Tapping the Globe
By SARAH THEODORE
Drinktec offers worldwide perspective on beverage technology
Munich, Germany, hosted more than 70,000 beverage executives and suppliers for Drinktec 2005. According to show organizers, visitors from 161 countries attended the show, half of whom were from outside Germany, which is a 40 percent increase from the last Drinktec show in 2001.
“We succeeded in attracting new target groups to Drinktec, in particularly from the fields of milk processing, soft drinks and PET,” said Norbert Bargmann, managing director of Messe München GmbH.
Covering 12 halls at the fair were a variety of companies offering beverage ingredients, processing equipment and packaging, and according to organizers, 86 percent of exhibitors left the show pleased with the international spread and quality of the visitors, rating them “excellent to good.”
New to this year’s show was a section on liquid food, and PET packaging took center stage at PETpoint, a full lineup of PET education in a compact forum. In addition, the show included the Cartonated Drinks Awards and the Brewing Industry International Awards.
A tour of the show floor found new products and technology from companies all over the world. MeadWestvaco featured machinery for both mature, high-volume markets and emerging markets. With the idea that “no market is too small to service,” the company’s EvoTech can be used in new markets or start-up situations that require slower speed production. The machine packages bottles, cans or bricks in wraps or fully enclosed cartons, ranging from 1- to 18-count configurations, in simple or double stacks. The modular design provides extensive styling options and multiple height and diameter bottles, so the machine can evolve as the company’s needs evolve.
For higher volume markets, the Duodozen 1250HF efficiently packages multi-diameter cans or bottles in cartons from 4- to 24-packs. The 100-percent servo-driven machine offers speeds up to 2,400 cans per minute or 1,800 bottles per minute. The simple design of the carton feeding and opening section minimizes complexity while delivering high speeds, and the long-wearing components are designed to hold up to frequent changeovers.
Graphic Packaging International introduced two new machines at the show: the Marksman and the Quickflex. The newest addition to the Marksman 2100 line is the EPG, providing a flexible high-speed wrap system for bottles, cans and PET bottles. It produces both paperboard wraps and fully enclosed packages on the same machine, and handles pack configurations from two-by-two to two-by-six in a wide variety of pack styles and multiple size primary containers. The machine runs at 260 packs per minute, and the elimination of all moving parts in the locking section permits easier operation, especially simple repeatable size changes.
The Quickflex fully enclosed cartooning line was designed to match the requirements of lower-speed fillers and fulfill the rapidly growing demand for fully enclosed PET multipacks. In addition, the company reports its Fridge Vendor package has taken off in Europe as well as the United States.
Milan, Italy’s Liteco offered a new beverage container called the Instant Mixer Cap that allows consumers to mix ingredients into their own beverages. The cap features a flexor that, when pushed, forces the sealed ingredients inside to open and release fresh liquid or powder into the beverage. The company has several models available and all are child-proof.
According to PakTec, Drinktec visitors were especially interested in its six-pack beverage carriers that feature a ring in the middle for easy, comfortable carrying. The carriers offer an upscale, value-added look for products and are offered in a variety of colors that appeal to both package designers and marketers.
Roberts PolyPro found its single-bottle handle for large-bottle carrying to be one of its most popular displays. Representatives from the company said Drinktec visitors seems especially interested in the total solutions provided by the bottle-carrying technology.
CCL-Pachem featured a clear wash-off label that provides a popular no-label look on refillable glass bottles. The label can be removed using industrial bottle washers, as it shrinks in temperatures higher than 75 degrees, and peels off the bottle. The label remains floating in the water and can be mechanically removed from the machine.
Similarly, Spear and IlloSpear were on hand to discuss their ThermoWash pressure-sensitive label for returnable bottles. ThermoWash is able to incorporate any printing method, including screen, gravure, UV Flexo, letterpress and combination printing. Labels are applied at speeds up to 1,000 bottles per minute and withstand filling and distribution environments, including ice-water baths for 72 hours with no adverse effects.
Eastman focused on specialty packaging such as its Embrace shrink-film for full-body labels and Eastar copolyester resins. Representatives from the company said the Embrace labels provide the greatest shrink ratio available, creating a near-painted glass appearance. Eastar offers both clarity and flexibility, and is said to fill the gap between PET and olefins. It also has the bonus of running on extrusion blowmolding equipment.
Truly designed for on-the-go-consumers, Pepup SA introduced the Pepup flexible bottle. The stand-up pouch opens when squeezed and closes automatically when you let go. The closure system eliminate leaks, even when the pouch is inverted. The pouches are available in 330- to 500-ml. sizes for beverages and can be displayed in a 10-pouch display.
On the ingredient front, Wild, headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, pulled together all of its business segments — ingredients, processing technology and consumer products — at Drinktec for the first time to showcase the synergies of all three. The company featured flavoring concepts for malt beverages — both alcohol and non-alcohol, soft drinks, near waters and dairy drinks. Malt beverage flavors featured hop extracts and flavors in combination with fruit flavors that are well-suited to beer. Dairy drinks featured at the show included the “Triple F” formula — “Fit For the Future” — and were offered in Orange, Peach & Tomato and Blueberry & Vanilla flavors.
