John Reid, secretary of state for Scotland, has officially opened a new ‘hole through the wall’ (HTW) plastic milk bottle plant at the Robert Wiseman dairy in Bellshill, Glasgow.
This is the second HTW plastic bottle production plant commissioned by Tetra Pak for Robert Wiseman – the first plant was opened in Trafford Park, Manchester in 1997. The planned annual capacity of the plant is 264 million bottles.
Under the HTW system, Tetra Pak manufactures the plastic bottles next door to the customer’s premises. After production the bottles pass from the manufacturing plant to the dairy’s filling machines, literally through a hole in the wall.
The system eliminates the need to transport empty bottles to the dairy by road, which reduces noise and air pollution, provides exactly the size and shape of packaging the dairy needs, and allows the dairy to concentrate on milk production and packaging rather than bottle making. In the HTW plant at Bellshill are four Graham Wheel extrusion blow moulders and two Techne shuttle-type blow moulders producing high-density polyethylene bottles for pasteurised milk in two, four and six-pint sizes as well as two and three-litre sizes.
At Bellshill, the bottles are supplied through the wall – in this case via a 150m-long conveyor bridge – to the dairy’s filling hall. The company has introduced a system of multi-lane conveyors which allows the blow moulder to send bottles to any filler, allowing optimisation of the blow moulding operations to suit day-to-day demand. This means the need to hold bottles in storage is reduced dramatically, further improving operational cost.
The conveyor system is modular and can easily accommodate any additional filling equipment that the dairy may wish to install in the future.
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