It’s hard to believe that it’s been another four years and that another drinktec has come and gone. The world’s largest trade fair for beverage and liquid food attracted 66,886 visitors—a 14 percent increase the organizers report—from a record 183 countries to the Munich Trade Fair to experience the latest technical innovations designed for the market from about 1,500 exhibitors from around the world. Here’s a snapshot of some of the production- and packing-oriented technology solutions that were on display throughout the exhibit halls.
Drinktec served as the coming-out party for Gebo Cermex to the global beverage market.
April 2013 saw the launch of a new giant in packaging line engineering with the merger of the Gebo and Cermex brands. The new company marks the return of the Gebo brand, an iconic name in the field of conveying and material handling. Cermex has been long known for expertise in overwrapping and end-of-line equipment for fast-moving consumer goods.
President Marc Aury explained the logic of uniting the two brands:
“In creating Gebo Cermex, our goal was to draw on our prestigious past in order to shape the future of our industry…Our industry gets more complex by the day, and we recognized the need for a brand capable of inspiring confidence.”
Aury told Beverage World that the company will focus on three broad themes:
Audit: “For example, we may view a situation [at a client or prospective client] and recommend that it would be more effective to refurbish existing lines than it would be to build a new plant,” Aury said.
Design: “We have the flexibility to make the right design decisions that strive to reduce overall operating costs for the customer, not to necessarily be the low-cost producer [for a project installation],” Aury said.
Performance: Aury said Gebo Cermex recognizes the need to be there for customers once the line is commissioned to ensure that the line is always running optimally. Speed was the theme in end-of-line solutions on display by Gebo Cermex at drinktec.
The EvoFlex case palletizer has the capability of handling all types of products and secondary packaging, and turning out pallets at up to 12 layers per minute, Aury said. The VersaFilm family of seamless shrink wrappers has been upgraded to offer better handling at high speeds and improved pack quality with multi-lane applications. The machine displayed at drinktec showed a new vacuum infeed table with automatic reel changeover and multi-channel shrink tunnel with engineering that produces higher quality film shrinkage. gebocermex.com
GEA Brewery Systems presented its new Huppmann brewhouse Craft-Star for artisan craft breweries for the first time. GEA Brewery Systems exhibited the skid-mounted brew system in a two-vessel configuration with mash/lauter tun and whirlpool/wort kettle, designed for a flexible batch size from 20 to 35 bbl (25 to 40 hl) hot wort and ready for single-step infusion mashing.
The company also presented the Hopstar Iso equipment, characterized by the efficient and sustainable use of hops, especially the alpha acids. GEA says the equipment can help brewers reduce hop dosing by 30 percent, enabling an operation to easily determine how far its annual purchasing costs for hops will be reduced. geabrewery.com
Air Control Industries showed its DRI-Line Series, a range of blower-driven drying systems designed specifically for the food and beverage applications. The system is flexible, allowing for drying all materials and configurations: glass, PET, cans, pouches and kegs. www.aircontrolindustries.com
Engineering & Automation
Europool, the Italy-based company that specializes in engineering and automation solutions for bottling plants, showed a new Aculine accumulation system for irregular-shaped packages such as aseptic boxes. The Europool product range also includes dryers, warmers, coolers and pasteurization tunnels. www.europool.biz
Strap, not Wrap
Krones showcased its new EvoLite Bloc, synchronizing its EvoLite pack strapping machine with the Robobox pack grouping station and the new Modulpal Pro 1AD palletizer. Any nonconforming packs are removed from the flow by a new rejection unit located at the transition to the Robobox. Electronic digital displays visually simplify any change-over to a different type of pack. The EvoLite Bloc is made up of three components:
The EvoLite pack strapper produces packs with an integrated carrying handle for maximized resource-economy. As compared with shrink-wrapped packs, producing a LitePac of six plastic bottles offers potential savings in terms of both packaging material and energy. The Robobox is a compact, flexible functional unit for grouping of packs of non-returnables, while the Modulpal Pro 1AD non-returnables palletizer has been designed for top speeds of 500 layers an hour with a low-level infeed. krones.com
CPemerge is a secondary packaging machine from MWV that is medium-speed, flexible, and, the company contends, a more financially viable option for brands in emerging markets as they develop their multipack strategy. With its limited footprint, it’s designed to be integrated easily into any beverage and dairy line. It is capable of running a variety of primary containers such as cans, bottles, and cups. It also incorporates servo technology, which improves precision and eliminates speed-limiting mechanical parts. Meadwestvaco.com
Turnkey Brewing Partner
Ziemann showcased its turnkey brewery plant solutions and offered four steps to a complete brewing operation:
Feasibility study: Ziemann’s study reveals all the options within the scope of a brewer’s specified requirements: beer types, recipes, volumes, engineering, product design in the Ziemann Technology Center and marketing consultation services.
