 is being used in alternative energy, packaging, converting, liquid dispensing, automotive and many others. Parker is launching an Ethernet powerlink version of the Compax3 so the markets will have faster transfer capabilities and real-time data benefits.
Florian Zettl, project manager at Recop, chose Parker products because of the cost and the reliability of the components. He feels that after two to three years of service, Parker’s products have a proven track record.
“The system functions perfectly, which is the main we reason we continue to work with Parker today.”
To promote their motion control products, Parker is now sharing videos with the world via the website YouTube. It gives the company an opportunity to explore new avenues in advertising.
“YouTube has provided a storage location for interesting videos for us to archive,” Furnish says. “We’ve just begun to test the waters and see how this can benefit our advertising or promotional efforts. Early indicators show we receive more hits through word of mouth, but those hits are difficult to track to orders or actual sales dollars.”
When Parker isn’t solving the beer bottle crisis, the company is involved in projects like space explorers, missile launchers and electric scooters. To see how the sorting machine works, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHr3jo5oNxs. For additional information, visit www.parkermotion.com.