From spirits to sanitizer, Mission helps a local brewery modify an automated bottling line to help stop the spread of COVID-19.


  • Problem: Global hand sanitizer shortages during COVID-19 had New Holland Brewing wondering what they could do to help the community and beyond.
  • Solution: Mission worked with New Holland to retrofit an existing line to bottle and cap hand sanitizer. We were able to turn around the project in two days.
  • End result: A line capable of bottling and capping 47 8-oz bottles of hand sanitizer per minute, providing essential workers and others in the community with germ-free peace of mind.

When most people think of New Holland Brewing, they think of craft beer. They may even imagine themselves enjoying a cold Mad Hatter with friends. But what happens when those times become a distant memory in the midst of a global pandemic?

In early 2020, with food and beverage providers across America closing their doors per state lockdown orders in response to COVID-19, New Holland Brewing found themselves at a crossroads. On one hand, prioritizing the sales of beer and spirits were of the utmost importance. However, on the other, the team at New Holland felt a call to something greater. How could New Holland Brewing not only continue making and selling their standard products but also do their part to fight the spread of COVID-19? The answer was to begin production on an alcoholic antiseptic hand sanitizer. Now they just needed someone to provide them an automated solution.

That’s where Mission Design & Automation came in. Through mutual connections in the West Michigan area, the two companies began brainstorming different approaches to solving this problem. Mission recognized the importance of a seamless transition—shortages of hand sanitizer persisted throughout Michigan.

Someone needed to pick up the slack and get as much hand sanitizer into the hands of first responders and concerned citizens as possible. As Mission understood it, the machinery for bottling hand sanitizer needed a quick turnaround, and at a reasonable cost. Thus the plan was born: utilize existing equipment to create a new line for bottling New Holland’s hand sanitizer.

Mission began retrofitting new equipment on to an existing canning line by first evaluating all necessary modifications required for dispensing and capping plastic hand sanitizer bottles. Pulling from their collective experience on automated assembly lines, the Mission team was able to turn around the project in under two days without any existing CAD models. Engineers on Mission’s floor enriched their knowledge and experience in the beverage industry, and after the trial and error of various test runs, ended with a line capable of filling and capping 47 8oz bottles per minute. The end result was a line within New Holland’s budget and built to their specification using their existing machinery, providing hand sanitizer in to those in need on a very short timeline.

New Holland turned their vision into a reality and answered a higher calling. Mission listened to their needs, and the teams worked together to retrofit the equipment. New Holland will continue dispensing hand sanitizer into the foreseeable future. For more information, go to New Holland Brewing’s website.