The F1 generation has been designed primarily for volumetric fillers used for filling PET containers, the company said this week. Modular machines are becoming more popular with companies as theyallow quicker changeovers when switching to a different product on the same line or for expanding with increased production.
"This provides advantages in terms of a fundamentally faster response time, upgraded reproducibility, and thus enhanced filling accuracy with simultaneously reduced air consumption,"the company stated. "Hygienic design is the overriding theme of this volumetric PET filler F1, which is especially well suited for bottling still and carbonated soft drinks and mineral watersin PET."
The modularised construction provides options for fitting or removing different closer modules without having to cope with a tabletop, the company said.
The drive does without a front table, while the links between the rinser and the filler, and between the filler and the closer, consist of individual neck-handling starwheels, which in turn aremounted on stainless-steel columns accommodating the individual servodrives.
Each starwheel filler is driven separately, with the drives coupled electronically to each other via a central control system. Together with the servomotors integrated in the columns, thestarwheels constitute self-contained drive units.
"The F1 filler's drive concept, eliminating the front table, needs almost no maintenance, is easy to clean, and promises a lengthy lifetime," the company claims.
The modular system allows processors to expand with production volumes or add new features. The base frame is identical for all screw-cap, aluminium and crown closers.
A similar approach has been adopted with the R1 rinser, which is in modularised, hygienic design. The rinser is linked to the filler using the starwheels.
Krones has also developed a new filling system. When filling carbonated beverages, the bottle was always moved up against the filling valve by means of a lift cylinder.
The F1 adopts the opposite approach. The bottle is transferred by the neck handling starwheel to the filler rigidly at the same height level, with the filling valve descending onto the bottle fromabove. The completely redesigned valve functions with a moving nozzle and stationary bottle suspension.
The new system is made possible with a newly developed swirl insert, which manages without any parts protruding into the bottle, like a filling tube or a vent tube with the corresponding spreaders.
The F1 valve unit imparts a swirl to the liquid being filled, and passes it directly to the inside wall of the bottle, which is metallically sealed without an elastomer seal.
Krones has also developed a new shape for the decentralised filling valve control. In the F1 control is referenced to each filling valve. All pneumatic control functions, together with theassociated three-way valves and the requisite electronics, are grouped together for each station in a block mounted directly at the valve.