The paper describes the establishment of a returnable bottle processing line at the Rosslyn Brewery in South Africa. A brief synopsis of the design principles is followed by a description of the equipment: depalletiser capable of semi automatic or fully automatic operation; carton unpacker, bottle washer, bottle filler, crown corker with automatic prefilling inspection and CIP facilities, fill level checking by means of a gamma ray device, twin deck tunnel pasteuriser with pasteurising water recycling, automatic labeller, final automatic inspection of fill level, crown cork and label, carton packer and palletiser. The whole facility is controlled by two computer networks, one for the "wet" sections and one for the "dry", with individual computers each controlling a machine or group of machines. The central computer of each network collects and processes data from all the machines in its section and the networks are coordinated by means of a "data highway". The line processes 750 ml bottles at the rate of 60,000 per hour. Details are given of the training, documentation, installation and performance testing procedures, which were carried out by specially appointed commissioning teams under the overall command of a Commissioning Manager.
Keywords : automatic bottling line computer control design equipment management performance test