Financial planning: Ziemann assists clients in organizing a solid finance plan and audits the costs at each stage to help ensure a rapid ROI.
Engineering & design: The company says it helps plan the production plant down to the last detail, from each vessel to each door and transport route.
Implementation: That includes automation, staff training and start up. The company then provides ongoing technical service. ziemann.com
Stretching the Limits
The Beumer Stretch Hood series covers and wraps beverages stacked on pallets quickly using a protective stretch hood and packs them into stable loading units. The combination of vertical and horizontal film contracting forces, Beumer says, ensures maximum load stability. The process and the flexible film are coordinated to ensure that even products with sharp edges can be packed on pallets for safe transport, every time. This enables the palletized goods to be well protected for warehousing, safely loaded and transported, in summer and winter alike, and in all weather conditions. beumergroup.com
Getting in Shape
The Belvac Shaper is designed for aluminum containers that require vertical sidewall shaping and need to be finished as a can. The machine shapes the sidewall of the container up to 20 mm from the top edge and within 16 mm of the can outside dimension at the top of the chime profile.
“This particular system levered off our existing technology in can necking and employs very similar processes to what we’ve done in the past,” Belvac Production Machinery president Rick Steigerwald told Beverage World. “We can go deeper into the container, we can create more deformation for the container. We could truly make a container that will attract brand owners.”
Anheuser-Busch invested in Belvac’s technology to produce the bowtie-shaped can it unveiled earlier this year. Belvac.com
A Different Tack
Under a veil of secrecy KHS showcased a solution called Nature Multi-Pack or NMP, a system that binds bottles or cans together with a proprietary adhesive that’s sturdy enough to keep the containers together as a multipack with no need for external shrink-wrapping, rings or binding—enhancing the system’s sustainability profile. And once the bottles or cans are pulled apart, there is no residual tack from the adhesive. The company plans to first launch it as a PET solution in the first or second quarter of 2014 and will follow that up to perform the same function on cans. khs.com
ITW Global Packaging Solutions for the first time showed its entire platform of production, packaging and warehouse solutions including ITW Warehouse Automation, Hartness, Meurer, Mima and Haloila. Demos included the Storfast automated storage and retrieval system that operates with carts instead of cranes, which makes the solution applicable to warehouse retrofits, and a functioning “DYNAC-centric” accumulation system that allows for pressure-less system that regulates the flow of bottles so that regardless of what happens downstream the filler will continue at a steady pace. www.itwpackagingsolutions.com
Rexroth Pneumatics provides pneumatic components for all areas of the industry, even for wash-down and splash zone applications. The Clean Line CL03 features a joint- and gap-free cover made of high-performance plastic that resists a wide range of chemicals. Its mechanical strength, the company says, fulfills the highest demands while the direct connection to all common fieldbuses reduces wiring efforts. Its protection class allows it to be placed close to the actuators, reducing tubing lengths, decreasing dead volumes, and lowering compressed air consumption—contributing to more energy efficiency in modern systems. rexrothpneumatics.com
Crosspure from BASF enables brewers to filter and stabilize their products in one step. Clouding agents like yeast, complexes consisting of proteins and tanning agents are effectively removed. Crosspure is a regenerable, sustainable solution, BASF says, resulting in crystal clear beverages basf.com
The tribology experts from Klüber Lubrication showcased the comprehensive range of combinable services and consulting the company offers beverage producers under the KlüberEfficiencySupport umbrella. Those not only contribute to increased food safety, but also reduce wear and increase production efficiency. The automated metering system Klübermatic ensures precise lubrication of friction points at variable intervals. klueber.com
Radical Waters showcased its patented green Electro Chemical Activation (ECA) technology, used in beverage production. ECA solutions are created by mixing readily available food-grade salt with water, passing the brine solution through the company’s patented reactor. Once the brine’s inside the reactor it is activated by way of electrical charge, producing two solutions: anolyte, used as a disinfectant and catholyte, used as a detergent. ECA tech has secured FDA and EU approval for use in beverage and food applications. Radicalwaters.com
‘Enjoy completeness’ is the slogan for Sacmi’s turnkey plant solution, which integrates cap production (CCM 48SC) and preform production (IPS 220B) with the bottling line (Combo EWE 10/15/15 + FORMSLEEVE+) via a highly automated dynamic buffer (CPB LINK), all within the scope of a wider energy-saving program (HERO). For the very first time, visitors at drinktec were able to have a direct look at the entire production line in action, starting with cap and preform production. With Sacmi CPB LINK, storage and subsequent feed of caps and preforms to the bottling section become part of a single process, fully automated and smoothly integrated. sacmi.com
Zanasi launched globally the Z640Plus case coder, which features a double headed connection that allows for simultaneous and independent coding on porous and non-porous packaging substrates, such as coated corrugated and shrink wrap, on two separate production lines. www.zanasi-coding.com