ABB - Intrion

No small beer for intrion

Belgium is often called the beer paradise here on earth. The vari- ous Belgian beer producers brew enormous amounts of beer every year. Colruyt also felt consumption increase and cleverly anticipated this with a wide assortment.

Did you know that we each drink about 80 litres or 320 bottles of beer annually? If we calculate this, this comes to approximately 876,000 bottles a day for all inhabitants of Belgium. Now try sort- ing this amount (or at least part of it)! This is why intrion came up with a genuine automation solution for the Colruyt recycling centre in Ghislenghien.


Let the bottles roll

Thanks to intrion, Colruyt’s recycling centre Waldico in Ghislenghien can now sort 35,000 bottles of local beer an hour. A new, sixth bottle reference was added to the existing sys- tem – also the work of intrion – for the expansion of the automatic triage process. Transport to the three existing, robotised crate filler remains and will be integrated in the new layout.

The main reference must be provided with a new filling machine and a new palletiser to be able to meet the increased capacity of 35,000 bottles.

The process in six steps

  1. The bottle triage system in six steps: introduction of mixed trays coming from collection points (shops)
  2. positioning zone and Inliner for singling out the bottles
  3. size-based selection zone
  4. transport
  5. filling the trays
  6. palletising

The process begins with putting the trays with bottles on the con- veyor belt. These trays contain bottles of several types of beer of both 25 and 33 cl. The trays are transported from the introduction zone to the positioning zone. In the positioning zone, one tray at a time is taken off the conveyor belt and presented to the operator via a lift. He/she places the bottles on the conveyor belt manually, the ‘Inliner’, which will single out the bottles.


What will be renewed?

Geen klein bier voor intrionEleven new lift units will be installed here. The beer bottles are transported to the selection zone via the Inliner. In this selection zone, consisting of two cameras and in total six ejectors, the bot- tles are checked and led to the right channel. There are seven exits: six exits for the programmed bottle types, one that leads to the manual belt. Fallen bottles are removed from the system to the bottle bank. The conveyor belt takes the various types of to the right tray filler.

One conveyor belt with bottles is called the high runner. This is the channel for the most important reference, APO33, say the Leffe bottle. For this, intrion will be installing a new filling unit. The three existing intrion robots fill the crates with the five other types of bottles. A new trajectory for empty crates will also be provided for the high runner, as well as a new filling machine and conveyor belt for full crates. This new filling machine controls the high runner, which will also be given a new palletiser. Transport of the crates of the new filling machine to the palletises will also be provided.

The low rotators and the sometimes unrecognised bottles are led to a manual loop, which consists of 15% of the total, i.e. 85% is sorted fully automatically.

This way, the brewer can be sure that he gets completely filled crates from Colruyt, but also that no other types of bottles end up in his filling line.


A success story that originated from intrion’s i-concept approach

“The trigger for Colruyt to work with intrion again to realise this automation, as that it is more capable than a standard machine builder to fill in the missing pieces in this type of overall solution. This does not just refer to what you can see moving, but also what you can’t see: concept work, communication between the various plcs, the SCADA and the robots, processing and display of OEE (overall equipment efficiency) figures and finally round-the-clock support we can fall back on if anything does go wrong. This was all realised within the agreed deadlines! One partner who sits at the table with us”

Rik Van den Borre, division manager return centre