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Removing shrink film with laser technology – Gandea

Gandae Handling Atelier

Gandae Handling Atelier, from Ghent in Belgium, has developed extensive expertise in the sleeving and de-skinning of bottles and flasks in recent years. Beer bottles were still de-skinned manually with insufficient capacity for larger volumes.

De-sleeved laser machine

Gandae's question to MetaQuip was whether they could develop a laser machine in which the beer bottle with sleeve is inserted on the one side and the bottle with the sleeve cut loose on the other side, so that the sleeve can then be easily removed. The advantage of removing shrink film with laser is that every bottle is properly cut loose and no blades become blunt and the glassware is not damaged.

Laser machine disassembly from bottles
Shrink wrap sleeves as used on beer bottles

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MetaQuip Fully Automatic Laser Bottle Decomposing Machine

MetaQuip has developed, tested and certified the complete laser machine for Gandea. The bottles are fed in at the entrance, cut loose in the machine and collected at the exit and the sleeve is removed manually. It is also possible to remove the sleeve from shrink film fully automatically, even at speed in a production line.

Custom custom laser machines
MQS-3000 CO2 Sleeve Laser Cutting Machine

Impression of shrink wrap desleeving machine

MetaQuip's contribution to this laser machine

Process research

MetaQuip first investigated whether it is possible to use laser technology to consistently cut the sleeve along its entire length, even when the diameter of the bottle varies. After a number of tests, we concluded together with Gandae that this was absolutely possible.

Product development

After that, after the necessary financing was available, a first machine concept was developed. MetaQuip subsequently fully developed the machine, including laser safety and CE certification. For the mechatronic system, there was collaboration with two partners: Newton and 1K3.

Fully automatic

The machine works fully automatically. Incoming bottles are detected and the laser process is started automatically. If bottles are placed incorrectly, they are not processed. The machine can be adjusted so that other shapes and sizes of bottles can be processed. The current capacity of this machine is 1000-1200 bottles per hour.


This machine is used in an environment where people with disabilities work. That is why MetaQuip has looked extensively at the potential risks of the machine with a focus on the mechanical components and the laser components. The existing safety systems ensure that the machine switches off immediately if an error is detected.

Machine in operation

The machine is currently at Gandae. The machine is fully integrated into the production line. The entire machine concept is well established and can be easily replicated if the capacity needs to be increased.

Gandea in the news


GHENT / ERTVELDE - Gandae and Van Steenberge brewery have been working together for 20 years. In order to accommodate the growth of the brewery in Ertvelde, however, there was a need for automation.

The Van Steenberge brewery grows every year, creating more employment for Gandae's target group employees. But all these extra hands could not fully absorb the increasing work. That is why Gandae, together with the Van Steenberge brewery and design agency MetaQuip, designed a machine for decongesting beer bottles.

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