Winery Wins Award for Sustainable, Efficient Packaging

Arlington, Va.--Packaging Machinery Technology (PMT) magazine announced that Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has won the 2008 Packaging Line of the Year Award for its high-speed bottling line. 2008 marks the fourth year for the award, which honors packaging line engineering and innovations.

The Ste. Michelle Wine Estates line uses a new technology to insert a partition after the case is filled with wine bottles--sulting in a smaller carbon footprint, significant cost savings, reduced changeover time and increased line throughput. With the help of 14-year PMMI member Wayne Automation Corp., Nrristown, Pa., nd its partition inserter, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates achieves significant annual materials savings.

“The Packaging Line of the Year Award is a great honor, but it’s just the icing on the cake,” says Rob McKinney, director of operations, Washington, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “With our partners, we were able to save time and money, but we were also able to reduce the impact our operation makes on the environment--in the long run, that’s the most significant savings.”
In addition to Wayne Automation, the following PMMI members also contributed to the line:

  • FleetwoodGoldcoWyard AMBEC (St. Albans, Hertfordshire, U.K.)
  • FKI Logistex/Alvey Systems Inc. (St. Louis)
  • Krones (Franklin, Wis.)
  • Hartness International, Inc. (Greenville, S.C.)
  • Pearson Packaging Systems (Spokane, Wash.) and
  • Wulftec/M.J. Maillis Group (Quebec, Canada).

Emetti USA Inc., Tampa, Fla., also worked on the line, and Barry-Wehmiller Design Group, St. Louis, was responsible for line integration.

“Being the first to implement a new technology can be risky. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates took the risk and is reaping the rewards,” says PMT Editorial Director Maria Ferrante. “Ste. Michelle’s team proved that when packagers, materials suppliers, system integrators and equipment manufacturers work together for solutions they can reach new levels of innovation, save money, reduce waste and increase efficiency.”

Representatives from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates will accept their award at Pack Expo International 2008, McCormick Place, Chicago; Nov.9–13, during a special Conference at session Monday, Nov. 10; 2:00–2:40 p.m. There will be no fee to attend the session, which will include details about the winning line, but registration is required.

The Packaging Line of the Year Award is open to lines that have been installed or renovated within the previous 12 months. PMT editors and Editorial Advisory Board members evaluate entries on criteria including the packaging line’s contribution to the company’s business plan, the level of innovation in packaging line design, the use of floor space/layout of the line design and integration of machinery to optimize productivity.

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