Bottling Deal ‘Just in Time’ for Coopers

13 September, 2010 by

By Andrew Starke

Coopers Brewery has announced plans to streamline its bottling line operations as part of a strategy to improve production at its Regency Park plant in South Australia.

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As part of the change, Coopers has changed its bottle supplier, becoming a foundation customer for a third glass furnace introduced by Amcor Glass at its plant near the Barossa Valley, north of Adelaide.

Amcor has not previously produced beer bottles.

The brewer previously used Owens-Illinois, the US company that bought ACI Glass in 1998, as its bottle supplier.

Coopers Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, said that apart from being more competitive, the new Amcor contract made it easier to introduce changes to Coopers’ bottling line which had improved efficiency and flexibility.

“After Excise Duty, bottles represent the largest cost component of a carton of beer,” he said.

“The new arrangements and changes we have made to our bottling line have enabled us to make significant savings.”

Under the new arrangements, two specially modified Amcor trucks now provide the brewery with a continuous supply of bottles from the glass works on a ‘just in time’ basis.

“We have introduced new machinery which allows for roll-on, roll-off unloading with bottles placed directly from the trucks onto conveyors and then onto the production line as they are needed,” Cooper said.

“This has overcome the need for storage and the use of forklifts to move pallets of bottles around the warehouse.

“We are working with Amcor to refine this system further through the possible introduction of a special web-based link, which will allow Amcor to determine when the bottles are needed and to send a delivery to meet our requirements.”

Coopers filled around 110 million brown glass 375-ml stubbies last year along and five million 750-ml brown glass long necks.

It also used about four million green bottles and eight million clear glass bottles.