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    Expertise for producing and filling large-sized PET containers

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    It’s a perfect example of the successful division of labor within the group: While Krones focuses its stretch blow moulding and filling technology primarily on traditional PET containers for everyday beverage consumption, the subsidiary Kosme covers the jumbo version: that is, large-sized containers for water, beer, and edible oils as well as for the household products and chemical industry.

    When exactly is a PET container deemed “large-sized”? If you’re looking for a clear dividing line, then the answer is five litres. Containers with this or greater volume are generally considered bulk containers. The water industry is a typical application for them: In many countries, for instance those with high daytime temperatures or insufficient drinking-water quality, large-sized PET containers are available in supermarkets. Elsewhere, they’re commonly seen atop the water cooler in office workplaces and doctors’ practices.

    Big customers and companies are the primary target group for large-sized containers: In the food service industry, edible oils and cleaning agents are often purchased in ten- or twelve-litre canisters. But the household products and chemical industry also manufactures large containers for household use, such as windshield wiper fluid for cars.
    And if we go even bigger, the beer sector also belongs on the list. Beer in PET? Yes. Because for shipping and logistical reasons, beer used in the food service industry in some countries is filled in plastic kegs with a volume of up to 20 litres.

    Large PET containers are especially popular in the water industry.

    Kosme is a specialist for large-sized containers

    The examples above make it clear that, as with standard containers, the target groups for large-sized containers are just as diverse as are the shapes and sizes of the containers themselves. And since there are many particularities and specifications to be borne in mind, it’s only logical to have experts who specialise in precisely this container category. Within the Krones Group, those experts are the Kosme teams. 

    “Teams” in plural because Kosme has two offices: One in Sollenau, Austria, where stretch blow moulders for large-sized containers are developed, and one in Roverbella, Italy, where the matching fillers and block solutions are built. And the machinery portfolio is every bit as diverse as the containers produced on them.

    KSB XRG: New rotary machine series for large-sized containers

    For years now, Kosme Austria has been developing and manufacturing stretch blow moulders for large-sized containers – typically in a linear configuration, as Gerald Weber of the site’s sales team explains: “We’ve been in the PET business of big containers for a very long time now and we have seen a trend on the market for water bottles in the range of four to five gallons at a production speed which is perfectly in line with our linear-machine portfolio. A second trend is now booming for containers up to eleven litres at production speeds that require rotary blow-moulding technology.“

    And now, Kosme is expanding its portfolio, adding another stretch blow moulder model for large-sized containers: The KSB XR was already available for standard containers up to 3.8 litres. The new XRG makes it possible to produce containers with a volume of up to ten litres – on a rotary machine. “In cooperation with Krones, we have developed a new state-of-the-art blowing station featuring a servo-controlled opening-and-closing mechanism for the moulds,” explains Gerald Weber.

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    The new KSB XRG series adds to Kosme’s portfolio of rotary machines and makes it possible to stretch blow mould containers with volumes up to ten litres.

    The XRG model is available with four, six, and eight cavities – depending on the container size – for machine speeds of 4,800 and 9,600 containers per hour.
    The blowing stations are based on the Krones Contiform 3 model, which has proven itself on the market for more than ten years now. But other aspects of the machine design also score highly, with numerous features:

    • The latest-generation heater module and ultra-efficient ceramic reflectors keep energy consumption during production low. 
    • Servo drives ensure gentle handling of preforms and containers and reduce the number of wear parts.
    • And thanks to quick-change mechanisms for the preform holders and moulding cavities, these pieces can be changed over fast, with just a few manipulations.

    The KSB XRG – like the XR model for standard containers – is available from Kosme either as a stand-alone machine or in a block with a filler and labeller. 

    3Bloc Linear: Block solution for containers up to 20 litres

    This 3Bloc made its debut at the drinktec 2017. And now, five years later, it’s making its second coup: It is now available as an inline machine combination consisting of a KSB Linear stretch blow moulder, a Volufill filler, and a Sensicol Linear label.

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    The 3Bloc Linear will make its debut at the drinktec 2022: It can handle large-sized PET containers up to 20 litres in volume – from stretch blow moulding to labelling, on a single unit.

    “Our decision to develop the 3Bloc Linear solution addresses the increasing calls of our customers for compact and sustainable solutions,” explains Flavio Salvadori, Head of Sales at Kosme Italy. There’s also a version designed for handling returnable PET containers, which features a rinser in the place of the stretch blow moulder.
    The 3Bloc Linear is another excellent example of Kosme’s expertise for large-sized containers: The block can handle five, ten, or 20-litre containers. The three-machine combination offers many benefits:

    • Compact footprint: The total floorspace required is just 10 x 40 meters.
    • Sustainable production conditions: Since no rinser needs to be installed upstream of the filler, water consumption and carbon emissions for production are both reduced. Moreover, lightweight containers can also be handled directly inline.
    • Best hygienic design: Because the blow-moulded containers are immediately filled and capped on the block, the risk of dust or other contamination entering the containers is kept to a minimum.

    The first two complete water lines equipped with the 3Bloc Linear went into operation in early 2022. Kosme expects the technology to yield further growth for the company.

    Krones Contiform BigBottle

    Did you know? Krones also has a stretch blow moulder for big containers, which can produce PET containers up to eight litres in volume. The Contiform BigBottle celebrated its premiere in mid-2021 and is aimed primarily at water bottlers producing drinking water in large-sized containers for household use.

    You will find more detailed information in this article

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