Special edition: Dry decontamination technology

Krones develops second ever fully dry aseptic machine

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bottle, Oxygen

Krones has launched its second ever fully dry aseptic machine as pressure to reduce water use drives interest in dry sterilization.

The PET-Asept D Compact is an aseptic filler developed for mid-size companies manufacturing low acid products such as milks and certain juices.

Unlike traditional alternatives, the new filler requires no sterile water to operate. Instead, the bottles and the isolator are sterilized with gaseous hydrogen peroxide.

It is only the second complete dry aseptic machine (with dry bottle, cap and isolator sterilization) that Krones has ever developed.

Water scarcity driver

Roland Laumer, R&D team manager at Krones, said the launch comes as dry sterilization becomes increasingly popular. The main reason for this is the increased focus on water use in beverage factories.

“The price of water is rising and the pressure on companies to reduce water use is increasing, especially in places like Spain and North Africa,”​ said Laumer.

Dry decontamination is relatively new to the industry. Krones said it began development of the dry bottle sterilization process in 2003 and installed its first solution two years later. At the same time, the German beverage engineering company developed dry cap sterilisation and then installed its first fully dry system about three years ago.

Krones is not alone in its work on dry sterilisation. Sidel recently announced that it had sold its 50th Predis dry preform decontamination system, which uses hydrogen peroxide to sterilise the inside of preforms. Like Krones, the dairy and beverage technology company emphasizes the environmental and economic benefits of reducing water consumption.

Higher output

Laumer added that as well as saving on water, installing a dry system can help to improve output. This is mainly because in a dry machine it is possible to do the internal and external bottle sterilisation in one chamber and it is not necessary to turn the bottle for water rinsing.

The project leader behind the PET-Asept D Compact claimed the new machine therefore offers a high output level for a compact design.

The machine fits into an area of six by two metres and has an output range of 6,000 to 12,000 containers an hour.

It can be installed as a stand alone component or fitted with a stretch blow molding machine.

Laumer said there is no need to warm up the bottles before they enter the filler as they arrive at the right temperature from the blow molder. This helps to ensure that the machine, which is designed to handle relatively small batches, remains economical.

He added that further cost savings are achievable thanks to the choice of cleaning materials. Instead of needing peracetic acid and foam cleaning products, the machine can be cleaned with caustic and acid.

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