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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,237

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Mark, how fast do you fill 30,000 pounds by yourself? What sizes do you pack? Do you set yourself production goals? When I worked in the factory there were skilled operatives who were on a production bonus system on the non-automated lines.
    On the non-automated lines it was a thing of beauty to see an operative filling a can of adhesive. The can would be filling at a rate such that he or she would label an empty can, and screw a cap on the previously filled can as the current can was filling. When the valve was closed there would be a "tail" of adhesive stringing from the valve; This was cut off by the operative on the next can's lip so no mess went on the can and the drip went into the new can before the valve was opened . Poetry in motion.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,009

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    That's a years sales. It takes me all year to fill, cap, and label 24,000lbs of honey as customers need it. 8oz jars, 12oz bears, 1lb jars, 1lb No Drip containers, 2lb jars, 5 lb jars, and 5 gallon totes.

    And you?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,237

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Mark, I can make you feel very big by comparison I have bottled and sold 554 pounds so far this season with a 5 gallon bottling pail and a drippy valve. I fill 1 pound and 2 pound plastic bottles and 5 pound pour jugs, the latter are my best sellers. I have 800 pounds left from this years crop. All my filled bottle sales happen at my workplace. In previous years I have sold honey in 5 gallon buckets to a local packer for about 2$ a pound. I did this because I didn't want to deal with crystallization. I would rather sell at bottled prices for as long as my demand lasts. This year I ran fewer for production (11 instead of 19) because much as I like my honey packer I didn't want to work so much for him.
    This weekend (with Jake's generous advice and fantastic customer service) I finished refurbishing one of two 42 gallon maxant honey bottlers I bought on craigslist. This will allow me to sell filled stock later in the year. When I get the second one done I could just pour all my stock into both of them! Actually, I will have one more bottling tank than I need. I don't see myself expanding much with regard to honey sales as I understand it to sell into stores I would need a food grade kitchen etc.
    There is a thread running in this section about what it takes to be a commercial beekeeper. There is so much to it. I feel I could do filling and production quite well; There is a mindless zen place where a person can get lost in the flow of bottling and enjoy it. However, I don't think I have the gift of sales that it takes to develop a market. I appreciate what you bring to Beesource - I was looking through an old thread this weekend on something or other and you were the only poster I recognized as still being active.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,009

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Get a simple noticeable label and it will sell itself. Just don't expect it to fly off the shelf right away. It takes time to establish clients.

    Thanks for the compliment.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    980

    Cool Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Last fall we bought a Swienty Filling Station 70.
    It is similar to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbpQo...eature=related

    It is supposed to be capable of filling 477 one Lb jars per hour.
    It is a really nice machine with a lot of cool features, but a couple of groaners as well.
    For one, when you plug in the contoller it powers up but there is no power switch to turn it off!!!!!!?????
    So, I purchaced a 22mm selector switch that matches the power switch on the table controller box, knocked out a hole and now have a power switch.
    Then, when the pump controller is on and you turn the power on to the table, it immediatly starts rotating looking for a bottle. There is no, (was no) start / stop switch. Very clunky and inconvienient.
    Luckily, upon opening the table control box, I find that the controller is a Siemans LOGO PLC. And I notice that there are 5 unused inputs and one unused outputs.
    HURRRAAAYYYYY!!!!!!!!
    Being one that speaks 5 automation languages, Ladder Logic, Medoc, Entivity think and do, GE State logic and Opto 22, I JUST COULD NOT WAIT to send off for the Siemans LOGO software and cable for my laptop!! total cost: $173.00
    Well to my surprise once again the "LOGO SOFT COMFORT" program is really awesome in spite of it's very affordable price. (Enitiviy is around 4 grand!)
    So I am really excited for the cold cold winter to get under way and dial our bottling line in to perfection.
    Let it snow let it snow, let it snowwwwwwwwww......
    Last edited by HarryVanderpool; 10-21-2013 at 08:16 PM. Reason: I can automate, but can't spell :p
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Bottle I like jars and want to say it is good to bee back in the forum, bees keeping me busy

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Here is the Swienty Model 70 Filling Station:
    http://www.swienty.com/brugerdir/web...s/00000175.pdf

    About $4500.00 with shipping from Germany.
    Brushy Mtn is a U.S. rep for them.

    Be aware that the "70" refers to the size of the table. the one in the video is a 120.
    Does not cost that much more except the shipping almost doubles!!!!
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,550

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    I have an old Simplex single piston filler that still works great. It can do between 6 and 700 units per hour and by switching between any of 3 pistons can be set up for fills from 4 ozs. up to 2 1/2 lbs.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,237

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Harry, I suppose that post would also fit under your "Eaaassssy money" thread. Machines are often limited by the space they are put in. When in production every inch of unnecessary movement by a worker results in unwarranted fatigue and lower efficiency. The young man in the video is working too hard. The labeller is too far from the feed; When he lids the jars he should lift them straight into a box that is on a conveyor directed at a pallet - this means one less handling. The batch label gun should be kept by the conveyor. In the vid he is taking the filled jars and moving them back towards the labeller in a separate motion. Then he is reaching over the clean jars to fill, seal, and lift the box. He will break jars or drop bits into them. The machine is working well, but the production set up could be made much easier IMHO.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,774

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    SQKCRK - the Matra is "Quality over Quantity", repeat ad noseum(sp?), untill the ego recovers.

    Mr. Lyon - does that simplex have a dog clutch? I have heard that name before.

    Hmmmm... I must be doing something wrong, I am dreaming of a quad piston Elgin, Resina Capper, and Labelaire labeller. Oh well, you know those crazy dreamers....

