Because every minute counts: Krones is turbocharging aseptics

Cleaning and sterilisation phases are indispensable in any beverage line – especially in aseptic applications. But the longer they interrupt production, the more will they affect a line’s efficiency. So what are line operators to do? Do they have to choose between running risks and putting up with long non-productive times? Not at all! The latest Krones aseptic block finally solves this dilemma. How does it do that? With an innovative cleaning concept that catapults line availability levels to new record heights – and simultaneously leaves no room for hygiene risks.

Contipure AseptBloc systems have already been up and running in more than 140 aseptic applications all around the world. Based on the feedback gained from those installations, Krones’ engineers ventured to take the product family to the next technical level by designing a new model, the Contipure AseptBloc DA-P. In line with Krones’ consistent approach, this is a dry-aseptic blow-moulder/filler/closer block for high-acid products (DA: Dry, Acid). The additional “P” marks the difference between the new and previous models. It stands for “Performance” – and has been added for good reason.

New world record for availability

Delivering high levels of availability has always been one of the goals of the Contipure AseptBloc systems. Even in its standard version, the block for high-acid products achieves an uninterrupted production time of 120 hours, a value likewise attained by the P model. However, as far as subsequent cleaning and sterilisation are concerned, the new type moves up a gear or two: instead of the 150 minutes required so far, it needs a mere 90 minutes, not only rendering it a whole hour faster than its Krones cousins but also setting a new record on the market.

The same applies for intermediate sterilisation: Following a manual intervention, the block is ready to be restarted after just 30 minutes. If this intervention is merely a format change-over in the blow-moulder, intermediate sterilisation can even be dispensed with entirely because it is not necessary to access the block’s sterile zone for replacing the moulds. Compared to aseptic applications customary on the market, the Contipure AseptBloc DA-P thus saves 60 minutes of cleaning and sterilisation time from the last to the first bottle, and another 30 minutes with every manual operator intervention. When this is extrapolated to the time saved in a year, 10 to 15 per cent of additional production time can be gained, which can quickly add up to an increased output of several million additional containers.

Market launch after comprehensive field tests

The question remains: How is it possible to achieve such short sterilisation times? By doing entirely without gaseous hydrogen peroxide and using caustic solution for all machine treatment routines. This obviates the need for drying periods that would otherwise be necessary for the hydrogen peroxide to take effect. Krones has here opted for a new approach but one that was chosen with mindful consideration. “The Contipure AseptBloc DA-P is the result of decades of experience gained in our research projects and on the shop floor,” explains Product Manager Philipp Schön. “The concept has had a successful track record in field service since 2019 and meanwhile become a tried-and-tested part of Krones’ aseptics portfolio. Thanks to its very good production performance and the positive feedback we’ve got from the market, we’ve sold another ten systems using this technology in next to no time.”