It also features one of Krones’ newest technologies for product changeovers – LineXpress. The quick-change system uses a combination of equipment intelligence and mechanical technology. In PepsiCo’s case, product changeovers, for example from water to tea, can be managed in only 28 minutes, bottle-to-bottle. LineXpress offers various changeover options – either after a defined number of produced containers or after a certain volume of production. While the last containers of the previous article are still being packed, the line is already starting production of the new product.
To help expedite the changeover to a new container type, a robot executes bottle mold changeovers in only ten minutes – a process that previously took closer to an hour. “The blow molder is completely hands off,” says Brian Pinter, maintenance supervisor. “After a short test run, production starts immediately – and it keeps running until it’s time for the next changeover.”
But LineXpress wouldn’t live up to its reputation if the fast product changeover only applied to the blow molder. It also handles packaging changeovers – mostly sizes between 12 and 24-packs or even 32-packs for water.