At journey’s end: the Krones Experts’ Lounge
The journey of the sensitive souls continues, and finally comes to an end. After yesterday’s focus on beverage quality in the production process, today our experts reported on the next step: the keynote theme was “Filling sensitive products”, and two of our specialists each tackled two different subjects, covering the last stages of the path travelled by the sensitive juices and fruit chunks: the final spurt into the bottle, the can or whatever the preferred container is.
“Preferred container” was one of the keywords employed by Product Manager Thomas Schuhbeck. In his presentation on the Viscofill product family, he explained, for instance, that the combination options for containers and products in this system leave almost nothing to be desired. But that is far from being all that we and the many listeners learned from Thomas Schuhbeck’s contribution. He focused particularly on the client’s needs and requirements, making it clear that Krones has taken these fully on board. Besides the impressive flexibility, accurate dosing of the products, the field-proven quality of the kit, and the system’s optimised CIP cleaning processes also play a role here. There’s another plus too: the systems are individually customised to suit the client’s own particular needs, which means they can be integrated into an enormous range of different production facilities. Thomas Schuhbeck used overview graphics to explain which of the three different models is suitable for what type of product: jams, for example, are handled by a different model from that used for pet-food – other foods, however, can be filled without any problems using the same type of valve. Thomas Schuhbeck then provided an informative summary of the technical data for the V, S and H types; the relevant details can be found in his Presentation. Following a summarised exposition of the advantages offered by the Viscofill systems, Thomas Schuhbeck left plenty of time à for some lively discussion between the visitors to the Experts’ Lounge.
Time for a short break, and then Fabian Schneider took the stage in the Krones Experts’ Lounge. His focus was less on the foods themselves than on the containers involved. In the shape of the Contiform AseptBloc, he spotlighted Krones’ latest innovation in the field of aseptic beverage filling. He, too, began by summarising the clients’ wishes Krones has responsively identified: to fill demanding, sensitive products efficiently and as affordably as possible, while maintaining a consistently high level of quality – that’s the shared goal of the beverage producers and of Krones’ development people. And that’s precisely what the Contiform AseptBloc makes possible. Because now the aseptic treatment starts one step earlier: from preform sterilisation onwards, the blow module, the filler and the capper are now aseptically concatenated with a minimised number of interfaces. Fabian Schneider presented the technical idiosyncrasies of the individual steps involved, and then summarised the system’s advantages. Besides the sensational sterile production conditions, the Contiform AseptBloc also scores highly in terms of its efficacy, its ecological efficiency, and its user-friendliness.
After the lunch break, Fabian Schneider welcomed some new guests to the Krones Experts’ Lounge. This presentation focused on the Double Filling Valve for aseptic particle filling. As the name indicates, the valve operates with two separate flows. One of them is the actual product, i.e. the fruit juice, while the second flow contains the fruit chunks with maximum dimensions of 8 x 8 x 8 mm. Thanks to this separation, it is possible to pasteurise the two constituents individually to suit the particular product concerned, and only to merge them during the actual filling process. This means that both the juice and the fruit chunks can be treated to optimum effect. The Double Filling Valve not only mingles the two flows, it also enables the system to be run with two different flow velocities and thus doses the correct quantities specified. Fabian Schneider also explained that the valve can be integrated into different aseptic bottling lines, and scores highly with other advantages as well, such as a relatively small maintenance outlay.
It was then the turn of Thomas Schuhbeck, who concluded the long day in the Krones Experts’ Lounge with his second presentation. He, too, spotlighted a system for hot-filling that handles the fruit chunks and the juice separately. The fruit chunks are dosed beforehand, and enter the empty bottle first, while the juice itself is added later. It is first heated up and then enters the bottle while still hot. The sensitive chunks are thus treated gently, and retain their colour, shape, and structure. Before the hot juice is then passed into the bottle, weighing cells again check the quantity of the fruit mass already inside it. Only when everything is really correct will the Modulfill filler allow the juice to top up the bottle. In conclusion, Thomas Schuhbeck emphasised the financial advantages of the FlexiFruit system: minimised damage to the fruit chunks enables beverage producers to save on raw materials, and thus on capital as well. This combination developed by Krones also offers a complete solution with harmonised software and no interfacing problems.
Tomorrow will soon be upon us: the last day of the Anuga FoodTec! But we do, of course, have an exciting presentation on the programme. At 10 a.m., Florian Angerer will be spotlighting the innovative Proportional Flow Regulator before we all then set off for home.