Krones & innocent to build a CO2-neutral bottling plant

innocent invests US$ 250 million in the project

innocent’s new CO2-neutral bottling plant in the Port of Rotterdam is equipped with four complete Krones PET bottling lines and the corresponding IT landscape. Photo – innocent

Following long years of contract-bottling, the smoothie and juice producer innocent has decided to build the very first bottling plant of its own in the Port of Rotterdam. Innocent is over 90% owned by the Coca-Cola company. Krones won the order for four complete PET bottling lines and the corresponding IT landscape. Krones is a German packaging and bottling machine manufacturer. It produces lines for filling beverages in plastic and glass bottles or beverage cans. In addition, the company also manufactures stretch blow-molding machines for producing polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, plus fillers, labelers, bottle washers, pasteurizers, inspectors, packers, and palletizers.

The paramount consideration for “the blender”, as innocent has christened its greenfield project, was sustainability — the aim is to build an entirely CO2-neutral factory. “But we’re also keen to reduce water consumption to a minimum, since we want to treat and re-use as much of it as possible,” explains Sam Woollett, Engineering and Facilities lead.

Krones said each of the four identical PET lines handles up to 32,000 containers an hour. The new plant has been tasked with filling about 400 million bottles of chilled drinks a year. In all, innocent has invested approximately US $ 250 million (Rs 1800 crore) in this project.

Four complete PET bottling lines from Krones

The Contipure AseptBloc DA blow-molder or filler block consists of a Contiform 3 Pro stretch blow-molding machine and a Modulfill Asept aseptic filler. For the Contipure D preform sterilization module, innocent naturally enough opted for a particularly sustainable version. Krones said lower consumption of hydrogen peroxide, steam, and energy and shorter preparation time ensures a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO). After being filled, all containers are fitted with a tamper-evident seal and – depending on the format involved – dressed in a wrap-around or pressure-sensitive label. What’s more, the modularized Topmodul labeler is block-synchronized directly with the Variopac Pro FS packer.

Syskron is digitalizing all the factory’s processes

As the group’s digitalization specialist, the Krones subsidiary Syskron has developed a turnkey manufacturing execution systems (MES) concept for innocent that, through appropriate interfaces, also integrates the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, the process control, and warehouse management systems in the new plant. According to Krones, this concept includes various solutions from the SitePilot IT family brand, the planning production planning system, the line management order, administration system, and line diagnostics for production data acquisition and analysis. From the category of Share2Act services, the innocent will, in the future, be using Connect — this enables all information, such as shift schedules, to be made available to all staff in digital form.

Chief Blender Andy Joynson explained, “innocent is aiming to build the earth’s favorite little healthy drinks factory, the blender. It’s location in the Port of Rotterdam is no accident. We will minimize the distance between the place where the fruits arrive from overseas and the actual production facility. This enables us to reduce the company’s CO2 footprint by about 10%. We are delighted that we will be able to bottle our healthy drinks in our own plant, but more pleased that we will ensure that the production operation and the buildings comply with our sustainable standards.”

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