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    Khmer Beverages


    Khmer Beverages continues to invest – and to choose Krones

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    Cambodia’s leading beer and beverage producer, Khmer Beverages has further expanded its production capacity – once again bringing new filling and process technology from Krones into operation.
    • Khmer Beverages continues to expand its market leadership with the aid of new lines from Krones. Image credits:

      Khmer Beverages

    Khmer Beverages is Cambodia's top producer of beer and other beverages. The 100 percent Cambodian-owned company offers a broad portfolio of products ranging from beer to carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks to packaged water. Despite intense competition and the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic, Khmer Beverages was able to not only defend its position as market leader in Cambodia but even expand it, with new systems from Krones.

    Several turnkey projects with Krones

    The brewery began operations in 2011, with a capacity of 600,000 hectoliters. By 2014, output had more than doubled to 1.3 million hectoliters. The next year, Khmer Beverages decided to change equipment suppliers. It was then that Krones received its first turnkey order from the company – to scale up the plant to 4.2 million hectoliters. The new kit went into operation in 2017.

    The company's flagship product is the beer brand Cambodia, the very most of which is filled into cans. Khmer Beverages also produces Cambodia Water, Wurkz brand energy drinks and IZE soft drinks. This Cambodian-owned company wanted to achieve a level of growth in the CSD, energy drinks, and water markets to match its success in the beer segment – and they did. And that, in turn, necessitated additional capital expenditures in filling and process technology in order to keep up with demand.

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    Besides Cambodia beer brand, Khmer Beverages also produces Cambodia Water, Wurkz brand energy drinks and IZE soft drinks. Image credits:

    Khmer Beverages

    So Khmer Beverages once again partnered with Krones, this time to implement a series of turnkey projects in 2019 and 2020. All of the lines were installed in existing halls. Specifically, Khmer Beverages invested in the following during this time

    • A new 60,000-cph canning line
    • A new 90,000-cph canning line
    • Upgrading an existing glass line
    • Conversion from traditional cardboard boxes to wrap-around cartons
    • A new syrup room

    For all of these capital projects, Khmer Beverages once again prioritized a very high standard of technology.

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    Krones technology also handles the filling of beverages in PET containers, as with this Checkmat inspector. Image credits:

    Khmer Beverages

    Expanding the syrup room

    One part of the order involved upsizing the syrup room, which Krones Izumi Processing of Singapore fulfilled with the following components:

    • New batch mixing station with a downstream Contiflow mixer for producing finished beverages. The new system includes three 30,000-liter tanks for blending energy drinks.
    • Sugar dissolving station: The existing continuous sugar dissolver was retrofitted with a big-bag-handling station to enable increased capacity.
    • CIP system: The existing CIP system was upsized so as to be able to clean the newly added circuits.
    • Automation: The system was fully automated – by way of valves with Evoguard control heads and valve manifolds as well as the Botec F1 process control system.
    • Increased product flexibility: Krones Izumi configured the new system to allow for maximized flexibility. To that end, the concept includes a Contiflow mixer, a VarioFlash pasteurizer, and a Modulfill VFS-C can filler, all of which were supplied by Krones as part of the new canning line. That allows Khmer Beverages to produce CSDs and energy drinks with different properties in a variety of process combinations. For example, the flash pasteurization system is bypassed during production of CSDs but used for energy drinks. The CIP combinations are similarly diverse. And they are all made possible by a customized valve control matrix that is programmed to allow for the subsequent addition of new products.
    • As another unique feature of this project, the scope of the order was optimized to allow us to find a perfect solution for the new syrup room. There were five filling lines in operation at the plant, and the company wanted to use the added capacity to run a number of new ingredients in the new syrup room. But instead of upgrading all five lines, Krones Izumi augmented just one of them to deliver all five ingredients to the new mixing area. That reduced the complexity of the installation overall and made it possible to optimize processes. 

    "The syrup room that Krones delivered is outstanding," explains Peter Leang, President of Khmer Beverages. "In our experience, one of the main advantages of the Krones syrup-room solutions is the precision with which the syrups are mixed. The recipe is very specific, and we are able to achieve the desired result. Another advantage is that the solution from Krones Izumi carries a low risk of production losses. High losses would negatively impact our entire productivity management. In addition, the Krones machines are energy efficient. Overall, we're able to save a lot of energy and minimize waste in our manufacturing process."

    Two new canning lines

    The new 60,000-cph canning line is designed as a combined line for filling beer and CSDs into 250- and 330-milliliter cans. To that end, it includes

    Also in 2019, Khmer Beverages switched its secondary packaging for cans from cardboard boxes to less-costly wrap-around cartons. To accommodate the change, Krones replaced existing machines on three canning lines with four new Variopac Pro W packers.

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    A Modulpal Pro 2AC with external grouping loads the finished packs onto pallets. Image credits:

    Khmer Beverages

    Hygienic, energy efficient, and user-friendly technology

    In 2020, another new canning line was installed, this one rated at 90,000 cans per hour. It is suitable for cold filling carbonated soft drinks as well as for hot filling non-carbonated energy drinks at 88 degrees Celsius. This turnkey system includes

    The order also included the expansion of utilities like cooling and electrical power supply.

    The Modulfill VFS-C can filler is the ultimate example of hygienic yet energy-efficient and user-friendly technology. It features hygienic filling valves, does without a front table, and uses Monotec starwheel columns as well as a greaseless main bearing with automatic oil-circulating lubrication system. Separate gas channels for pressurization and snifting, pneumatic pressing and centering, and the fact that can flushing is done while the can is pressed onto the valve all work together to ensure a more secure and reliable filling process. A flexible pressing-on unit makes it possible to process multiple can sizes without change parts. This and the quick-change handling parts ensure ease of operation. And finally, the use of servo drive technology is a clear advantage when it comes to energy efficiency.

    Premium draft beer from the bottle

    In the same year, Khmer Beverages had an existing non-returnable glass line upgraded to fill premium draft beer in bottles. That involved replacing much of the existing line. The following was added to the line

    The only heat treatment the premium draft beer gets is a gentle pass through the flash pasteurization system. The other beers are pasteurized in an existing tunnel pasteurizer. Palletization is still done manually.

    Khmer Beverages will continue to invest in expanding and upgrading its equipment. And the company has already decided that Krones will continue to play an important role. Plans are in the works to add even more capacity in 2023.

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