Even though the current trend from consumers is to use plastic bottles rather than glass, Longslow Dairies Group believe that in this new age of environmental friendliness and recycling, supplying products in glass bottles will give consumers a sensible cost effective environmental solution to milk packaging. To this end they have installed the UK's first totally automated milk bottle packing plant at their Central Dairies plant at Colwyn Bay to meet the demand.
'Easy to use and easy to maintain' was the brief given to Dawson (the specialist Filling, Cleaning and Handling systems manufacturer from Heckmondwike) who designed, built, and installed the whole system. Based on this they created a very simple solution that requires no manual interaction to run the system. In fact the initial order was only to automate parts of the system, but as the system was installed Longslow were so impressed with the initial results, that they allowed the system to grow until the whole plant was automated.
Andy Bethel, Area Engineering Manager for Longslow Dairies Group has no problem in justifying the expenditure in the new automated solution and states "Before the automated system was installed we were running at about 60% efficiency, now with the new system we are averaging 87%. Throughput has also increased by 30% due to the improved control of the plant. The increased data we now receive back from the plant is much more accurate, allowing us to identify throughput restriction areas and correct them to make the system even more efficient in its operation"