Everything but usual

When I met Anastasios Veletakos, Tasso for short, last September in Athens, immediately I sensed some sympathy. With his charming eyes, a cigar in his hand and sitting in a wide leather chair he doesn’t look like the big boss of an even bigger corporation. But that’s what he is: With Veta S.A., he has made a name for in the metal processing sector, but he’s working in the beverage-field as well. His company Nera Kritis extracts and bottles natural mineral water. Following plants on Crete and the Greek mainland, Anastasios Veletakos has now opened a third location in the North of Greece, in the region of Macedonia. And that’s why the water extracted there has been named “Nera Makedonias”, which translates to “Water from Macedonia”.

Of course, we didn’t just visit the headquarter of Tasso’s company in Athens but also the new factory. You can probably imagine why: A brand-new complete line from Krones is up and running there. And it included a premiere for me, too: watching the new ErgoBloc LM in production for the first time. In contrast to his big brother, the ErgoBloc L, it has been specifically designed for bottling still water. Therefore, it is an interesting option especially for smaller bottlers, not least because of the lower output of 25,000 containers per hour and the fact, that it requires less space. Another difference to the ErgoBloc L is the more linear arrangement of the setup of stretch blow moulder, labeller and filler.

Four different bottle motifs

So, the compact version is absolutely predestined for producing Nera Makedonias. The system started production in June 2019: and the water became popular right after it got introduced to the market. One of the reasons for its success could be found in the shape of the bottles. The neck areas were stamped with different motifs: the Lion of Amphipolis (a tomb monument from the 4th century), the Star of Vergina (a royal emblem from the same epoch), the White Tower as the symbol of Thessalonica, and one of the most renowned conquerors in the ancient world: Alexander the Great. Playing with te national pride works pretty well, as Tasso tells us.

For the filling process, though, these four different motifs are challenging since they are all handled within the same production cycle. As a result, Krones had to pay special attention to the design and the programming of the machines and systems. You can read more about those challenges in the latest magazine 1/2020 or on our website.

But let me say one thing in advance: Krones fulfilled all the requirements – and Tasso drew a satisfied conclusion: “I’ve been working together with Krones for about eight years now – and since then our collaboration has evolved into what it is today: a business relationship based on mutual trust. Krones has accompanied us on our way to the top and always delivered on its promises,” is the verdict of the boss. “I don’t often hand out compliments, but I would award an Olympic gold medal to Krones.”

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