Friday 28th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Cider maker eliminates damage to cans

Aston Manor Brewery has eliminated damage to cans of cider caused by forklift trucks at its bottling facility in the West Country after adding an attachment to the fork carriage of its lift trucks.

Family-owned drinks company, Aston Manor Brewery, owns, markets and distributes a range of cider brands in the UK and globally.

It has more than 300 acres of orchards and produces a range of ciders from high-end premium brands to mass market products.

Aston Manor also handles contract bottling and packaging for the major multiple supermarkets, as well as the leading UK breweries along with several regional brewers from its sites in Birmingham and Devon.

The contract packing production lines run glass and PET bottles while a can line recently installed at the West Country facility has the capacity to fill 72,000 cans per hour.

Because aluminium cans are easily damaged in the supply chain, Aston Manor has added Jayline Products’ unique load cushions to the forklift trucks operating at its Devon site.

The forklifts – electric and diesel-powered models from Linde – transfer palletised loads of canned cider from the canning line to one of two warehouse units where they are block stacked before being loaded, again by forklift, on to trailers for delivery to the distribution centres of Aston Manor’s clients.

“If a single can becomes cracked during the handling process and leaks then the entire load can be spoiled,” says Graham Cosslett, factory manager at Aston Manor’s Tiverton plant.

Furthermore, if any leakage is not spotted before a load is put away in the warehouse or on a trailer, liquid would drip down on to the pallets stored below causing further damage.
The Jayline load cushions help eliminate the risk of damage to Aston Manor’s canned products by forming a barrier between the load and the back of the forks as the pallet is picked up.

The cushion is fitted to the rear face of a forklift truck’s forks, to prevent the load from hitting the truck’s forks or the fork carriage with sufficient force to cause damage to the load.

“Can damage is a significant problem in the drinks industry, so we decided to be proactive and add the load cushions to our forklifts as soon as our canning line became operational,” adds Cosslett. “I am pleased to say that we have not experienced problems with can damage since our can line went live and much of the credit for this must go to the load cushions.”