The concept behind ErgoBloc L. is to produce, label and fill a PET container in a single machine by grouping together the wet end of a beverage bottling line without any conveyors.
27,000 to 82,000 containers an hour
Rudolf Fiegler, product manager Conveyor and Block technology, Krones, said the company has been continually improving the machine since its launch in 2009, modernising its transfer housing between the labeller and the filler, which makes the transfer more affordable, and discontinuing its aseptic modules.
“The base post-cooling function which is necessary when CSDs are being bottled, has been modified too,” he said. “Upstream of the labeller, the container’s base is cooled with air, downstream of the labeller with water.
“For air-cooling, Krones now uses a cooling blower instead of compressed air. This reduces the compressed-air requirement massively, cutting the costs by more than €10,000 a year.
“To save further costs, the construction for the labeller itself has been altered. A modularized labeller was always used as a link between the blow-moulder and the filler. The thinking here was it offers a high degree of flexibility in the choice of labelling mode. But, practical experience has shown in most cases this is not necessary.
“In the majority of lines, the owners of the ErgoBloc L. run wraparound labelling. So in the future, the machine will specialise in a Contiroll station.”
The block’s output ranges from 27,000 to 82,000 containers an hour, depending on the bottle size and the product involved.
Still water, carbonated waters and soft drinks
ErgoBloc L. layouts are predominantly used for still water (60%) and are being used for carbonated waters and soft drinks in the remaining 40% of cases.
The systems are up and running globally mainly in the Asia/Pacific region and in the US. But, Lrones has also seen demand in Italy, Spain, Poland, UAE, Lebanon, Mexico, Ecuador, Russia, Germany and Africa.
In the Middle East, the Conserved Foodstuff Distributing Company in Qatar (otherwise known as Khazan – a subsidiary of Mezzan Holding, Kuwait), has installed an additional PET line to increase its filling capacities in Doha.
The line includes an ErgoBloc L. and two packers for end-pf-the-line packaging; one Variopac Pro TFS for creating shrink wrapped packs and one Variopac Pro W for wrap-around packs.
Khazan’s production portfolio includes two water brands; Dana and Aqua Gulf, all of which are filled in bottles ranging in size from 350ml, 500ml to 1.5ml and 4 gallon containers.
The ErgoBloc technology which synchronizes a blow-moulder with a labeller and a filler, is the first system of its kind in Qatar and offers advantages in terms of footprint and the number of operators required, line efficiency and energy consumption.
The line’s hourly output is max. 40,000 containers, which makes it currently the fastest and most modern line in Qatar, according to Krones.
Source: Krones Magazine (Issue 4, 2015).