“RoboBottle™ is the first installment in our plan to actively provide customers with vital information when, where and how they need it to make the best decisions possible for their business,” says John Cunningham, Director of Innovation at G3 Enterprises.
“RoboBottle is focused on the bottling and packaging side, but we’re innovating new systems throughout the wine value chain: from farming, grape harvesting, crush and winemaking, to bottling and packaging, distribution, retail, and consumption. With the data collected from each of these areas, we can analyze it to find out how they influence one another and integrate our findings into improved processes which will optimize the whole winemaking process from grape to glass.”
RoboBottle is a sensing device that looks like a bottle and uses advanced sensors to help mechanics set up capper heads. Sensors on the top, neck, and shoulders of RoboBottle detect crucial factors such as top-load, thread roller force and pilfer roller force. It communicates wirelessly to G3’s dashboard app, BottGuide, leading the mechanic through the proper set-up procedure step-by-step. This smart technology combined with advanced analytics provides critical information and insights to increase productivity, improve quality, and reduce waste.
According to Cunningham, G3 Enterprises’ technical services team found that many of their screw cap service calls were related to capper head adjustment errors. “We decided to help our customers by creating a device that would confirm their capper head set-ups were properly done while also tracking the data. We consider this a win-win development.”
Using the sensor data to optimize the settings reduces common defects like broken bridges, spinners, and cut threads, but can also help prevent problems that are harder to spot such, such as leakers and high oxygen transmission rates.
RoboBottle will also be able to track individual capper heads, collecting historical data which mechanics can use to identify recurring problems with specific capper heads. Cunningham explains, “It might come back and say ‘on capper head 3060CHA, the pilfer roller A adjustment takes three times longer than on other heads.’ This level of detail helps a line owner quickly identify problems, what they could mean for the quality of the product, and then how to fix it." Other features include event escalation if a mechanic experiences difficulty getting the capper heads into optimal range and storing critical information for maintenance managers to quickly resolve the problem.
“We’re well on the way in the development of this product, but we’re looking for partners to provide input and help us refine it, says Cunningham. This is our first IoT product focused on providing actionable data to our customers and we want to be sure we are providing that information in a format they need.
With the help of partners, G3 Enterprises plans to collect data from across the wine business value chain and use modern technologies such as partition model platforms, artificial intelligence, and neural networks to create insightful predictions for business owners and improve their processes.
“Everything in the system is connected and we want to understand how they are connected so we can influence every area and optimize the value for our customer,” says Cunningham.