In parallel to this, Kosme installed a can filler rated at 10,800 cans per hour. Here, too, the fill level in the cans is inspected by a Krones Checkmat. The cans are then dried with air, and packed in the cartons. The full cartons are removed from the conveyor by hand. A fork-lift truck takes the full pallets to the ramp only a few metres away, and loads the delivery vehicles directly. The line handles two bottle sizes: a 355-millilitre bottle for the standard range, and a 650-millilitre container for seasonal specialities. While the small bottles and the cans are marketed in six-packs and in 24-size cartons, Red Truck offers the 650-millilitre bottle as individual bottles in 12-size cartons. All glass bottles are non-returnable, but the superlatively organised glass recycling system in British Columbia achieves recycling rates of up to 96 per cent.
Perfect filling quality
“Our decision to choose Krones subsidiary Kosme was based on considerations of quality, service support availability, and the company’s good reputation, all of it, of course, embedded in an acceptable budgetary framework,” explains General Manager Jim Dodds, who after a 15-year spell at one of Canada’s major breweries had already served as General Manager of another craft brewery in Victoria. “All these points were met. Krones is represented throughout the entire industry and that’s going to help us when it comes to service support. Even over the phone, we get rapid-response assistance from Krones. The operating staff, moreover, received on-site training from the installation and commissioning technicians. As far as the quality of the filling function is concerned, we’re achieving very good values with minimal oxygen pick-up and no CO2 losses; the fill level is proving very consistent, there are no problems with the crowner, label application is running smoothly, the packaging quality is great,” emphasises Dodds.
For Head Brewer and Production Manager Justin Vickaryous, Kosme and Krones did a “phenomenal” job with the installation. He, too, can look back on abundant experience at a major Canadian brewery. “This was truly a vertical start-up. The very first run delivered an efficiency of more than 80 per cent,” he says. “Installing the combined line posed fewer problems than the brewhouse. We thought it was going to be the other way round. Our staff learned a lot during the installation: we were enormously impressed by Krones’ installation team.” The combined line was successfully acceptance-tested back in the autumn of 2014.