Ahigh degree of microbiological safety with the Innopas SX KHS GmbH provides a tunnel pasteurizer, which with its modular design meets the growing demands of the beverage industry with its range of products and shorter market shelf lives. The systems supplier has also optimized spare part management for this flexible machine. Based in Dortmund, Germany KHS has factories in the US, Mexico, China, Brazil and India
The global beverage market is facing increasing levels of dynamic competition, with new flavors in new packaging formats hitting supermarket shelves at shorter intervals. Flexibility is thus becoming a major issue when it comes to filling. The necessary pasteurization of filled and sealed beverage containers for longer shelf lives is a decisive factor here. The completely modular KHS Innopas SX tunnel pasteurizer for cans and glass and PET bottles fully meets these requirements.
Dynamic adaptation to line behavior
The basic functions of the Innopas SX are initially identical to the tried-and-tested tunnel pasteurizer systems provided by KHS. The dynamic pasteurization unit or PU control system reacts variably to changes in conditions. If, for example, a fault occurs during the pasteurization process, the process temperatures are kept under control in the hot zones of the tunnel pasteurizer to ensure both maximum product safety and flavor stability.
New features on the KHS Innopas SX include extended functions in the dynamic PU control system. It results in greater flexibility and yield savings in energy and media. Much of this is attributable to the optional speed regulation function. The individual zone temperatures are automatically raised or lowered depending on the conveyor speed. “This allows the pasteurizer to dynamically adjust to match the line behavior within a range of 50 to 105% of the nominal capacity for most processes without making any drastic changes to the pasteurization units and maximum product temperature,” says Knut Soltau, product manager for bottle washers and pasteurizers at KHS. This prevents stops and the corresponding consumption of media; at the same time has a positive impact on the behavior of the entire line.
With dynamic PU control from KHS, the process temperatures are regulated within the hot zones of the tunnel pasteurizer to enable maximum product safety and flavor stability. With a new program for PU control, the customer can independently adapt the pasteurization unit set-point for a specific container type. Here, the full functionality of the PU control unit is maintained. “In this way subsequent product changes or new products can be easily made or introduced at any time,” adds Soltau. “Bottlers can thus react quickly to changes on the market and product trends.”
KHS has also made several improvements regarding the design of its Innopas SX, with maximum emphasis placed on easy operation. The tunnel pasteurizer is clearly structured and offers optimum access. It chiefly simplifies the maintenance and cleaning of the system. For this reason parts of the process engineering, such as the heat exchangers and media supply, have been relocated on the machine as modules in order to improve servicing and machine safety.
Spare part management for the KHS Innopas SX has also been optimized. The number of components the customer is required to keep in stock has been reduced. On the contrary, the delivery times for spare and wear parts have been shortened. As functions can also be simply retrofitted as an option, this boosts flexibility for the customer. It also ensures the future viability of filling lines at a low operating cost.
KHS in India
KHS has been active in India since 1989, forming the KHS Machinery joint-venture in 1997 for local manufacture of equipment for the beverage packaging industry. The first bottle filling and processing lines were supplied to PepsiCo India and subsequently to Coca-Cola. In 2007 a new factory was built on a 110,000 square meter plot of land; within a year Indian sales went up to 30 million Euros which haves subsequently increased substantially. As far back as 2014, the company enjoyed a market share of 40% in glass and PET bottle segment adding global customers such as Unilever, Nestlé and SABMiller.
KHS in India maintains a large inventory of spare parts and has engendered its own training training academy since 2009. It has trained a large number of its customer’s personnel from line operator to plant manager at its facility. 95% of the equipment supplied by KHS India to the South Asian and nearby regional market is manufactured in the Ahmedabad factory while the high performance KHS blow moulders, packaging and labelling machines are sourced from the KHS plants in Germany and elsewhere.
KHS India anticipates good growth for the beverage industry with its sales reaching or surpassing Euro 100 million by 2020. It also expects to keep increasing exports from the Indian plant which are already significant.