(Photo credit: SIPA)


SIPA palletisation project, a clear success at Clearly Drinks

2:47 min Shrink packersPalletizing
SIPA S.p.A. Vittorio Veneto, Italy

Soft drinks supplier Clearly Drinks has brought more order and efficiency to its palletising operations after the installation of two new systems from SIPA. Clearly Drinks, in Sunderland, North East England, sought out SIPA, headquartered in Vittorio Veneto, Italy, for the supply and installation of the new palletising system and pack conveyors. The project also involved the relocation of existing equipment to provide valuable space and access for maintenance.

SIPA supplied a conventional Genius PTF Palletiser, a Robby PAL PF robotic Palletiser, stretch wrapping machines and associated conveyors. The end of line automation was for two bottle filling lines that are delivering 28,000 bottles per hour in different formats. SIPA and their associates managed to complete the installation on time, despite constraints imposed by COVID-19.

Cristian Tedeschi the sales manager for complete lines, at SIPA said: “Genius PTF is a modular project based on a standard double-braced central unit. It has high structural rigidity and a high level of positioning control and precision for the different movements. Lifting is done using high-performance toothed belts rather than conventional chains. Maintenance requirement is minimal and was a particular focus for the customer such as non lubrication sealed for life bearings. On our latest version we have managed to cut noise while increasing top speed.

The version we installed for Clearly Drinks is a steady-pallet type, with single lane orthogonal low level product infeed for shrink-packs of PET bottles. It’s a fully automatic system that requires limited operator intervention. It’s extremely simple to operate from the operator control panel, which can be integrated with an advanced control and supervision system.”

The Robby PAL PF system meanwhile is a comprehensive approach developed by SIPA to meet needs for packaging flexibility and efficiency for a wide range of containers and packaging. “It offers an extremely viable alternative to traditional palletising and depalletising systems,” Tedeschi says. “It’s very flexible, extremely precise and consistently fast, it has a smallfootprint, and it easily adapts to working areas of any size and layout.” 

In this particular installation, the Robby system acts as a row Palletiser. It has a pliers-type gripping head, with the size and shape of the grippers designed to handle rows of shrink-packs.

Both the Genius and the Robby installations include a pad placing device for placing interlayers on the pallet, as well as a pallet magazine to ensure empty pallet feeding. Both also have fully automatic turntable stretch wrapping machines.

Mick Howard the CEO of Clearly Drinks. said: “Having been in the industry for over 20 years, spending part of that time working in projects, I know very well the importance and experience required when executing projects. SIPA supplied a very professional service that was executed extremely well, especially with the added problems associated with the pandemic that created a constantly moving target of issues. 

“SIPA proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. They offered the flexibility that was essential for our business through these unprecedented times, they never lost any impetus in delivering the project on time, working diligently to ensure we all achieved the end goal, which is an impressive end-of-line automated system with both conventional and robotic palletising solutions. It was a pleasure working with them.

“The sub-contracted installation services supplied by Packserve provided an experienced, competent team that worked safely and efficiently throughout, and communicated well with our own production and engineering staff.”

Clearly Drinks had been in the bottling business for over 130 years for many years known as Villa Drinks. It is now one of the UK’s leading specialist bottlers with brands that include Perfectly Clear, Northumbria Spring, Upstream and Revolution Waves, made with Northumbria Spring water that flows directly from its onsite boreholes.

The company is committed to keeping its environmental impact to a minimum: its carbon footprint is an industry leading 0.14kg of CO2 per litre. Clearly Drinks has already achieved zero waste to landfill and is committed to continuing to limit waste energy and implement energy efficient technology across all areas of its business. It has ISO14001 accreditation.


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