Blog : Chandon solves a tricky labelling challenge.
Chandon’s dynamic new sparkling wine label created technical application challenges. Foodmach stepped in to assist with P.E. Labeller’s innovation launch.
Chandon has a network of wineries worldwide, and the packaging change rollout was across six countries.
The new label included a bold vertical stripe running the bottle length to the hood (which covers the cork and muselet cage) with an embossed brand logo. The problem was that no labelling technology existed to successfully handle this height of paper label on a sparkling wine bottle.
Luxury wine and spirits group Louis Vitton Moet Hennessy Chandon (LVMH) very first employed labelling machines from Italian manufacturer P.E. Labellers in 2015. P.E. are well known for innovative labeller designs. Working with samples in the lab, P.E. design engineers discovered a solution using a vacuum drum application system with their glue-free labellers.
The second problem was that the world was in pandemic lockdown. While P.E. could send its new labelling machine to Australia, sending technicians was impossible.
But we’re all about solving problems. Here’s how we did it.
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P.E. Labellers asked local contact, Foodmach, for support to install and commission the world-first run of the new labelling machine at Domaine Chandon in the Yarra Valley.
Fortunately, we’re also in Victoria, so with some logistical juggling, we could get permits despite lockdowns for our team to travel to site and help out.
• We’d never worked with P.E. Labellers technology before
• We’d never seen this type of labeller before
• Yarra Valley is in a completely different time zone from Milan (+8 hours)
• The labelling application is intricate and would have been a challenge even for P.E. Labeller’s technicians.
A team of skilled and dedicated technicians with a can-do attitude.
Our technicians took it upon themselves to study the plans and documentation supplied, and the P.E. Labellers team provided as much training as possible.
The machine was shipped to Domaine Chandon Australia (DCA) in the middle of COVID-19 restrictions when Melbourne was in and out of lockdown.
With the aid of a lot of PCR testing, administration and careful organisation, four Foodmach technicians arrived on site at the same time as the new machine and installed it within a week with the assistance of Chandon’s maintenance team. We also helped install a foiling machine and infeed and outfeed conveyors. This part was straightforward mechanical and electrical work, which all went smoothly.
The next part was harder. Commissioning of labels for five different product types took three weeks and was only made possible through a painstaking process of slowed production and fine-tuning, following mechanical advice given via Microsoft Teams from Milan.
If there were software or programming issues, P.E. Labelling staff could connect remotely and work on them. If there were labelling quality issues, our team made the adjustments themselves or gathered photos and slow-motion video to send to Milan to be analysed and ideas for improvement sent back.
Fine-tuning was measured in milliseconds, microns and fractions of degrees of angles made through the HMI, via programming updates or sometimes just manual mechanical adjustments gauged by eye. Chandon engineers had a blueprint of the bottle and new branding. Labelling position had to be exact within one millimetre.
Applying a label of this kind to a sparkling wine bottle with all its curves and possible glass manufacturer’s variations and label supply quality variations—in exactly the same place 6000 times an hour—is an immense challenge. But P.E. Labellers technology and Foodmach’s support were equal to the task.
After all the labels were set up and ready to go, site acceptance took a week. Almost five weeks to the day the machine arrived, Domaine Chandon Australia had a new labeller and was running at full speed.
P.E. Labellers’ clever solution for automating the unique champagne label application involved a vacuum drum system.
Using a cold-glue self-adhesive label, vacuum pressure is used to both suck the label off the roll and blow the label onto the bottle. The labelling machine uses vision systems for optical orientation and application quality control.
Jonathan Mohamed, Senior Service Engineer, Foodmach: "We had cameras installed at different angles within the labeller so that we could both monitor our own progress and live stream for support from Italy. The physical position of the station and the timing of the vacuum drum had to be synchronised with millisecond precision. Sometimes the labels bubbled, and we couldn’t find the cause. Even with my eight years of experience in labelling systems at KHS, it was tricky.’"
Once the labels were all in tolerance, the set-up worked and there was no downtime during the Site Acceptance Testing. The finished line produces less than 1% rejects.
Foodmach provided an extensive manual and maintenance schedule, which Chandon’s mechanic and electrician use to maintain the equipment themselves. Line control is handled by Chandon, with sensors dictating the machine function. Foodmach is on standby to assist when needed.
