The ErgoBloc L is a best-seller: 200th system sold
It has been enthusiastically received by water and CSD bottlers all over the world: the ErgoBloc L. Now Krones has booked an order for the 200th system. But what’s special about it is not this minor milestone, but the narrative behind it. Because Krones sold 100 of these block solutions in the last two years. Reason enough to take a closer look at this success story:
The ErgoBloc L was premiered at the drinktec 2009. Back then, the sector was not inconsiderably amazed at Krones’ new concept, namely to block-synchronise stretch blow-moulder, labeller and filler – in precisely this sequence. And in actual fact: “The first few years were not easy,” reminisces Rudolf Fiegler, who heads the project management team at Krones, “because we had to start by proving that our concept really worked in practice. The drinktec 2013 was then, so to speak, our breakthrough. There, we sold our first system with a maximum rating of 81,000 containers per hour. And for the system sizes between 40,000 and 60,000 containers per hour, too, the sales figures started to soar from then on.” Another 50 machines left the Krones plant, and in May 2015 the day finally dawned for Krones to celebrate a minor milestone. The hundredth ErgoBloc L had been sold. 100 systems in six years – respectable figures that go to show: the ErgoBloc L had definitely arrived in the beverage industry.
But that was just the beginning: our clients were positively queuing up for them and so another 100 systems left Krones’ plant – in just two years. The 200th ErgoBloc L will be going to Saudia Arabia in the upcoming autumn, where it will be producing water.
Up and running all over the world
Meanwhile, apart from the Antarctic, there’s an ErgoBloc L operating on each of the planet’s continents. The concept is particularly popular in the USA, followed by the Asian countries and Germany. Rudolf Fiegler cites various reasons for the block’s popularity: “I believe the ErgoBloc L has over the years built up an excellent reputation among our clients. This type of layout is currently unique on the market, incorporating our synergised expertise in the field of block technology.” And it’s precisely this know-how that’s also manifested in the advantages of the ErgoBloc L. All machines required for stretch blow-moulding, labelling, filling and closing are accommodated on a minimised footprint – enabling conveyors to be dispensed with entirely. This saves not only costs, but more importantly space as well. What’s more: since all machines are controlled from a central working area, the entire wet-end block can be managed by a single operator. And change-overs to new containers, labels or products are child’s play for the ErgoBloc L: format changes, for example, can be performed quickly and easily.
Trend towards block technology
Krones, of course, never stops working on design-enhancing the ErgoBloc L: “The issue of availability, above all, received considerable attention since the machine’s debut. Numerous minor modifications have ensured that we’ve been able to up the efficiency levels enormously. For instance, we’ve improved the system for drive control between the machines, which in turn has substantially reduced the amount of time required for a restart following a standstill,” to quote Rudolf Fiegler.
In future, the individual machines of the block are to be merged even more closely into a coherent whole. Krones is aiming to achieve this through a shared supply configuration for energy, media and lubricants, plus a harmonised safety concept. And in other respects, too, Krones is working on further improvements for the ErgoBloc L. Rudolf Fiegler explains: “Our goal is quite clear: we’re seeking to upgrade still further our front-runner status on the market – so as to stay one step ahead of our competitors.”