Siemens and packaging machinery manufacturer T Freemantle are toasting a partnership which has developed an innovative range of solutions specifically for the global craft brewery market.

The collaboration designed and built three solutions capable of packing a range of can or bottle sizes and counts and operating at varying speed.

The machines offer those breweries looking to scale up the opportunity to deliver multipack carton board retail packs, as well as meet the increasing demand for more environmentally friendly packaging.

Tony Freemantle, Managing Director, T Freemantle said: “As craft breweries become more successful, they are looking to scale up. The next step after their own tap rooms is to supply retail and get onto the supermarket shelves.


“Traditional packaging machines handle significant volumes, which are completely unnecessary for our customers.

“Packaging machines available to the sector were not suitable as they were designed for large volumes. The brewery market needed something more bespoke for small to medium volumes.”

“Our partnership with Siemens has offered a solution to the industry and helped our business penetrate a new global market.”

T Freemantle, based in Scunthorpe, has received 20 orders in the last 18 months, including The London Beer Factory; Vocation; Beavertown, Northern Monk and Thornbridge.

T Freemantle saw a gap in the market and approached its preferred technology supplier, Siemens Digital Industries, to develop these bespoke machines for the craft brewery market. There are 20,000 global brewers of which 10 per cent are in the UK alone, making it an excellent springboard for international business development.

After more than 40 years serving the food, beverage and household goods sectors, the family-owned business is predicting significant growth in the craft brewery sector following the adoption of new technologies to develop the bespoke can and bottle multipack cartoning machines.

Siemens deployed its total integrated automation solutions from Simatic HMI, range of Servo geared motors and PLCs to develop the new machines which are optimised to meet specific human machine interface needs, using open and standardised interfaces in hardware and software which allow efficient integration into the lifecycle of the machine’s automation.

This allows manufacturers flexibility in production processes, integration into new technologies with scalability into Internet of Things (IoT) software solutions. The increase in efficiency which is delivered makes it possible for a faster time to market of the products.

Tony Freemantle added: “It validates our decision three years ago to make Siemens our preferred supplier of technology for all our machines. Siemens offers us world-leading technology coupled with a high level of technical support and assistance at the point of commission to ensure a smooth installation to our customers.”

The three machines all include a full deployment of Siemens technology including HMI, Servo drive, Control gear and Programmable logic controller (PLC).

The specifically developed semi-automatic beverage cartoning machine is perfectly suited to can and bottle multi-packs in counts from 4 to 24 and can run comfortably at a rate of up to 14,000 cans or bottles per hour.

T Freemantle is now offering its customers various options including the starter model multi pack which works well for smaller breweries as these are manually packed.

The semi-automatic and the high speed fully automated packaging solution, which connected directly to a canning line, have a speed range of handling cans or bottles from 3,000 to 35,000 per hour.

T Freemantle clients can also look forward to producing 100% recyclable cans and cardboard packaging, where shrink wrap or plastic rings become redundant. It also helps in reducing packaging waste.

Siemens Digital Industries’ Andy Lane, OEM Business Development Manager for UK said: “We are delighted that our relationship with T Freemantle has grown from technology suppliers to partner in creating innovative solutions and opening new markets.

“I believe this collaboration is just the first of many for both of our businesses.”