Craft beers have long established themselves in the US and Europe, and is starting to take off in this part of the world (South-east Asia).
To meet growing demand for craft beers, KHS Group has now offered a new can filler to meet the requirements of small to medium-sized brewing companies.
The Innofill CAN Compact is designed for low to medium outputs of 10,000 to 48,000 cans per hour, compared to standard one which can produce up to 132,000 cans per hour. This compact combination of filler and seamer is shipped to the customer as a complete machine in a single container and commissioned on site on a plug-and-produce basis without any need for complicated installation processes. KHS is thus making the technical innovations of its big machines available to the craft brewing segment in this area, too.
“Three years ago we launched a completely new filling system with our Innofill Can DVD series. Developed for larger capacities, we have now scaled this technology to meet the demands of craft brewers,” said Manfred Hartel, filling product manager for KHS at its production site in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. With its efficient CO2 purging system, the machine enables extremely low oxygen pickup. Thanks to its patented purging process it also consumes about 30% less carbon dioxide than conventional systems.
Craft brewers can now also profit from this feature with the compact version. The demand for an adapted model for smaller filling quantities is rising in particular among the producers of high-quality, individual beers in the US where the craft brewing scene has been well established for many years now.
One of the innovative features of the Innofill CAN Compact is its extremely hygienic design. In particular, this includes a gapless bell guide with PTFE expansion joints (Teflon) and bells which are lifted and positioned fully electropneumatically to seal the cans – without any mechanical action from cams and rollers. This does away with the need for water lubrication, simplifies cleaning and promises a service life which is up to twice as long as before. KHS also uses PTFE materials in the filling valve, for example to seal the filling valve piston and in the gas membranes.
Flavor carryover when changing the product to be filled is thus as good as eliminated. This is of especial interest to craft brewers who often brew a large number of different beers and also make mixed beer beverages. The bell enables can necks from 200 to 206 to be processed. “We have managed to develop an uncomplicated piece of standard equipment which keeps procurement costs as low as possible,” said Härtel.
In addition, the new central product tank holds 200 instead of 500 litres in the bigger machines. Also, the tank does not rotate with the filler carousel on the Innofill compared to the standard machine. The beverage to be canned is supplied to the filling stations by a rotary distributor. Electromagnetic inductive flow meters upstream of each filling valve permit exact filling volumes in the cans. The entire machine is very clearly structured and thus hygienic and easy to maintain.
KHS is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of filling and packaging systems for the food and beverage industries.