Wunderlich-Malec: Taking Stock

WM Case Study: Expanding the Capabilities of a Large Craft Brewer

| September 9, 2020

Wunderlich-Malec Engineering’s Packaging Solutions Group was approached by a large California craft brewer to help determine how to expand their plant’s capabilities to include a canning line.


The challenge was two-fold; the plant was losing market share as they only produced bottles and kegs in an expanding aluminum can market, and they had almost no free space to install a new canning line.


WM’s Packaging Solutions Group went to work to provide deliverables requested by the customer:

  • A workable layout that included the ability to produce multiple can format sizes and package configurations
  • A budgetary estimate that the customer could use in order to secure the capital required to execute the project

After the first meeting with the customer, it was determined there was no updated layout of the existing equipment to use to develop the line layout. WM’s vast group of engineering experts provided a laser scan of the facility to accurately locate all of the existing equipment, executed a utilities audit to ensure that the current facilities utilities were adequate to handle the additional loads, and worked directly with the customer to understand their current pain points with production on their existing bottling line.

With space being the biggest issue, WM’s Packaging Solution Group delivered a bold and creative plan; break the bottle line in half, move it apart to allow enough room to insert can line equipment and make it into a dual-purpose line capable of running bottles or cans.


Once the laser scan was imported into a 3D model, the WM’s Packaging Solutions Group went to work on vetting vendors for new can line equipment and developing the new line layout that would meet the customer’s specific requirements while minimizing the impact to their existing bottling line.

After weeks of hard work, the customer was presented with a workable line layout that included:

  • New depalletizer that would be capable of running both bottles and cans, a separate can filler/seamer
  • Can labeler to give the customer the ability to run special release product or limited quantity production and label them in-house
  • New multi-packer and tray packer
  • Rebuilt and re-purposed palletizer at the end of the line that could palletizer both bottle and can products

The customer was also given a detailed budgetary estimate for executing the entire project that met their budget needs.

The client was thrilled with the final product and used the Wunderlich-Malec Engineering Packaging Solutions Group documentation to request funding from their bank in order to execute the project.

The customer is planning on executing the project in 2021. WM’s Packaging Solutions Group will be managing the project from start to finish, acting as the sole integrator to provide procurement, vendor contracting and management, installation, commissioning and start-up support to the customer.

About Wunderlich-Malec

WM is one of the largest and best-established engineering companies in the United States with over 500 professionals and 36 offices nationwide. In 2020, WM was ranked 183rd on the Engineering News Record (ENR) Top 500 Design Firms and 6th in Control Engineering’s System Integrator Giants. The key to Wunderlich-Malec’s success and rapid growth is its innovation and depth of talent. By providing custom solutions with the support of industry experts and supporting technology, Wunderlich-Malec is able to successfully execute a wide range of engineering projects.

To learn more about Wunderlich-Malec’s packaging group and our capabilities, please visit our Packaging page or contact us.