The filling valve with intuitive empathy
All of us, probably, at one time or another, have poured a liquid into a glass and seen it foam spectacularly. And even though there are innumerable tricks and tips for coping with this, there’s one thing all of us intuitively choose to do: when the drink concerned is foaming excessively, we slow the whole thing down. Meaning we match the “pouring speed” to the foaming characteristics of the liquid concerned.
And that’s precisely what Krones is doing with the PFR valve as well!
In the Netherlands, for example, at the Burg Groep. This client bottles products like vinegar, which foam with differing degrees of severity, depending on the acid content involved. And these severely foaming liquids are a real challenge. The standard practice up to now was this: the filler was always designed to cope with the most severely foaming product – products that foam less severely, however, then had to be filled just as slowly as their most critical counterparts.
But for two years now, everything’s been different: with the PFR valve (Proportional Flow Regulator) from Krones AG, the Burg Groep is now using a system that does precisely the same as we do when we’re pouring a drink: there are no longer just two fixed velocities (as is the case with conventional valves), but innumerable stepless intermediate flow velocities. An electric motor matches the velocity perfectly to factors like the bottle’s shape or the product’s foaming characteristics. Thus the filling process is optimised for each individual bottle, and a whole lot of time is saved.
One welcome side-effect here is that the valve is very economical and maintenance-friendly into the bargain. The PFR valve, you see, operates entirely without any pneumatic air – it’s controlled electronically. This means you don’t need any pneumatic control equipment on the filler’s turret.