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Automated Palletizing GivesCristalia a Clear AdvantageThe Caribbean’s leading bottled water company receivessix-month ROI with entry-level Alvey GS100 series palletizer A Fully Automatedfrom Intelligrated Solution In Cristalia’s new system, an existing line shaft rollerPlease note: Intelligrated® acquired Alvey® palletizing products through its conveyor brings casespurchase of the North and South American operations of FKI Logistex® in June 2009 from the one-gallon-jug production line to thePuerto Rico-based Cristalia Premium Water thrives on the booming Caribbean infeed of the Alvey GS140.tourist trade and the region’s need for clean, safe water. A popular namesake The palletizer forms 16-brand and successful private-label bottling division have helped boost the case layers, with each casecompany’s revenue, which is up 400 percent since 1999. containing three one-gallon jugs.Recently, high labor costs and inefficiencies in packaging operations weremaking it increasingly difficult to meet demand while maintaining profits. The The Alvey GS140 then builds the load on the chaincompany commissioned the director of manufacturing operations, Tom Terrell, conveyor, with either threeto evaluate automated palletizing solutions to help manage the rapid growth. or four layers depending on the customer specifications. When the load is complete, it is automaticallyAutomation is the Answer discharged from the load- build cavity and an empty pallet is conveyed intoCristalia’s Ponce, Puerto Rico bottling plant manually palletizes four lines of position.bottled water— shrink-wrapped trays of 16-ounce bottles, multi-packs, five-gallon cooler bottles and one-gallon jugs. However, Terrell and his team The Alvey GS140 completelyknew that the 20,000-square-foot facility only had the space to automate automates the line with aone line. 10-pallet capacity lift-and- separate pallet dispenser, using 40- by 48-inch woodenThe one-gallon-jug line was the most difficult to palletize manually, with its pallets. Empty pallets areunstable, 27-pound cases forcing employees to take frequent breaks. Four loaded by fork truck intoemployees worked in an hourly rotation on this line, while the 16-ounce-bottle the empty pallet dispenser,and multi-pack lines only required one worker each. which automatically feeds another pallet to the pre-Terrell also noted that the one-gallon jugs were the plant’s highest producer stage position for the next— filling a pallet every two and a half minutes. The team calculated that load.automating this line would give them the greatest benefits in terms of laborsavings and increased efficiency. www.intelligrated.com 2
Intelligrated Provides a Solution A Six-Month ROICristalia’s cramped warehouse did not have the Intelligrated’s Alvey GS140 system has enabledspace for the accumulation conveyor required for Cristalia to reduce labor costs and heavy lifting,a standard high-speed palletizer. The company while producing an extra 1,000 cases every shift,turned to automated material handling solutions for a capital investment of less than $100,000. Theprovider Intelligrated (formerly FKI Logistex) Alvey GS140 palletizer also fits completely inside aand its Alvey GS100 series case palletizer for an standard 40-foot shipping container, which savedaffordable way to automate its line within the the company approximately $14,000 on overseasspace constraints of the warehouse. The compact shipping costs alone.footprint of the Alvey GS100 series eliminates theneed for a long infeed conveyor and allows fork “With the new Alvey palletizing system we reducedtruck access to all points of the facility, including labor costs by 25 percent and increased our totalincoming materials, warehousing, production volume by 20 percent,” said Terrell. “The mostdischarge and outgoing product — without important gain came from continuous uptime andintruding on personnel. uninterrupted shifts—now the line never stops.”Working with Intelligrated and Puerto Rico-based According to Terrell, Cristalia experienced a six-packaging equipment representative Inter-Strap month ROI with the new palletizer. “For the samePackaging, Cristalia chose the Alvey GS140 model, overhead costs, we’re getting more cases out thewhich features a pallet dispenser and a full-pallet door,” he said.handling discharge for complete automation. TheAlvey GS140 gives Cristalia the ability to palletize at The company’s president and CEO David Virginiarates of up to 30 cartons per minute and includes could not be happier with the service and supporta touch-screen operator-interface terminal (OIT) provided by Intelligrated. “They really stepped uppattern utility. and ensured that we met our goal of 97-percent uptime on the machine following startup,” he said. “To us, this was the difference between Intelligrated being an equipment manufacturer and a business partner.” With the new palletizing system, the local bottler is well on its way to meeting its goal of becoming a $100 million bottled water marketer to the Caribbean and the U.S. in the next 10 years. Conveyor brings cases from the one-gallon- jug production line to the infeed of the Alvey GS140 palletizer. www.intelligrated.com 3