Grolsch production plant

Grolsch bottling plant upgrade, thanks to Festo

New servo technology from Festo is helping Grolsch to put the iconic swing tops on its bottles of lager. The ‘swing-top transfer unit’ was custom-designed by Festo in conjunction with system integrator MCA Linear Motion Robotics and is installed at the Grolsch Enschede plant in The Netherlands.

The 'swing-top transfer unit' provides approximately 3,800 swing-top bottles per hour with a porcelain cap and rubber ring. Bottles without clips are fed in on one side, while the swing tops are fed in from the other side. Before the tops can be positioned, a sensor detects where the hole in the bottle neck is as the bottle rotates. On the basis of this measurement, the bottles are rotated into the correct position via a servo motor located underneath. Afterwards, the swing-top transfer unit positions the swing top while the bottle is rotated again so the swing top can first be pressed into one and then into the other hole. The finished bottles are then transported to the filling line.

Grolsch application

The Grolsch 'swing-top transfer unit' features the new Festo EMMT servo motor and CPX-E automation system and provides approximately 3,800 bottles per hour with a porcelain cap and rubber ring.

One of the most important changes in the new design is the replacement of the two electric and parallel positioned axes that carry out the horizontal movement (X-movement) by a heavy duty EGC axis. This has a double guide that is actuated by new servo technology in the form of Festo EMMT servo motors.The EMMT compact servo motor has a single cable for both motor and encoder signals. This means it can generate a very low holding torque, enabling it to synchronise several axes, even during lower speeds. In addition, the EMMT has a digital, absolute displacement encoder (single- or multi-turn) and is available in protection classes IP40 and IP67.

December 2021