An innovative robotic vatting system

A famous Bordeaux wine maker approached Actemium Bordeaux Process to equip its new winery with an innovative robotic vatting system.

Actemium Bordeaux Process has transposed automation and supervision technologies from industry to the wine making sector to install four Kuka AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) that use laser guidance to navigate the pre-mapped site.

Following destemming and optical sorting, grapes are transported via a grasshopper conveyor into mobile vats installed on the robots. The robots then head to the vats selected that morning by the cellar master to unload their cargo. The four robots can transport 10 tonnes of grapes an hour.

To achieve this first for the sector, Actemium Bordeaux Process had to think ahead, and in tandem with the design office, create suitable conditions for robots of this type ahead of their installation: concrete floors, slopes not exceeding three degrees of tilt, wide doorways, etc.

System optimisation took place during the three weeks of the grape harvest. The Actemium team was on site every day to adjust the real-world process in response to factors that were difficult to predict in advance, such as the profile of the fruit, or adjusting the climb up to the vats for unloading.

“The advantages of this process are the gains in terms of reliability, repeatability and drudgery”, says Stéphane Angevin, Automation Studies Manager at Actemium Bordeaux Process, “By which I mean that certain arduous and repetitive tasks will now be performed by the robots rather than the winery crew”.

Watch the video (in French):