Operations: Fillers fall in line
Beverage fillers don’t operate all by themselves, they’re part of a whole system, and the latest filling technology showcased at the drinktec show in Munich featured block systems that allow beverage production lines to move seamlessly from bottle-making to filling, labeling and case-packing.
Krones demonstrated what it calls BLOC-synchronization with the Ergobloc L (for liquid) that allows PET containers to be produced, labeled, filled and capped in a single process. Filling technology on the Ergobloc L is the Volumetic VODM-PET filler. The company says the system has been designed for an output of 28,800 containers an hour, and can be used for both still and carbonated beverages. The filler uses an inductive flow meter to measure volume, and the Volumetic VODM-PET is available in short tube, long tube or tubeless design.
In addition to the filler, the Ergobloc system includes a Contiform S16 blowmolding machine, and a Multimodule labeller featuring two Contiroll stations for pre-labelling freshly blowmolded containers. The company says the system features a visualization feature, designed as a centralized information and control interface that has been configured to meet the operator’s needs. And the new, harmonized servo-drive concept enables all the modules of the Ergobloc L to be operated individually as needed for maintenance or changeover.
Sidel featured a complete beer line, including filler, crown feeder, crowner, labeler, pasteurizer, accumulation tables and end-of-line options. The line included the SF 300 LP filler, Aidlin 24CR crown feeder, SL 90 labeler, Swing pasteurization system, AQ-HC accumulation table, Incarobot/Decarobot crater/decrater, Axo-Smart layer forming system and Robo-Column palletizer.
The SF 300 LP is a level-probe electronic filler that features electro-pneumatic components that are integrated in the filling valve, as well as self-draining surfaces.
Sidel says the entire line was designed to demonstrate efficiency and sustainability. The filler’s drives consist of servomotors only, limiting energy consumption, and an external product tank with fast clean-in-place abilities reduces water and chemical use to a minimum.
KHS showed off its Innofill DRV plastic bottle filler, which operates with electromagnetic inductive flowmetering and provides volumetric metering for beverages with low or no conductivity. It also can handle two neck sizes for a range of bottle options.
The computer-controlled, volumetric filling system is designed for flexibility, the company says. It can fill sizes from 0.1-liter to 5-liter plastic bottles, and can operate as fast as 72,000 bottles per hour.
In addition, the filler can be modified in any number of ways for classic pressurized filling; pressurized filling combined with pressureless filling; pressurized filling plus triple-chamber pressure filling and pressureless filling; or single-chamber pressure filling in conjunction with pressureless hot filling.
KHS says the Innofill DRV filling process uses swirlers for better hygiene and gentle handling. It also has added impeller flowmetering, which can be used in addition to electromagnetic inductive flowmetering.
In addition, KHS featured the HotFill+ System hot-filling and aseptic filling. The company says the HotFill+ System can be integrated into any PET production line, and allows bottlers to use lighter, more flexible bottle designs without vacuum panels. The system is used in conjunction with a blowmolding process that creates more thermally stable bottles, and compensates for shrinkage after hot-filling by adding nitrogen to the headspace of the bottle. It is available in capacities up to 43,000 bottles per hour, with a specific output of 1,800 bottles an hour per station.
Sipa presented its Sincro Tribloc, a system that incorporates production, labeling, filling and capping of PET containers. The company says the system’s advantages include space savings, elimination of conveyor belts, hygiene, efficiency and maintenance costs.
Sipa’s recently acquired Berchi division created the filling portion of the system, which includes the isobaric volumetric filler Isotronic P with 56 filling valves and 12 capping heads. This electronic isobaric volumetric filler offers filling precision with magnetic flow meters. The company says the Isotronic P is a versatile filler suited to filling both carbonated or non-carbonated products.
The Sincro Tribloc uses a star wheel system with pockets and positive transfer to handle any bottle size and configuration. The filling area is kept clean through the use of a laminar flow cabin in class 10.000 (ISO 7), and the base, which is sloped for full drainage, is constructed of 304 aisi stainless steel.
The capping machine following the filler features a “twin-hopper” solution that prevents stops caused by cap feed problems. The system passes over to the second cap supply hopper in the event of accidental blockage of a faulty cap in the first channel. BI
Also featured at drinktec…
The drinktec show in Munich, Germany, attracted about 60,000 visitors from 170 countries, show organizers report. The show featured a larger number of international visitors this year, for a total of 55 percent.
