The new Krones ErgoBloc L, not only provided Harrogate with the capability to quadruple their output, but also created the opportunity for the business to redesign their bottle range and to re-launch the brand. “We wanted to have a bottle which represented our brand, which consumers understood to mean quality. Moreover, we wanted to have a bottle which customers would recognise to be Harrogate water, with or without looking at the label”, explains Marketing Manager Nicky Cain.
Classic, Premium, Unconventional and Authentic – these are the cornerstones under which the new “diamond bottle” for PET and for glass was created in conjunction with the development team at Krones Container Design. Thanks to its full-coverage polishing, it does in fact sparkle, the diamonds catching the light, creating incredible stand-out. A successful marriage of marketing and functionality.
“Rightweighting” instead of lightweighting
The ErgoBloc L technology has also enabled Harrogate to lightweight the bottles, though according to Marketing Manager Nicky Cain it was more of a “right-weighting”. In other words, rather than taking advantage of extreme reductions in material weight, which could possibly compromise the functionality and premium-appeal of the product; the bottles have been sympathetically light-weighted, resulting in some material savings. Following the redesign and introduction of the new diamond PET bottles following commissioning, Harrogate Water Brands took the decision to redesign their glass range, to ensure consistency across the entire Harrogate family. The new “diamond bottle” in glass was launched in autumn 2014 and is produced on the original line. The glass range currently accounts for 20 per cent of total output.
To accommodate the new PET bottling line, Harrogate built an extension measuring 23,000 square feet (2,100 square metres), doubling their existing area. 16,000 square feet (1,500 square metres) of the extension is occupied by the new line itself. “I was obviously aware of Krones’ excellent reputation, it had always been an ambition to install a Krones’ line one day. Their reputation, the multifaceted support they are able to provide, the state-of-the-art technology… ultimately the performance achieved by their machinery… Krones definitely walks the talk”, is James Cain’s firm conviction.
Flagship line featuring all the technological highlights
Harrogate’s Krones line has become a flagship installation, boasting all the technological advancements expected. The line begins at the transition to the warehouse, where the preform infeed and the Capcadeclosure feeds for flatcaps and sportscaps are installed alongside each other. This enables all the raw materials to be easily accessed by fork-lift truck from the adjacent storeroom.
The preforms are then transported at a height of around five metres across the new production hall, until they arrive at the ErgoBloc L. The bloc comprises a Contiform blow-moulding machine, a Prontomodul labeller featuring the new Contiroll station and a Modulfill VFJ filler with 84 filling valves. The ErgoBloc L offers a whole series of advantages inherent in the system: the labelling function has been integrated, which means a further reduction in the buffering sections required. Fewer operators are needed; the monobloc can even be operated by a single employee. The monobloc configuration requires up to 50 per cent less floor space than conventional systems, it needs fewer consumables, material, energy, maintenance, and operates at higher efficiency.
36,000 containers an hour
The ErgoBloc L is supplied from a Contiflow mixer for still, carbonated and flavoured products, and the entire monobloc is cleaned using a VarioClean CIP system. Downstream of the monobloc, an appropriately dimensioned buffering section ensures that the line runs smoothly. The finished containers then arrive at a Variopac Pro TFS, which produces shrink-packs, both with and without trays. A Robobox then prepares the layers, which are placed on the pallets by a Modulpal 2A.
The line has been designed for an output speed of 36,000 containers an hour with reference to the 0.5-litre bottle and for filling both still and carbonated water. It’s also capable of handling 330-millilitre, 750-millilitre, 1,000-millilitre and 1,500-millilitre containers. “We’re an independent, family business and Krones have recognised and respected this. We’re very happy, both with the new line and with our business model”, explains James Cain.