Competence for components: the Krones Experts’ Lounge
The green light’s been given, it’s all systems go. In the next four days, the experts at Krones’ stand will be lining up to share their knowledge, and the opportunities for mutual feedback will be well-nigh limitless. Yes, that’s right: the series of presentations in the Krones Experts’ Lounge at the Anuga has begun today. The first speakers were Willy Wiedenmann and Torsten Kaben, whose subjects were themed around “components”. The two speakers have more in common than the subject category: they are both reporting from the position of a Krones subsidiary and are showcasing their specialised product portfolio.
The event kicked off with the valve expert from Evoguard. Willi Wiedenmann presented the bandwidth of the various valves involved, plus their typical applications, focusing mainly on the development process that created them. When in 2010 Krones AG began to manufacture its own valves, the team concerned started from scratch. Thanks to long years of experience with outsourced valves, though, they were already familiar with the weak points of these components, and could purposefully address the requirements identified. In his presentation, Willi Wiedenmann vividly mapped out for the individual types of valve how Krones’ development people, working closely together with the firm’s process technology experts, analysed defects in the valves from competitors, and then optimised their designs accordingly.
To start with, Willi Wiedenmann provided an overview of the Evoguard range of valves: from disk valves and single-seat valves, double-seat valves and double-seal valves, all the way through to aseptic valves, the range offers plenty of choice! The speaker then dealt individually with the different types of valve involved, outlining their characteristics, typical applications and qualities. The central theme of his lecture was how the development people progressed from a challenge to a solution: Willi Wiedenmann explained for each of the valves the weak points that prior to 2008 had to be combatted with outsourced valves, and then elucidated how the Evoguard valve technology eliminates these problems. One of the optimisations that all the different valves have in common is the stem seal with its stripper function. This improvement has enabled problems with defective, worn or displaced seals to be successfully minimised. Wiedenmann demonstrated another advantage for every valve type. Because it is very easy to assembly the valves after inserting the seal: “And then you screw it together – metal to metal. It is really easy, you can do nothing wrong.”
Willi Wiedenmann then turned to the aspect of maintenance, something where the Evoguard valves score very highly, with 1,000,000 maintenance-free cycles – and thus in turn have a beneficial effect on outlay, personnel and maintenance costs. But the valves not only improve the system’s efficacy, they also enhance its safety standards and quality aspirations. For example, all components are coded, and can thus always be precisely tracked at any time – a definite plus compared with hard-to-identify parts. Nor should we forget the certificates the product range has been awarded, like the TÜV Seal of Approval.
Since the Evoguard components have only gradually been replacing outsourced valves in Krones’ machines too, compatibility with non-Krones lines is not a problem. This is another reason why the autonomous sales operation for Evoguard valves is able to equip not only 96 per cent of Krones’ lines but also production lines from other manufacturers. Now, five years after in-house production began, the supply of the relevant spares is gradually becoming a relevant issue – the next new experience for Willi Wiedenmann and Evoguard.
After only a short break, the programme resumed. Torsten Kaben and Michael Penz, the General Managers of HST, provided an overview of the Krones subsidiary’s product portfolio. This was in fact the first time they had appeared together with Krones AG, making their debut featuring presentation slides with the blue coat-hanger logo in the corner. As their exhibit, they spotlighted their most recent new product: the Type HL 3.5-200K homogeniser. This enables juices and milk-based mixed drinks to be homogenised at pressures of up to 200 bar – at an astounding speed of 12,000 litres per hour. And the particularly exciting revelation was the explanation of the magnetic-reluctance drive and the new cooling system: in conjunction, they ensure energy-economical operation of the homogeniser with an efficiency of 93.5 per cent to 90.6 per cent. And in terms of design enhancement, too, there have been significant advances: the HST homogenisers have been given a noise insulation enclosure, thus ensuring that only minimal noise escapes into the production hall. What’s more, even in such a brief presentation, the experts successfully communicated the new homogeniser’s user-friendliness and its resultant dependability. In conclusion, the speakers provided an overview of the various types of HST homogeniser and their respective performance characteristics, before the lounge was thrown open to discussions.
Tomorrow will also be something to look forward to in the Krones Experts’ Lounge, with presentations themed around “product quality”.