In addition, the company discussed its sweetening portfolio, which it said offers an appropriate sweetener for every application. The company offers Sweet Up to reduce calories in beverages using Wild’s Resolver Technology to round out flavor by masking unpleasant notes associated with artificial sweeteners. According to Wild, the Sweet Up concept can result in 30 percent less sugar use. The company also offers Fruit Up, which it says provides well-balanced sweetness and full-bodied characteristics, all while maintaining a low glycemic index.
The Döhler Group, based in Darmstadt, Germany, presented ingredients for health and nutrition such as “red fruits with Omega-3 fatty acids” as well as snack drinks containing dietary fibers from oat, or proteins, nuts and fruit. Its Aqua Plus beverages combined water with fruit juice, tea and functional ingredients, and the company sampled fruit juice blended with soy, tea, milk and vegetable juice as well as L-carnitine and vitamins. In an effort to reduce calories, the company discussed its “Multisweet Plus” concept that offers a taste similar to sugar. It also featured low-calorie drinkable yogurts and new non-alcohol malt-based beverages.
Encompassing an entire hall devoted to its products, Krones AG discussed what Volker Kronseder, chairman of the executive board, said was the company’s core message: “The simplest solutions are in most cases the most elegant, and commonsense is the best foundation for crucial innovations.” The company featured two areas for aseptic beverages, an area for carbonated soft drinks, and spaces for milk beverages, bottled water and beer.
The company conveyed it’s new “Smart Krones” philosophy based on “can-do systems engineering and problem solving.” Highlights included Krones’ Smart Line, which Kronseder said represents the production configuration of the future. The line incorporates a dynamic buffer that is able to compensate for malfunctions in individual machines. In addition, the company is focused on reducing changeovers and increasing productive time.
The company displayed its new F1 filler, a machine designed with a modular construction, no front-table, a redesigned filling system and a new filling-valve actuation function. The no-front-table drive concept requires almost no maintenance and is easy to clean.
Already in operation with 40 Krones clients, the company’s cold-aseptic filling technology made its debut at the show. The process uses dry sterilization with hydrogen peroxide that results in moderate-temperature filling of aseptic product in PET for markets such as the United States that do not allow sterilization with peracetic acid for low-acid food.
KHS featured 5,500 square meters of booth space showcasing its broad range of products. It featured a block concept production system consisting of a rinser, filler and capper unit, equipped for a range of bottle sizes from 0.25-liters to 3-liters. Capacities range from 9,000 to 60,000 bottles per hour. Like the Krones system, KHS eliminated the front table and incorporated those components within the filler itself.
The KHS Alfill concept offers microbiological security, maximum flexibility and environmental soundness with aseptic cold filling. Compared with traditional “wet ACF,” the hydrogen peroxide method reduces the amount of clean room space needed.
KHS displayed its Innopack SP 150 Shrink Packer for high-performance processes including cans, PET or glass bottles. In addition, the Innoket SE labeling machines presented a labeling concept with a modular design able to be configured to a variety of labeling stations. The unit can be used for wet glue, adhesive-pressure, hot-melt or roll-fed systems. And the Innoket RFL offers entry-level capacity, with 12,000 containers per hour. Designed as a linear machine, the unit is ideal for integrating into existing bottling lines.
TapTone, North Falmouth, Mass., featured its TapTone 1000 Universal Inspection System and 1000-E Dual Compression Inspection System. The 1000 Universal Inspection System provides complete inspection of containers for physical defects, fill level, leak detection, pressure, vacuum, missing tamper bands and labels, misapplied caps and missing foil seals. Capable of running up to 2,000 containers per minute, it is a cost-effective solution for plastic, metal and glass containers.
The 1000-E is capable of inspecting up to 42,000 containers per hour. With an all-stainless steel design that prevents oxidation and bacterial growth, the system features a contoured design for easy cleaning, an open conveyor for cleaning and access to mechanics, large operator panels for maintenance and all controls combined in one simple controller. The unit is adjustable for container width and height and has a variable-speed conveyor that operates between zero and 65 meters per minute.
Rockwell Automation, based in Milwaukee, showcased a number of manufacturing solutions for beverage plants that optimize operations from start to finish. The company featured tracking and tracing solutions that record product information during each step of production from raw materials to finished product. Manufacturers can monitor and analyze operations for improved quality and efficiency. Scheduling and order management solutions help processors with planning scenarios based on trend analysis and real-time performance characteristics. Beverage companies can better schedule and monitor production orders for on-time delivery and reduced cycle times.
Rockwell works with beverage manufacturers to implement integrated control and information solutions to simplify operations and improve production visibility, intelligence and control, resulting in greater efficiency, reduced waste and operating costs. The company also offers the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture, a multidiscipline control and information architecture for a range of applications. It offers control, visualization, networking and information management capabilities for timely business decisions and improved startup times.
