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The Craftmate scores a bulls’-eye

In the autumn of 2015, the Craftmate was premiered at the BrauBeviale. And a look at the sales figures confirms that the can filler has already made lots of friends in the craft-brewing scene. 50 machines in three short years bear eloquent witness: Krones has scored a veritable bull’s-eye with the Craftmate.

The craft beer industry is booming. Krones took this trend on board at a very early stage, and with the development and market launch of the Craftmate closed a gap in the existing portfolio. Because the can filler – as its name implies – has been developed for craft brewers who though they produce relatively small batches nonetheless attach great importance to quality.

And it was precisely their needs that were Krones’ primary focus in developing the Craftmate: for example, the machine of course incorporates all the features that in its “grown-up siblings” assure maximised filling accuracy and quality. They include a volumetric flow meter for automatically adjusting the fill volume, or also simple, stepless regulation of the CO2 flushing quantity, which minimises oxygen pick-up. In some points, by contrast, the new design has been made deliberately simpler than Krones’ previous can fillers. For instance, the CIP cups are inserted manually for cleaning routines, and measuring instruments for CO2 consumption and product flow rate can be optionally integrated. For canners, this means: field-proven Krones technology for low output ranges as well – and at an affordable price.

Not only for beer

The Craftmate now expands the filler portfolio to cover the output range between 4,800 and 19,200 cans per hour, and is thus the ideal machine for all craft brewers who want to fill their beers in cans while maintaining maximised standards of quality and hygiene. And whereas at its market launch the Craftmate specialised exclusively in beer, the product portfolio has meanwhile been expanded. CSDs can be canned as well, for example, and one client in Azerbaijan is already using a Craftmate for energy drinks and sweet beverages.

Word quickly got around in the craft-brewing scene of the Craftmate’s advantages, and the little can filler’s popularity is still growing, as evidenced by a look at the sales figures: when it was unveiled at the Brau Beviale 2015, the machine was greeted with keen interest, and by the end of 2016 Krones had already delivered 18 units. Demand is still very buoyant; the Craftmate is particularly coveted in the USA. More than half of all machines have so far gone to North America, but the can filler has also found adherents in Asia or South America.

The 50th machine is destined for Sweden

The Craftmate is now celebrating a golden jubilee: this autumn, the 50th machine is setting off to Scandinavia, or to be more precise to Gothenburg, where the Stigbergets Bryggeri has been an active player on Sweden’s craft beer market for what is meanwhile five years, and has made an enviable name for itself. On an online rating platform, its IPA placed 8th in the global rankings, directly behind seven American breweries. Unsurprisingly, given such buoyant demand, the production capacity has to be correspondingly upsized.

By reason of the good price/performance ratio and the short delivery time of less than six months, the client opted for a can filler from Krones. “We want our craft beer to rank among the hoppiest and most qualitatively excellent in Europe – so the only thing that makes sense for us is also to opt for the best filling solution available on the market. The state-of-the-art can filler from Krones will definitely be one of the cornerstones underpinning our quality commitment as we fast-forward our status from a small microbrewery to one of the major Scandinavian craft breweries. And we can hardly wait to finally get started,” says an enthusiastic Nils Hultkrantz, founder and proprietor of the Stigbergets Bryggeri.

However, this is not only a premiere for Stigbergets, but for Krones as well: because the Craftmate in question is firstly Machine Number 50, and secondly it’s also the first of its type in Sweden.

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