    Crazy Roland

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,550

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post

    Mr. Lyon - does that simplex have a dog clutch? I have heard that name before.

    Crazy Roland
    Perhaps, I am not familiar with the term. It does have a variable speed clutch. Its a bit older version of this:
    http://www.simplexfiller.com/machine...ducts/AS1.html
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,920

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Last fall we bought a Swienty Filling Station 70.
    It is similar to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbpQo...eature=related
    Almost seems like a two person job from the video or you get no bathroom breaks.
    Pretty slick and my setup will not be so sophisticated. I lack the turn table.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Mesa Arizona USA
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Thanks Harry! I have been looking at a filler that Dadant sells with out the table for about 3,000. I wasn't aware of that type of compact filler table set up.
    Thanks GB

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Here is the Swienty Model 70 Filling Station:
    http://www.swienty.com/brugerdir/web...s/00000175.pdf

    About $4500.00 with shipping from Germany.
    Brushy Mtn is a U.S. rep for them.

    Be aware that the "70" refers to the size of the table. the one in the video is a 120.
    Does not cost that much more except the shipping almost doubles!!!!
    George Brenner @ www.valleyhoneyco.com
    Mesa, AZ

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Virgil, NY USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    We use a Sweinty apimatic 2000 filler. About 500#/hour. No drips. Work s well with cold/partially granulated honey. Ideal for creamed honey. Very dependable. we have filled over 1MM # with this machine over the years. Very good customer service from Denmark. Its like everything else, you get the what you pay for.

    Nick
    Quote Originally Posted by G B View Post
    Thanks Harry! I have been looking at a filler that Dadant sells with out the table for about 3,000. I wasn't aware of that type of compact filler table set up.
    Thanks GB

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,920

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Does the instruction manuals for Sweinty come in English or do we have to learn German to understand how to use the equipment? I looked on Brushy Mtn but didnt see anything on their website about Sweinty.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Virgil, NY USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    The manuals do come in English.You need to go to they webpage . Click the English tab(unless you want it in French or german:-) ) I do not think there is a distributer in the US. Betterbee used to sell these years ago. They have a lot of nice honeyhouse gear that most of us cannot afford.
    Nick
    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    Does the instruction manuals for Sweinty come in English or do we have to learn German to understand how to use the equipment? I looked on Brushy Mtn but didnt see anything on their website about Sweinty.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    I looked on Brushy Mtn but didnt see anything on their website about Sweinty.
    Thats right; you don't. Also, If you go to the Sweinty website you see nothing about Brushy Mtn.

    BUT, if you contact Sweinty for purchace they tell you to call Brushy!
    Weird; huh?
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,920

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    So much for good marketing. So the system looks like what Cooper uses in KC area from what I remember. Looks like its a nice system though. I remember Ryan telling me he spent ALOT of money on the system he has in place. If memory serves well up over 70K but it had several conveyors on the way to the carousel with an automatic labeler in the middle somewhere.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,774

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Mr. Lyon, yup, that's what i thought. I worked with your filler's grandfather many moons ago. Best unit for thick candied honey. Motor ran continuously, the foot petal tripped a dog clutch, just like on a punch press, as about as smooth. But it was rugged.

    Crazy Roland

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Automated Bottling Line

    Quote Originally Posted by G B View Post
    I am in complete agreement regarding the savings bye only putting in the desired amount. I am doing enough volume now that the savings will add up rapidly. I am mainly Wondering how much volume a person would have to do to make an automated line worth while ?
    This is the kind of question I deal with for clients on a fairly regular basis, so I tend to be a bit persnickety about such things, and my wife hates it. On the bee side of things, we are small chump change, but I still did some checking, because it's what I do for a living, cant help but analyze our hobby stuff. I weighed a case of jars, to get a rough average of the weight of jars. Then I weighed the first 4 cases she filled. And I got really detailed, I weighed each jar individually. End result. The average was an 8% overfill, with no jars underfilled. Of the 48 I weighed, only one was exactly a pound of honey. Variation between bottles, was significant.

    From there, the math is really simple. In our case, with only a couple hundred pounds of surplus honey, and we are not relying on that for income, it's not a big deal. But, 8% overfill says, after she bottles 200 pounds that way, she will be short 16 bottles from what was possible, and 15 if an automated system allows for a half percent of variation. She sells at a net of 7 dollars a bottle (8 dollar price, costs a buck for the bottle, lid, and label), so more accurate filling will increase her yield by 15 bottles, if the fill was targetted for a half percent overfill instead of 8%. 15x7 = 105, so revenue would increase by that amount. Easy math extrapolating that forward. From 200 pounds bottled, revenue increase of a hundred bucks, that's 50 cents a pound. We would have to bottle 7000 pounds of honey, to break even on the $3500 expense listed in some of the lower end fillers listed in this thread. Of course, the numbers wont be so dramatic on a larger scale, but, based on years of working with various automation system designs, I would give a rough estimate that replacing an experienced hand fill station, with an automated filler, one would expect a 2% improvement in yield, on slippage alone, without factoring in any changes in labour cost. The number would be significantly larger if you are replacing an inexperienced hand fill.

    It's really not hard to do the math on this one, and, if you are even asking the question, I would suggest you take a couple hours, and just do it. Grab 500 or so bottles from your current production, and weigh them all, accurately, keeping a tally. When you have the results, calculate the mean and standard deviation of those numbers, as well as the number that are underfilled. If your numbers are anything like what I found on our small sample, you will probably be surprised at how much difference it makes.

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