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“Distinctively special”

We’ve just happened upon an issue of the 2/17 magazine. And there we found loads of interesting articles: like a report on the Belgian specialty brewery De Brabandere. And because we immediately started browsing, we want to share this rediscovery with others. Here, however, there’s space for only a brief summary; there’s more about the subject on the magazine article.

Taste, passion and pride – these three attributes encapsulate the mission statement of the privately-owned De Brabandere Brouwerij from Belgium, which at the beginning of February 2017 commissioned a new bottling line from Krones; and this line is something “distinctively special” for Yves Benoit, the Brewmaster and Automation Manager at De Brabandere.

It’s two things above all that make it into something rather special: firstly, with its hourly output of 35,000 bottles, it replaces two older low-speed Krones lines at a stroke. And secondly, the integrated Varioline is instrumental in successfully coping with the brewery’s high level of pack diversity – on just a single line, mind you. For De Brabandere, it’s imperative to be able to choose among a huge number of different packaging options for its exports, in particular, which account for around half of its 180,000-hectolitre sales. The USA, the Netherlands and France are right at the top of the list here. “In the future, thanks to this line, we shall again be in a position to fill more special private labels, the way we used to in our early days,” says Yves Benoit. It looks as if he could very well be right, because the new line has made many things a whole lot easier.

As the brewmaster explains: “The line enables us

– to fill the containers while they’re still warm. This means the bottles stay dry, can be more accurately labelled, and packed directly into cartons;

– to achieve a better bottling quality by reducing oxygen pick-up;

– to enhance fill-level accuracy;

– to automatically reject foreign bottles;

– to reduce staffing levels, and above all

– to upgrade flexibility, for end-of-the-line packaging in particular.”


Maximised flexibility

It’s not just the packaging system, though, but the entire line that now gives De Brabandere a significantly higher degree of flexibility in its production operation: hitherto, the cold-filled bottles were packed exclusively in crates, because they were still too moist for cartons. The crates were then taken to repacking stations where employees repacked the bottles into cartons by hand – quite a laborious job.

Now Krones has installed a flash pasteuriser that prewarms the beer to 16 degrees Celsius. The downstream filler has been designed so as to ensure it can cope with the concomitantly higher filling pressure, of five to six bar. After filling, three concatenated Linadry machines make sure that the bottles are absolutely dry before they are labelled and then packed into cartons. In this way, the work sequences involved have been substantially simplified and speeded up, with the quality of packing being significantly enhanced into the bargain. And yet another of the new line’s beneficial side-effects is this: the 750-millilitre bottles with champagne cork that the brewery uses for special editions, and which had hitherto to be filled in another brewery, can now be handled in-house.


And so that you get all the magazine articles delivered hot off the printing press to your home in the future, it’s also worthwhile subscribing to the magazine here: www.krones.com/en/press/krones-magazine-subscription-service.php?countryCode=de

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