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Quality Control for Premium Beverage
Mettler Toledo CI-Vision Posted 05/24/2012Implementing a Vision Inspection Solution to monitor the quality and security of your premium beverage product is an effective quality control method that ensures the most out of your valuable product. Using a vision inspection solution can protect your brand image, reduce the risk of retailer returns and protect consumers from harm and your company from potential liability risks.
The global premium beverage manufacturing and packaging industry demands excellent product quality every time in order to always ensure brand name integrity. With more than 1,000 wineries in California alone, over 5,000 brands exist. In this highly competitive landscape, a winery could destroy its brand reputation with just one shipment of defective product. According to Wine Marketing Consultants, Tincknell & Tincknell, “A brand is an idea, and if perceptions by anyone interacting with the product are negative the strength of the brand will suffer and brand equity will be lost.”
Premium beverages are packaged and sold when manufactured to the highest quality standard; therefore the manufacturer’s time, resources, and profits should not be wasted on defective packaging. Premium beverage manufacturer’s demand high margins, but if the product cannot reach the consumer due to product rework, retailer returns, or product recalls, margins can be lost.
A vision inspection program can be a valuable tool for premium beverage manufacturers to protect their brand image and their bottom line. The ability of a vision inspection system to detect and prevent defective product packaging from being distributed to consumers is invaluable. In recent years, retailers and consumers have become much less tolerant with poor packaging quality that results in either health risks or increased retailer costs. If a vision inspection program is correctly implemented and managed, it can become a powerful tool to reduce rework and help safeguard your brand from recalls, increase retailer confidence, and protect consumers from defective bottled products and you from possible lawsuits.
Today's Beverage Market
According to Forbes.com, premium beverage manufacturing is expected to reach a 10% growth for this year, with wine sales expected to increase 8.2%. Manufacturers have an opportunity to capitalize on this industry growth, and by assessing their strengths and weaknesses within the production process they can implement new ways to reduce costs and eliminate defective product.
A case study performed in a liquor bottling facility by, ABB International discovered that, “If a premium beverage production line is down for sixty minutes, then up to 4,000 cases are lost in a normal twenty hour production day. The value of losses can be as high as $40-50,000 per event if you take into account the scrap costs, lost taxes, rework and overtime to recover lost production”. This statistic may prove to be a current weakness for some beverage manufacturers, or a future threat to others. The use of automated inspection systems in the beverage market is not being fully utilized, but could provide a valuable solution for optimizing production. The risk and cost of not integrating a vision inspection system into the beverage manufacturing process grows with every new product and line.
Do not damage your brand's equity during production, by letting it be weakened or compromised due to defective packaging reaching the retailer or consumer. Not only can defective products that reach the customer be damaging to the manufacturer, but just one defective bottle in the production line could result in thousands of costs. According to Wines & Vines, “Bad packaging materials can add 5%-13% more to the packaging cost . . . when a winery out sources packaging components separately to multiple suppliers compatibility issues often arise, causing expensive downtime and packaging defects.” Defects such as a wavy glass bottle or choked necks can bend or break filling valves, dramatically increasing production costs.
The top tier beverage companies are now implementing vision inspection programs, as a standard to help protect their valuable brand, production process, and their reputation for quality. Vision inspection capabilities for the premium beverage industry include container dimensional inspection, proper fill level, cork presence, correctness of cap, seal integrity, label & print verification, and case packing. Implementation of a vision inspection solution can instill confidence to distribute 100% inspected product to retailers, distributors and consumers.
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