For three years now, Terra Foods has had an orange-juice-based health drink called “Qmin-C” in its portfolio, in several varieties, including curcumin, ginger with honey, and finger root with honey. All three of these ingredients come from the ginger family and are said to offer health benefits. Qmin-C is sold in 0.15-liter glass bottles and is wildly popular in Thailand. The drink is produced in the company’s plant in Nakhon Ratchasima, some 200 kilometers north of Bangkok. Until now, filling was done on a small line from a local manufacturer. Terra Foods approached Krones to see about modernizing this process.
With the new non-returnables line from Krones, the Thai company Terra Foods is gaining a great deal of flexibility when it comes to filling, labeling, and packaging its health drinks. The beverages, which come in a variety of flavors, are filled into glass and aluminum bottles and will soon be available for sale internationally.
Besides high-quality filling, flexibility was a crucial specification for the line – and Krones’ portfolio is designed to provide just that. With the health and wellness market booming, the company plans to offer its health drinks in various bottle sizes and types in the future. For example, Qmin-C will be filled not only into glass but also aluminum bottles. The glass bottles will be sold on the local market while the aluminum ones will be exported. Australia, Europe, and the US are markets of special interest for the Thai beverage maker.
Flexible – now and in the future
Terra Foods was impressed with Krones’ technology and placed the order for a non-returnables line in June 2021. The line features outstanding flexibility: The Modulfill HRS is able to hot-fill the drinks into glass bottles or cold-fill them into aluminum. The LinaFlex pasteurizer likewise works for both filling types, as a pasteurizer for one and a warmer for the other. The highly efficient VapoChill cooling tower delivers the cooling energy needed for cooling the pasteurizer (see box).
The customer has full flexibility for labeling and packing as well, with the ability to run sleeves, wrap-around, pressure-sensitive, and/or cold-glue labels. With the Variopac Pro W, the bottles can then be packed into wrap-around cartons holding 4 to 10 bottles each. The Variopac Pro FS, on the other hand, first wraps the collated bottles in film and then places them in wrap-around cartons.
Double the filling capacity
Erection of the new line on site began in June of this year, and production started in August 2022. “Thanks to their wealth of experience and comprehensive knowledge in the food and beverage industry, Krones has delivered outstanding technical solutions and ensured excellent project coordination and implementation on site,” says Thanthit Yuenyongtechahiran, Managing Director at Terra Foods. “We will certainly reach out to Krones again when it comes time for future projects.”
Krones demonstrated an exceptional level of professionalism throughout the entire project. Thanthit YuenyongtechahiranManaging Director of Terra Foods
The new line doubles the plant’s capacity: Instead of 18,000, the new line will fill 36,000 bottles per hour. Then, Qmin-C will also be available to health-conscious consumers outside Thailand.