Canning line for Bundaberg brewed drinks

Krones delivers sixth filling machine to Australia in last three years

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Canning line
Cans filled by Bundaberg on its new filling system. Photo - Krones

Bundaberg Brewed Drinks of Australia installed their first canning line, including a Craftmate filler from Krones. This marks the sixth such Krones filling machine delivered to Australia in the last three years. The past five years have been a success story for the Craftmate C: since it was premiered at the BrauBeviale 2015, 80 beverage producers have opted for this compact-size can filler from Krones – the majority of the craft breweries in North America.

According to Krones, the Craftmate is suited not only for craft beer but also for all other craft drinks, which is vividly demonstrated by Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. The Australian family firm produces premium soft drinks like ginger beer and exports these to more than 60 countries. It fills them into the amber glass stubby bottles, and now also cans them in-house. In addition to Craftmate C, the company has invested in a canning line, for which Krones supplied the entire wet end — a Canmatic empty-can inspector, a Contiflow mixer, two Checkmat inspection systems, a LinaTherm warmer, and a Linadry drier are also included in the scope of delivery.

Upgraded for export business

Following several years of toll packing, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks deliberately opted for a canning line of their own. “Having canning technology in-house is an important step for the business, allowing us to offer a much more versatile pack format that consumers have been asking us for,” says chief executive officer, John McLean. The Craftmate from Krones won Bundaberg over by its technical features and price-performance ratio, production quality, and safety standards. Krones said the line fills 15,000 cans an hour and handles both 250-milliliter standard cans and a 200-milliliter slim format. Due to this combination, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks will be looking to toll pack cans for other craft brewers, too.

The new machines arrived in Australia in December 2019, and by mid-January, were filling the first sales-quality drinks. In the meantime, Bundaberg has already produced over 3.5 million containers on its new line. These can currently be bought in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. And even though the coronavirus pandemic is at present changing the entire world, John McLean sees an opportunity here for selling premium products in cans. “As lockdown restrictions are lifted, we’re expecting to see this more convenient product taken on people’s local adventures. Cans are really handy for this because they are easy to transport and cool quicker. The new mini-cans are the perfect serving for both mixology and straight consumption.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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