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Innovative Prima system to clean and Polish Bottles

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PPB (Innovative Prima system to clean and Polish Bottles)

Reporting period: 2020-11-01 to 2022-10-31

Sparkling wine produced by the Champenoise method implies the use of long periods of storage of bottles. The bottles, due to long-time storage, are prone to defacements like iridescence, lime scales, or rust. These bottle defects do not affect the valuable content, but as a luxury product, the bottle needs to be pristine in its presentation. Today this tedious bottle cleaning and polishing work are done by hand, and when cannot be manually polished, this one becomes waste, out of the quantity of water and time consumed. Moët Chandon approached us to develop machinery to automatize this hand-made work. PRIMA develops new machinery in the market for the successful polishing of such a bottle in dry and/or wet methods with the use of little water. With this machinery (PPB), we see a clear competitive benefit for the client company generating 2.1M€ savings on the average large producer (500,000b/y) and 1.05M€ for medium-small producers. PPB is a modular user-tailored multi-stage cleaning and polishing line to remove, iridescence, lime scales or rust with a minimum of 90% cleaning and polishing success rate. The following points highlight the PPB features: Practically no water consumption: dry cleaning uses no water; wet cleaning uses only 1/3 of the manual water cleaning used today. PPB is a unique design for cleaning and polishing of full bottles keeping the wine quality (no use of chemicals, increase of temperature due to friction > 0.2ºC). Modularity and specific to user’s needs: these different modules may be assembled to get the proper cleaning line: Dry cleaning module, Wet cleaning module, Artificial vision quality verification and re-circulating module. Huge volumes processing and savings: up to 1,500 bottles/hour with 90% efficiency in a shorter time depending on the tailored configuration of the machine.

Actually, all wineries producing sparkling wines in observance of the Champenoise Specifications have to face issues on properly cleaning the bottles after the aging period that last from minimum 3 to 10-15 years for the most valuable. The washing lines currently available on the market are unable to effectively remove all the deposits that form on the bottles during the aging period. The volume of bottles that are not effectively cleaned fluctuate on average between 15 and 20%, and currently needs to be cleaned and polished by hand before to be marketed.

The innovative technology on which the PPB project is based allows not only an important economic return in terms of both lower production costs and an increase in the quantity of bottles that can be marketed per single production batch, but also contributes to a strong reduction of the environmental pollution, consuming significantly less water (-70%) during the washing process and compared to current working methods it permits to reduce by approx. 90% the of CO2 emissions in the ambience, for a value that can be estimated at approx. 3,200 tons / year. Over this, the use us this technology will induce large wine producers to eliminate heavy manual labor, usually underpaid, and to raise the professional skill of the workers involved in these processes.

With PPB we intend to place on the market a technology which, on the one hand, improves the working conditions of production line workers and contributes to the reduction of environmental pollution, on the other hand would generate an exponential increase in the turnover of PRIMA and productions with the consequent need for new hires estimated at approx. 10-15 units in the medium term. The goal is the affirmation of PRIMA as a world technological leader in the specific sector of packaging of sparkling wine bottles and in particular of Champagne, which has been constantly increasing over the last 5 years.
The PPB project was stopped on Nov. 2021 because of the heavy impact that the (not predictable) COVID pandemic had by one hand on the availability of strategic partner (large Champagne Maison) for to test in industrial environment and consequently validate the PPB technology, by the other hand by the dramatic increase of the material costs. All this made the PPB price too high for the medium and small Wineries which did constitute our main client target.
Nevertheless, during this time, we were capable:
- To realize a first prototype of the polishing module for test in industrial ambience
- To produce a first laboratory prototype of the wet cleaning module and to design and prepare the BOM for to realize a prototype for test in industrial ambience
- To design the Artificial Vision Module and digitally check the cycling software.
According to our research, currently does not exist any similar or competing product like the one we are proposing in this document by PRIMA. The creation of such machinery comes from large champagne producers and particularly from Moët and Chandon (M&C), as an industrial need based on today's landscape. We can classify it as a killer/replace application for the sector, as PPB replaces the artisan cleaning systems used today, and we create “ex Novo” a market niche.
Currently, there are many automated machines for cleaning and polishing bottles (including wine ones) on the market, however, these machines are considerably big and are minded for wash/clean empty bottles before to be forwarded to the filling machines. Today, all bottle cleaning and polishing machines are based on a combination of the use of friction and chemical elements for disinfection and abrasion. All of them are for empty glass bottles, uses a range of chemicals and intense friction, and it doesn’t take into consideration the quality of the bottle content. it was in the past century when the Winery Machine Industry had been actively developing new solutions. But up today, no one has addressed the issues the aging for years in natural cellars or caves is causing, in particular, the deposit on the bottles of limestone, the formation of iridescence, and other various imperfection that needs to be removed.
Understanding this PPB will be unique solution in the market. PPB is the only one designed for champenoise based bottles: PPB will be the single machine on the market that may correctly clean bottles affected by limestone deposit, spots, and dirtiness affecting the outside of bottles after many years of storage in natural caves or cellars, without prejudice of the bottle content. PPB is the first and unique automatic machine that cleans, polishes, and eliminates the unsightly formations on glass bottles – high-quality polishing standards. PPB is modular and could meet the specific needs of the Wine Makers - from large to small producers.
PPB is a logical evolution for PRIMA, to open a new business category and a new market positioning. Our expertise in manufacturing labeling machinery for bottles (www.primalabelling.it) will be used for a successful PPB manufacturing. Thus, we expect that PRIMA will lead to a new production line with a strong business capacity of 11M€ accumulated profit in 5 years of exploitation and the creation of 14 new working positions
3D rendering of the Washing drying Module
Rendering of the complete PPB line