G3 Enterprises has made ingenuity part of the core of their brand identity, not only as a distributor of high quality products like Diam corks and Boisé oak, but by continuing to develop their own line of new products and solutions that are forming the vanguard for the industry in packaging, logistics, and the integration of data and the internet of things (IoT) in operations and decision making.
Smart Technology Is Taking Hold in the Wine Industry
The RoboBottle family that launched last year has expanded, and G3 Enterprises is ready to go on technical service calls with the BottGuide analytics dashboard for their customers. The Setup RoboBottle is designed to assist mechanics in setting up their capper-heads accurately and efficiently, helping to guarantee the cappers function at peak performance. Now the family has expanded with the Line and Oxygen RoboBottles.
Each RoboBottle, in the family of RoboBottles, is equipped with multiple sensors that wirelessly send data to the BottGuide, a web-based dashboard that takes this data and shows customers how their line is running and provides them actionable insights.
“Our initial Setup RoboBottle was designed to guide the mechanics through the capper-head setup process,” explains John Cunningham. “It ensures that they adjust the settings in the right sequence and to the right values. If the mechanic can’t make an adjustment, they can simply hit a PM required button on the dashboard; this sends information to those who need to know, such as the maintenance manager, so they can schedule maintenance on the specific capper-head and be ready with the capper-head parts needed to address the issue.”
The new Line RoboBottle monitors the performance of the bottling line’s capper-heads while it is running at commercial speeds. The dashboard provides information to the line owner about each head on the capping turret. If there are any problems with capper-head settings, it gives the line owner information on which head(s), the setting(s) needing adjustment and the potential package defects that might be expected if the line is allowed to continue running without adjustment. The latest RoboBottle addition, the Oxygen RoboBottle, collects information to determine how well the line is managing oxygen and, if necessary, where to focus improvement efforts. The Oxygen RoboBottle is in beta testing with customers in 2020.
“We’re measuring our customer’s dissolved and headspace oxygen real-time as our Oxygen RoboBottle runs through their bottling line at commercial speeds,” says Cunningham, “our dashboard uses this data to estimate the TPO (total package oxygen) once the closure is applied. All the line owner needs to do is run our Oxygen RoboBottle through their line and the data is sent wirelessly to storage in the cloud and the information is sent live to their dashboard. If the TPO is too high, our dashboard shows the line owner where to focus their efforts – headspace, dissolved or both. What’s really cool is that winemakers responsible for the product being bottled can also watch how well their packaging facility is managing oxygen. They can do this if they’re in the office, a restaurant or relaxing on a beach. We expect that our Oxygen RoboBottle and dashboard will help our customers save time and money by eliminating the need to pull live samples off the bottling line and destructively test them for TPO estimates.”
Together G3’s three RoboBottles make line setup and monitoring quicker and more accurate than current methods. Capping and oxygen issues will be discovered quickly and the problem will be defined allowing for very fast and efficient resolution. G3 is focused on giving their customers the critical information they need, when they need it, and in a format that they can quickly act on. The ultimate goal is to increase customer efficiency, profitability and product quality.
Sustainable Packaging Is Back
Sustainable packaging is good for the earth and good for the brand, and it can come with excellent performance benefits like G3 Label’s 24-hour ice bucket challenge GTREE stock. “The performance of a label on a wine bottle when you drop it into an ice bucket is of supreme importance for a brand,” says Mark Peters. “Traditionally, if you place a bottle in an ice bucket, you have from 30 seconds to five minutes before you start seeing water seep into the paper. With a GTREE label, it can sit in there for hours and hours without degradation in function or appearance.”
The stock is a proprietary paper produced for G3 Enterprises from 100% PCW (Post Consumer Waste) at the sustainably powered Monadnock Paper Mill. It is made from recycled office paper, giving it clean white characteristics.
“During the course of development we were excited about the 100% PCW, that was a big deal,” explains Peters. “However, during testing, we realized that when you put this material in an ice bucket, it doesn’t grey out or fall off the bottle, so it has fantastic ice bucket performance. Sustainability is what we were going after, but it turns out the performance is an equal part of the story.”
Cheers to Wine on Tap
Wines on tap are an in demand and growing segment of the wine industry and G3 Enterprises is making it easier to get more wines in kegs and on tap. In partnership with petainerKeg™, kegs are blown by G3 Enterprises on their Modesto campus. G3 provides distribution of the Petainer kegs to 15 states on the West Coast and provides three filling service options: new bonded facility in American Canyon, Modesto filling location, and on-site at customer location.
“Petainer kegs are the only one-way kegs that are on the market that have zero glue on them, so they can be completely dismantled within 3 minutes and go into the recycle stream. 100% recyclable, no glue, no issue with going into the recycle stream,” says Scott Fore, G3’s Business Development Manager.
The 100% recyclable plastic kegs means no keg leasing contracts, no storing of empty kegs waiting to be returned, and no return transport or keg cleaning expenses.