Six weeks for erection and commissioning
The first turnkey order for Krones was placed in the summer of 2014. For accommodating the fifth bottling line, a new building was needed, a hall measuring 3,000 square metres, with construction work beginning in late 2014. The line was then delivered in March 2015, and erected and commissioned by Krones within six weeks.
The line begins with a Pressant bulk-glass sweep-off depalletiser, which feeds the non-returnable glass bottles into it. They are then spaced out and transported into a rinser-filler-closer block.
The block is designed for a rating of 18,000 0.75-litre or 25,000 0.2-litre containers per hour. It consists of a Moduljet rinser plus a Modulfill HRS filler with 120 filling valves and a diameter of 4,320 millimetres. A VarioClean cipping system is provided for cleaning the line. The product concerned is fed into the filler via an automatic filtration system, which incorporates a sterile filter and consists of three channels, for sparkling wine, semi-sparkling wine and aromatics. A touch-screen with integrated LDS software for production data acquisition is also mounted at the enclosure.
Four closers one after the other
Also accommodated inside the enclosure for the rinser-filler-closer block are three closers arranged one behind the other: a screw-capper for 28-millimetre screw-caps and long-caps, a polycap closer for sparkling-wine polycorks, with an option for handling top-caps as well, plus a crowner for 26-millimetre and 29-millimetre crowns. Outside the enclosure follows the fourth closer, for handling natural corks.
After this, a first Checkmat inspects the fill level for over- and underfills, plus the presence of a closure. If natural corks or polycorks are being handled, they are secured with a four-wire or two-wire cage in an appropriate applicator, and the fit is monitored by another Checkmat. Once again, a Checkmat with a camera inspects the bottles for missing capsules. Following a buffer section, the closed containers destined for pressure-sensitive-label dress are passed through a Linadry drying tunnel.
“Competition in terms of design and dress”
Now the Multimodul labeller, meanwhile the third one of its type at Herres’ facility, comes into action. It was delivered with a total of six stations (three for cold-glue and three Autocol pressure-sensitive label applicators), can be operated with four stations simultaneously, and is fitted with servo-plates for bottle orientation. This is necessary, for instance, with a new, elaborately preprinted 0.75-litre customised bottle: here an imprint window has been recessed for a small side label, which of course has to be accurately located during the labelling function. “Competition increasingly takes place in terms of design”, explains Marc Herres. “So our decision to opt for the best machines on the market was absolutely the right one, because this means you can also achieve the best dress. Dealer’s brands don’t automatically mean downmarket prices. The retailers want to have dress that’s more attractive than some branded articles. Some of the most aesthetically eye-catching products are in fact retailers’ own brands.”
“We did everything right”
The labeller also features an integrated laser date-coding function. This is followed by another inspection using a Checkmat, which by means of a camera monitors the presence and proper positioning of the label, plus presence and correctness of the date-code. From the single-file transport necessary for this step, the bottles are first of all divided among two lanes through a simply designed covered distributor, and then by guide flaps into a total of four lanes. These four lanes pass the bottles into a Linapac II packer. The cartons required are fed to this Linapac by two Variocart carton erectors. After the bottles have been packed in the dispatch cartons, their flaps are closed and sealed by a Variocol.
“The line started operation really well,” is Horst Meyer’s verdict. And Marc Herres adds: “I was immediately impressed by the filler. It was bottling the product at full speed straight away, although at 15 to 16 degrees Celsius it hadn’t been cooled down much. Each bottle was like the next, there was no foaming, no container was ejected – I hadn’t been expecting that. Afterwards I walked through the hall with a smile on my face, because I knew: we did everything right.”