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Rack & Riddle Automates Custom Crush Bottling Facilities to Increase Production and Boost Overall Efficiency

High-output bottling line a huge upgrade, doubling production

Healdsburg, Calif (June 13, 2018)Rack & Riddle, Wine Country’s leading custom crush wine service, has recently upgraded its facilities with a fully automated, state-of-the-art still wine bottling production line. The advanced robotic system now provides increased output and accuracy for its custom crush clientele.

Installed in late 2017, the bottling line designed by Mas Pack Packaging USA, is fully operational. All testing phases are complete, staff is trained, and the company has positioned itself for a high-yield 2018 crush season.

With the new system in place, production line staff was decreased from 13 techs per shift to 5, yet no jobs were lost in the process. Employees were cross-trained and reemployed in other positions within the company. 

“We’re excited to provide a fully-automated bottling line, helping us to maintain Rack & Riddle’s position as an industry leader in the Custom Crush market. Leading-edge production technologies and outstanding quality control allow for maximum output and the highest of efficiencies for our valued clients,” says Mark Garaventa, General Manager at Rack & Riddle.

How the Bottling Line Works

The automated production system is fully customizable for each bottle run, handling 375ml, 500ml, and 750ml formats. It can process 150-bottles per minute and up to 6,000 cases in an 8-hour work shift – increasing efficiencies – without sacrificing the premium quality Rack & Riddle is known for.

The bottling line is staffed with a team of five skilled operators per shift, and each line has a dedicated quality control tech to ensure that the highest of standards are met. All wine chemistries and packaging are strictly monitored throughout each bottling run.

A sense of the process:

Fill Height and Closure System

Bottles are filled and scanned through a sophisticated Vision System which performs inspections of bottle fill height. The system then checks that filled bottles exiting this portion of production have corks or screw caps properly positioned. Any bottles not meeting requirements for fill height or missing proper closures are rejected, accumulated and audited by quality control personnel.

Label Inspection System

Once filled, foiled and labeled, four precision cameras capture 360-degree views of each bottle, inspecting for correct label information, placement, defects (such as wrinkles or air bubbles), doubled labels and flagged corners.

Packaging

The system can automatically separate bottles from cases, sending cases to an overhead conveyor and bottles into a filler. The Automatic Case Packer packs two 12-pack cases of wine at a time, seals the cases, weighs them, and rejects any that are underweight (missing bottles). Cases are tagged with ID labels then automatically palletized, based on a specific pallet configuration set by the operator for each run. Pallets are then wrapped for transport by an automatic wrapping mechanism, where a printed pallet ID tag is applied.

“Working with Rack & Riddle to install the newly automated bottling line was a rewarding experience for everyone. The Rack & Riddle team modified quickly to the new system, and the tech team and bottling line are running at maximum output,” says Alberto Migliardi, CEO of Mas Pack Packaging USA.

About Rack & Riddle

With its expansion in 2014 to two new locations in Sonoma County, and the installation of a high-output automated production line, Rack & Riddle is proudly committed to providing pristine facilities where winemakers craft both still and sparkling wines. Rack & Riddle offers complete grape-to-bottle, base-to-bottle, and private label wine programs, and houses nearly two million gallons of stainless steel storage and fermentation vessels. An exceptional winemaking team produces 1.7 million cases of wine annually.

To learn more, visit Rack & Riddle online at rackandriddle.com, and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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