Krones has announced the redesign of its cold-aseptic filling lines in an attempt to simplify handling for the users while retaining the same level of microbiological safety.
Krones will be exhibiting the new isolator technology at the Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, which begins on 8 April 2003. The company's PET-Asept process permits sterile beverage bottling to a high standard of technological advancement.
The PET-Asept system comprises a steriliser, a rinser, a filler and a capper, which are linked together in a BLOC configuration by neck-handling starwheels. In the new version, the company says that the cleanroom has been reduced to the absolute minimum, thus rendering the overall package more affordable. Now only the bottle path runs inside what is called an isolator, meticulously sealed off from the surrounding air as a leak-proof compartment. HEPA filters remove the germs from the intake air, thus producing a sterile atmosphere inside the isolator.
Since premiering its reduced cleanroom size featuring isolator technology, Krones has already completed three orders for the design-enhanced PET-Asept process at producers in Germany, Switzerland and China. The company says that a total of 10 of its cold-aseptic filling systems are operating successfully, or are in the commissioning phase.
With a modular concept, which permits a combination of cold-glue and pressure-sensitive labelling plus hotmelt reel-fed labelling, the equipment is now meeting the industry's requirements for maximised flexibility. The labellers from the Solomodule, Topmodule and Multimodule series are configured from individual assemblies under a modularised system.
Using the 'Plug & Label' principle, the APS 2 label applicators for pressure-sensitive labelling, plus the cold-glue and hotmelt applicators, can be easily replaced on these machines. This design significantly cuts make-ready times and facilitates handling-part change-over. Service and maintenance costs are reduced as well.
Sleeve-labelling of glass, PET and other plastic containers is said to be a popular option. The Sleevematic AF and DS labellers developed by Krones are fully automatic rotary machines for dressing glass or plastic containers in sleeves. The Sleevematic AF on show at the Anuga FoodTec handles stretchable sleeve films which after being fitted mould themselves to the bottle's contours. These stretch sleeves are particularly well suited for dressing PET containers: the flexible films compensate for the expansion of the bottle after it has been filled or the bottle has been opened they remain moulded to it.
Flash pasteuriser systems for beverage filling have been part of the Krones Group's product portfolio for a year now. Its subsidiary Anton Steinecker Maschinenfabrik, known as a producer of innovative brewing equipment and technology, produces the flash pasteurisers for all types of beverage.
The newly developed control system for the flash pasteuriser ensures precise compliance with the individually settable pasteurisation units even when the filler's output fluctuates. For this purpose, the programme regulates the throughflow and the product temperature to suit the quantity taken from the filler. The unit can also cope with pauses in filling. Depending on the product requirements involved, either tube or plate heat exchangers are used.