Feedflow, the new preform feed unit for stretch blow molders, is the latest addition in the series of successful innovations from KHS, which aims to meet ever-growing market demands from customers.
Positioned directly upstream of the blow molder, this horizontal conveyor now complements KHS’ established Feedmax preform sorter and feed system. It has been designed for high-capacity lines with capacities of up to 84,000 preforms per hour in particular and also for ultralight preforms weighing less than ten grams. It has many attractive benefits (see: Preform conveyors in comparison):
- Gentle, reliable, high-speed conveying of ultralight, material-saving preforms
- Much lower space requirement
- Fast and simple format changeovers
- Elevated platform no longer required
- Less sensitive to breakdown.
Feedflow may also be worthwhile for lines with lower capacities. Much lighter preforms can now be used for a great number of different products. At an output of 100 million bottles per year, for example, preforms weighing just one gram less save bottlers around €140,000 in costs for materials.
Standard preform feed easily convertible
Another advantage of the Feedflow system is that bottling plants can convert to the innovative Feedflow system with comparative ease. Those using conventional preform feed units only have to replace the discharge rail and roller conveyor frame with the Feedflow system and adjust the inclined conveyor. Installed silos with upstream box tilters can be integrated into the new conveying system.
Operation made easy
There’s also no need for an extra operator panel when converting to Feedflow. The combined Feedmax/Feedflow feed system has a controller included in the blow molder and all of the relevant parameters can be directly controlled via the blow molder interface. The KHS ClearLine HMI, which has won a number of awards for its excellent ergonomics, logical navigation and attractive design, controls the process centrally, reduces machine complexity and makes operating the entire setup a much simpler affair.
Touch panels, colored graphics, easy-to-remember icons and interactive, self-explanatory handling instructions prompt machine operators through the process. They can access varying degrees of viewing detail and different operating levels through the logical operator prompts as they require.
Positive first appraisal: with its new, high-speed preform feed KHS is yet again setting sustainable standards in the beverage industry.
Standard process versus Feedflow
… The benefits of Feedflow
Intelligent speed control
The three sections of the conveying segment each have blower motors, which can be regulated and frequency controlled and are equipped with prefilters (or optional sterile filters) that actively convey the preforms along the horizontal feed segment in a targeted flow of air, ensuring a constant, reliable and gentle flow of materials. The speed of the roller conveyor is automatically adjusted to match the number of preforms in the feed track.
- Lighter preforms
Since conveying is smoother and gentler, bottling companies can reduced the weight of the preforms they use and chalk up great savings in material costs.
- Less space required
Actively conveying preforms makes the new Feedmax system much more compact in size, both in height and footprint.
- Much easier to operate and service
There is no longer any need for an elevated platform or for a defined infeed angle of about three meters in height. This reduces the working height and makes the system more accessible and easier to operate and maintain.
- Faster changeovers
The conveyor’s much lower height has a positive effect on changeovers between different preform designs. In conjunction with the automated recipe selection menu this is much quicker in many cases.
Summary: with its full range of benefits the innovative Feedflow module from KHS is convincing with regard to the rapid conveying of exceptionally light preforms, thus increasing the already excellent efficiency of KHS filling lines even further.