Inside look: Tuatara Brewing Co.

Inside look: Tuatara Brewing Co.

On a standard day Tuatara Brewery bottles, labels and packs 7000 litres of their award-winning beer. Removing hand-wrapping from the equation has released the pressure at the end of the dispatch line. 

 

When Michael Bailey first started as a storeman at the Kapiti Coast brewery, he was wrapping the pallets by hand, a process he describes as “a mission and half”.

There were two people on the job at that time, one to stack the pallet and one to bring it out, wrap it by hand and then place it up on its line. But when new production systems increased the speed at which the beer was bottled and labelled, the stackers and wrappers had to match it.

Investing in a Spinny S140 semi-automated stretch wrapper was an easy decision to make.

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“We were starting to feel the pressure,” Michael admits. While no stranger to the manual labour involved in the job he notes that “wrapping by hand was a struggle for new employees – they just weren’t able to keep up.”

 Investing in a Spinny S140 semi-automated stretch wrapper was an easy decision to make.

Load secured

There’s a challenge to transporting liquid encased in glass bottles. It has to be firmly secured to the pallet. Previously a different technique was required for either wrapping kegs or product intended for export. Completely eliminating movement on the pallet was a balancing act.

“The boxes used to move a lot during transit and with some packaging there’d be slipping and sliding because of the ink,” says Operations Manager Hamish Allan. That’s all changed with the new system.”

“The Spinny has different configurations for tightness and layers of wrap,” says Michael, “everything’s just pre-set so you just chuck it on, tie it to the pallet, choose your setting and Bob’s your uncle.”

Time Saved

Achieving the correct tension for holding the product steady under the old system was difficult.

“It was a good two or three minutes of hand wrapping,” says Michael. “As the boxes moved quite a bit during transit we had to put a lot more time into wrapping. You’d be trying to avoid holding up the line and so it would be difficult to be certain every wrap was done right. The Spinny definitely saves us a lot of time – and stress.”

 

Job done

The Spinny S140 Advance allows for four programmable wrapping cycles, perfect for distribution centres that dispatch mixed pallets.

“You can set the tension, you can programme how many layers of wrap you want,” says Michael. “It’s pretty much set, walk away and grab it when it’s complete. It’s saved one of us an entire job right there.”

For Hamish it’s also provided ongoing peace of mind. Wrap tension was seriously put to the test in Wellington’s 2016 earthquake. After checking the warehouse for broken bottles Tuatara was surprised (and delighted) to find there was none.

“We didn’t have any real damage,” he says. “Some wine stores down the road had product slip around and there was quite a bit of damage.”

 That’s a result worth drinking to. 

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