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    Consummately coveted: Voss water
    Consummately coveted: Voss water

      Voss originally flourished with the glass bottle. Now the water is conquering the markets in PET bottles as well. For this purpose, the firm commissioned a new higher-performance PET line from Krones.

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      Exceptionally pure water: Ole Christian Sandberg and Christopher Harlem found it in Vatnestrøm near Iveland. Here, in 2000, they bought a small bottling plant. The water from this spring scores highly in terms of its unusually low content of organic and inorganic constituents (total dissolved solids/TDS), so it’s particularly pure.

      Roy Kristensen, nowadays responsible for the spring and the laboratory, was Number Three in the team, and thus involved right from the start. “In the first year, we filled just 500,000 glass bottles on a small 35-year-old line,” he recalls.

      PET containers for the on-the-go markets

      At the same time, the company began to bottle Voss in PET containers as well, so as to improve its capacity to meet the demand for the on-the-go markets. “As with the glass bottles, we also printed on the PET containers ourselves for three years with a screen printing machine, although the machinery manufacturer concerned basically thought it was impossible,” recalls Roy Kristensen. A concept that paid off – because only three years later total sales had already reached 25 million fills.  


      Glass bottles printed on in-house

      Today, Voss packages its water in roughly equal proportions in PET and glass bottles. The latter come in two sizes, 375 and 800 millilitres, which are filled with still and carbonated water, plus flavoured water. For this purpose, the firm uses a line rated at 25,000 bottles per hour, which is run in three shifts. One special feature is that the glass bottles are decorated using two screen printing machines.

      The line is composed of various pre-owned machines from different vendors chosen by the company itself. In order to modernise it gradually, in early 2018 Voss had Krones install both a Linatronic empty-bottle inspector and an Autocol labeller for dressing the flavoured-water containers in pressure-sensitive labels. “For filling the glass bottles, too, we want to operate with high-quality, efficient machines, which is why here as well we opted for Krones,” says Olaf Grimsmo.

      New PET line from Krones

      Voss offers water in three sizes of PET container: 330, 500 and 850 millilitres. Absolutely the most popular container size is the 500-millilitre bottle. Because the existing PET line, rated at a mere 12,000 containers per hour, was no longer able to meet the demand, Voss replaced it in 2016 by a new complete line from Krones with a capacity of 40,800 containers per hour. This line is at present used exclusively for bottling still water – with an option for filling carbonated beverages later, which is why a Contiflow mixer has already been installed. This would be conditional, however, upon a newly designed neck finish, suitable for bottling carbonated beverages.


      Krones supplied the new PET line as a turnkey job. It includes:


      The block in the cleanroom provides us with the particularly important level of microbiological safety we need.

      Olaf Grimsmo


      “The major challenge involved in bottling is the closure. From a marketing point of view, of course, it complements the bottle ideally, but technically it’s difficult to handle, because it’s very smooth and slippery,” says Torfinn Mykjaaland, PET Production Manager. “We have to generate sufficient traction on the closure, and that functions well with the capper Krones chose.”

      Flexible packaging options

      In order to have maximised flexibility in terms of packaging, enabling Voss to meet the most disparate market requirements, a multipacker has been installed in addition to the Variopac Pro WTS. This multipacker creates four- or six-packs, which in turn the Variopac Pro WTS makes into 24-bottle packs on trays or shrinkpacks. And it places individual bottles in wrap-around cartons.

      “We wanted top-class technology, and that’s what we got from Krones,” explains Plant Manager Olaf Grimsmo. “We run the line in two shifts, so we also have capacities for a possible third shift.” And this option is valuable, since Voss aims to progress its vigorous growth in the future as well.

      Selected machines and solutions