“Overall, we are very satisfied,” said Norbert Bargmann, managing director of Mess Munchen GmbH. “In the run-up to drinktec, we too, had to contend with the global economic crisis. Nevertheless, we have succeeded in bringing the top ranks of the beverage and liquid food industry to Munich â€” and that is a critical thing for the exhibitors. The high number of visitors from outside Germany, and the very broad spread of countries they represent shows just how highly regarded drinktec is around the world.”
MeadWestvaco was at the show to unveil its next generation packaging solutions, including the OneTech2 Combo, the MiniTech and Ultima systems. The OneTech2 machine is optimized to run a wide range of primary containers, as well as secondary and tertiary packaging configurations. Multipack options on the line include MWV’s Duodozen, Cluster-Pak and BasketWrap carriers.
The Ultima is able to run 600 multipacks per minute for can-wrapping applications. It enables operators to customize lines to run multiple configurations of cartons, including two-, three-, four- and six-can packs, either semi- or fully enclosed. The MiniTech uses robotic product loading to enhance flexibility.
Sacmi showcased its CBF 10, the first monoblock for ultra hygienic filling, directly connected upstream with the bottle-forming machine for compression. CBF stands for Compression Blow Forming, which is a single-stage process that uses continuous extrusion combined with the compression and blowing process so plastic pellets are turned into containers in a single work cycle.
Thonhauser received an award for Best Environmental Initiative at the show for its TM Smart Track technology, which replaces conventional wet chain lubrication with a dry system. The company estimates its technology could save a plant as much as 800,000 gallons of water per year.
Sidel launched its SBO Universal 2 range that accelerates industrial blowmolder outputs by 10 percent, for 2,000 bottles per hour per mold, while also decreasing energy consumption by 10 percent in the ovens. The company says energy reduction is achieved through new lamps and oven adaptations.
Sidel also focused on the bottle itself at drinktec, with bottles made from recycled PET resin. It displayed a new 1.5-liter bottle produced on the SBO 14 that contained 50 percent recycled materials. The bottle was created in conjunction with Husky. The company says it is committed to ensuring recycled PET bottles perform with the same reliability as those made from virgin material.
KHS introduced the Innopro Paramix C dosing and blending system capable of fast product changeovers with minimal product loss. The system can be used for both carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, and can be expanded as needed to include a fourth or fifth dosing segment. Capacity ranges from 4,000 to 74,000 liters per hour, and the company says the deaeration and finished beverage tanks are installed horizontally to reduce the amount of space needed.
The company also offered the Advanced series wraparound packer and wraparound shrink packers for modular packaging with flexibility. Modules such as tray stackers and leaflet, glass and partition inserters can be added, in addition to shrink packers, tray packers, tray shrink packers and pad shrink packers.
Sipa showed off its Fastlayer pack orientation and layer forming system that can be integrated upstream from any type of palletizer with fixed or mobile pallets. Fastlayer is particularly useful for beverages, as it expands the number of formats that can be managed, including lightweight bottles and multiple package sizes, with simple adjustments to accommodate packaging changes. It also operates in a smaller footprint than conventional solutions.
On the ingredient side, DohlerGroup highlighted a number of natural flavors, colors and other ingredients under the banner “We bring ideas to life.” The company offers a range of beverage bases made from milk, tea, cereals and coffee for both alcohol and non-alcohol beverages. It also has the MultiSweet Plus sweetener umbrella, including MultiSweet 2.0, for full-bodied sweetening without bitter notes; MultiSweet TEC sweetening suspension; MultiSweet Stevia; and MultiSweet Fruit decolorized and deacidified fruit juice concentrates.
DSM discussed its brewing expertise, including its BrewCo@ch interactive tool for enzyme solutions. The service provides customized recommendations based on raw material composition, quality and processing conditions. In addition, it offers Filtrase products for getting the most from raw ingredients, including Filtrase Deluxe for brewing with poorly modified malts, and Filtrase Premium for use when non-starch polysaccharides impede mash and beer filtration.
Beneo Palatinit offered its Palatinose “toothfriendly sugar,” or isomaltulose. The product is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in honey and other foods. Palatinose is fully digestible as a carbohydrate, but cannot be fermented by oral microorganisms. It also provides extended energy due to its slower digestion in the small intestine. The qualities of Palatinose make it a contender for sports drinks, and as the company suggested at the show, beer. Isomaltulose cannot be fermented by beer microorganisms, which improves product stability, and can provide mild sweetness. BI