Thomas Hardy Brewing and Packaging have been one of the leading contract packers of beers, ciders, soft drinks and FABs for many years, offering brewing, blending and contract filling for many leading household brands that are available on the shelves of the major retailers and pub chains.
The Kendal plant currently packs around 150 SKU’s, filling over 40 different bottle sizes. With demand from customers for still further packaging flexibility, the decision was made to upgrade the end of line solution to offer both current and future customers new secondary packaging options.
Peter Armstrong the Director of Thomas Hardy Kendal commented, “Many of our customers were asking us for new packaging solutions and so we have been upgrading the wet end of the line here at Kendal for some time. The original Dimac shrinkwrapper supplied by Aetna UK had packed over 50 million cases for us and had been a brilliant machine but was now ready for an upgrade.
The project was done in two parts. The first was to provide a solution for replacing the old shrink tunnel but, following customer requests, we needed to be able to offer the additional option of registered or printed film for trays or pads. The second phase was to replace the tray erector and wraparound packer within the existing format of the line, which included linking in a direct feed from our existing Mead Clusterpak machine.”
David Walkinshaw, Sales Manager at Aetna UK said, “We have had a long association with Thomas Hardy since the company was established by Peter Ward. We have equipment in all of their sites therefore when we were approached for this project we were of course hopeful that we would be successful in continuing this long association.”
David continued, “As Thomas Hardy are Co-Packers, the need for high speed changeovers and flexibility is key to their success and profitability. Once the last bottles of one product are packed out and palletised at the end of the line, the plant aims to change over their various packers and labellers in readiness of the next product coming off the filler. The improved mechanisms on the Prasmatic TC 500 and Dimac Greenstar F that we installed have definitely facilitated changeovers and help the Thomas Hardy team reduce downtime.”
Peter Armstrong added “Another issue for us at the time of making the decision to go down the Aetna route again was their ability to offer a machine that could accommodate pack sizes as small as 6 x 275ml bottles whilst still being capable of handling 45 packs a minute, and the new Prasmatic TC 500 was able to offer this capability. Overall this has been a great installation for us and although we have an excellent technical team here that are pretty self sufficient, it is always good to know the Aetna UK after sales and service team are there for us should they be required.”