Greenville, S.C.’s Hartness International showcased its GlobalFill technology, which provides a uniquely flexible solution for high volume in a small footprint. With a dual-row design, GlobalFill reduces size as well as rotational speed — for example, the 110 valve model requires less than 40 percent of the space required by conventional 110 valve fillers. The filler operation also is different as it does not raise the bottles to meet the valves but uses 10 individual bowls containing 11 valves each, which are lowered onto the bottles. The individual bowls make it possible to fill multiple flavors simultaneously, and the dual rows can fill two bottle sizes simultaneously, provided each has the same height and neck finish.
The company also featured its Top GripVeyor conveyor system designed to move empty plastic bottles at speeds up to 350 feet per minute while gripping the bottles by the neck. Ideal for empty, unstable, lightweight and difficult-shaped bottles, the conveyor provides a more economical alternative to air conveyors. In addition, the company offers the Bottom GripVeyor for an innovative, yet simple design that features fewer controls and guard rails. An important benefit of the Bottom GripVeyor is that it allows for automatic changeover of lines. Because the conveyor system grips bottles by the base, extensive guide rail systems are not needed, and the conveyor automatically adjusts to a wide variety of bases.
Anton Paar, Gratz, Austria, featured the new SPRn 4115L 2T with spray nozzle, which it says is the perfect tool for measurements in hot wort for beer-making. The cleaning nozzle can be activated to clean the sensor head with hot water or with cleaning agents when no measuring liquid is present. The SPRn 4115L 2T Concentration Analyzer measures the velocity of sound and the temperature of liquids. The measured values are transmitted through a shielded twin core cable to the evaluation units. Temperature compensation and concentration calculation are performed in the evaluation unit. Benefits include correct measurement during flow stop, virtually no influence of pressure, flow rate and viscosity, and it is installed directly in the pipe work for a maintenance-free, long operating lifetime.
Atlantium Ltd., Bet Shemesh, Israel, discussed Atlantium Rayo water disinfection for beverage and dairy applications. Based on UV light, the Atlantium Rayo solution leverages fiber optic principles to overcome the drawbacks of traditional disinfection systems. Its unique design places the UV lamp out of the water, injecting UV light into the water flow so it reaches 100 percent of water-borne microbes. The company said it is so powerful, it can be used as a replacement for chlorine-based systems and water pasteurizers, or in combination with traditional systems.
Pursuit Dynamics plc, headquartered in the United Kingdom, offered its PDX Sonic fluid processing system that homogenizes, mixes, heats and pumps simultaneously. PDX can be used to transport fluids with high solids content, entrain different materials, heat ingredients or blend recipes. Its driving force is a supersonic vapor flow and shockwave generated by steam. The system has no moving parts and can be cleaned in place.
Vacuum Barrier Corp. displayed the Nitrodose Easy Doser liquid nitrogen injection system, which it says is ideal for developing markets. The system provides dosing for slower capacity lines, and accurately delivers controlled amounts of liquid nitrogen for pressurization or inerting of containers. The dose can be easily adjusted while running, and can be used for limited or full-time production runs. Its slim profile and simple mounting adapts to any filling line.
With an eye toward the environment, Greece’s Frigoglass discussed its alternative refrigeration technology. Working with compressor manufacturers, the company used carbon dioxide for the creation of the FV 650 CO2 cassette model, and is working on validating the use of CO2 in the Easyreach and FVS 1200 models. The company says hydrocarbons are inherently more energy efficient than equivalent systems, and is working to overcome the challenges in regulatory and operational use to create systems that will be more earth-friendly.
Ferrum, based in Rupperswil, Switzerland, showed off its F400 Series Automatic Can Seamers for flexible, modular manufacturing. The series can be configured for three to six seaming stations and speeds range from 60 to 600 cans per minute. It also features a sophisticated sanitation system and increased accuracy for lightweight applications.
Accuflex Industrial Hose, Canton, Mich., focused on its beverage handling products such as Bev-Seal Ultra seamless barrier hose, tubing and cabled beverage bundles; Bevlex hose, tubing and bundles; Bev-Flex super-flexible beverage hoses; and Bev-Steel wire-reinforced barrier beverage hoses. The products are designed to allow quick flavor changes that prevent even the strongest flavors from carrying over from one beverage to another. The Bev-Seal Ultra, for example, features the company’s exclusive Dual-Barrier system, with an ultra smooth inner surface for permeation resistance to prevent off-flavors and carry-over flavors.
At the SIPA booth, attendees were able to view the company’s new Model SFL4 and SFL6 linear blowmolders. The servo-driven machines offer low maintenance and low-energy use, as well as a compact footprint. They also offer low-cost and short start-up times.
Tetra Laval used the Drinktec opportunity to discuss its acquisition of SIG Simonazzi. The company said the move will better position its Sidel group to respond to needs in the beverage filling segment. In addition, Sidel featured its SBO Compact blowing machine, designed for output less than 7,000 bottles per hour, for entry-level use. The Compact features a linear architecture that consolidates functions, while remaining faithful to the concepts of the SBO line.
It also featured the Sidel Combi, designed to blow, fill and cap PET bottles. The company says the new model cuts bottling costs and improves hygiene for packaging still water. Blowing rates for the new Combi have increased to 1,800 bottles per hour per station and the unit offers faster changeover times. BI