Dr Rym Kachouri, GM – Service and Agency Products, Foodmach: "Success wasn’t guaranteed. We were the pilot project for the new label rollout, and the five other Chandon sites around the world were watching, literally, via live stream."
Chandon’s bold new vertical label is made of hot-stamped, foil-embossed paper, not synthetic material.
Hence the label is less flexible and more fragile. It’s unforgiving unless handled with extreme care.
Each label across the width of the bottle is a different shape, representing a different style of wine. The rear label is a standard size and the neck foil is stamped in a complex pattern, overlaid with a neckband. Neckband labels are particularly tricky in that they must provide exceptional holding power around the tight mandrel and compound curves of the bottleneck and at the same time ‘tie’ to the glass without creasing.
All in all, a beautiful but complex set of branding labels that are a challenge to apply perfectly.
Chandon Director of Market, Michael Stedman: ‘With this clean look on high quality, textured materials, we hope the visual cues on the outside of the bottle will translate into purchase.’ 1
Make your products flawless with modular solutions.
The labelling machine for Chandon is a Modular SL, with a wide range wide range of options and interchangeable stations. Its ergonomic, efficient design ensures virtually any kind of label challenge can be met.
P.E.’s range of labelling stations cover all existing technologies (cold glue, self-adhesive, hot melt, roll-fed and combination systems) at any speed. P.E. is continually researching and developing new ones.
For example, Simpl-Cut™ is P.E. Labellers’ latest technological revolution that breaks with the conventional operating principle of Roll-Fed labelling machines. Simpl-Cut™ labelling stations allow you to apply wrap-around labels from a roll, either with hot melt or pre-glued technology. This award-winning technology has several advantages:
• blade change in 10 seconds without the use of tools and without adjustments,
• greater flexibility in the management of formats,
• and a drum that’s always clean because the glue is applied before cutting the label.
We’re so impressed with the quality and innovation we’ve added P.E. Labellers to our portfolio of agency products. The innovative use of modules allows our customers complete flexibility to label just about any kind of spherical container in as many different ways and with whatever kind of label they need. No more limitations due to the labeller configuration!
The project required a 4-person team from Foodmach consisting of two service technicians, an electrical engineer and a project manager.
Chandon’s own maintenance team assisted with the installation.
"Foodmach offers turnkey packaging lines tailored to our region’s needs, so we keep a range of agency products. Our award-winning service and technical teams provide local support for Foodmach automation as well as our third-party equipment; hence, they can turn their talents to any new packaging technology.
"We ensure they have the support they need to be always accountable, and as a group, we’re continually upskilling. Still, it comes down to people, and I’m proud to be able to say that our people are exceptional."
Dr Rym Kachouri, GM – Service and Agency Products, Foodmach.
The new labeller was installed, commissioned and site acceptance tested during the COVID-19 challenges in Victoria.
The result was a precise labelling recipe for each product that ensures no bubbling, less than one-millimetre tolerances, less than 1% rejects and speeds of 6000 bottles per hour.
“When it came to the new Chandon branding rollout, P.E. Labellers Modular SL was our choice of labeller. We required a machine that could deliver the extraordinary during an exceptionally challenging period of lockdowns. With the support of P.E. Labellers and Foodmach technicians, the Modular SL provided us with the flexibility and precision we needed.
"This project was a resounding success; they’re a great partner to work with.”
Minaxi Dalu-Chandu, Purchasing Manager, APANZ, Moët Hennessy – Chandon and Estates & Wines
Richard McCaughey, Operations Director, Domaine Chandon:
“Foodmach demonstrated exceptional dedication in assisting us with the commissioning of our new P.E. labeller amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic. Thanks to their efforts, the Modular SL labeller now handles our intricate Chandon label with precision, resulting in a significant reduction in rejects and improvements in productivity.”
Chandon has crafted the world’s most exceptional sparkling wines since its foundation in Argentina in 1959 by Moët & Chandon président Robert-Jean de Vogüé.
With a global community of winemakers in California, Australia, China and India, the new branding is a celebration of what makes Chandon unique.
Domaine Chandon Australia is a reflection of this traditional French heritage in its Australian homeland from a world-class winery in Cold Stream, Yarra Valley.
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