Cannabidiol or CBD, has become popular in recent years as a wellness and mood enhancing substance. This case study discusses the design of a compact CBD concentrates bottling line that addresses the needs of smaller, more space-constrained players in the industry.

Cynertia Factory Automation, Inc., a provider of industrial automation and electrical solutions based in the Canadian city of Saskatoon, designs bottling lines specifically for customers in the CBD industry. This industry requires specialized lines in order to meet legal regulations on content, packaging and labelling. In recent years, CBD has become a widespread presence on store shelves due to its increasing popularity as a wellness and mood enhancing substance. It often comes in its concentrate form, which represents about 36% of its sales.

Major challenges in this growing industry include strict packaging and labeling requirements as well as rapidly increasing demand faced by companies with minimal existing automation. Due to the industry’s dramatic expansion, many companies have not had time to invest in automation technology. Labor-related challenges have also made it more difficult for these companies to keep up with demand, and automation is starting to become more attractive for this reason.

The Health Canada department of the Government of Canada has established a comprehensive guide to packaging and labeling requirements (the most significant of which mandates child-resistant packaging) that is the same throughout all provinces, whereas in the United States, each state makes its own regulations. Some uniform requirements exist for CBDrelated labeling in the U.S. market, such as a symbol that clearly indicate a product’s cannabis content, but most vary from state to state. Bottles are the preferred packaging format for CBD products because they can be lidded with child-resistant caps. In addition, they often have a secondary covering, such as a paperboard box.

Challenge

Cynertia sought to develop an automated line that could bottle up to QTY 6000, which refers to the number of 50-ml bottles of oil processed per hour. The line needed to clean, fi ll, cap, and label the bottles while ensuring consistent quality, and the bottle fi lling area needed to meet the requirements for ISO 5 cleanroom classifi cation. (ISO 5 means that there must be fewer than 100 particles per square foot within a cleanroom.) Due to packaging regulations, traceability was an important consideration in designing the machinery.

One of the main challenges was to develop a line that could fi t in a compact area. Many companies in the CBD industry are relatively new and have limited fl oor space, so Cynertia designed its bottling line with this need in mind. Omron was an attractive choice for several of the line’s components because many of its technologies are fairly compact. In addition, Cynertia already had familiarity with Omron and was impressed by its wide-ranging product selection and quick delivery.

This solution provides the following benefits:

  • Helps companies address growing demand through automation
  • Ensures proper packaging and labeling according to varying standards
  • Saves space thanks to the use of relatively compact components