In its fifth generation the Cooper family now runs what’s the third-largest brewery on the Australian continent – and the only brewery in the country to be under full family ownership. Typically for almost all consistently managed owner-run companies, Coopers is far-sighted, gleaning its first experiences with KHS filling technology as far back as in the 1960s – machinery which gave outstanding service for 30 years. Bottling activities weren’t handed over to a mechanically controlled, high-performance KHS filler with an impressive 100 filling stations until 1996.
This precipitated a considerable growth in sales; just 150,00 hectoliters were sold in 1996, with this figure rising to 270,000 hectoliters in 2001 and 750,000 hectoliters in 2013. At the same time Coopers continued to invest in KHS equipment, such as a turnkey keg line, a modern filling system, a labeling machine and a wrap-around packer.
Success despite downwards trend
Managing director Dr. Tim Coopers perfectly sums up the direct benefits this has brought his company. “Our sales have risen by an average 9.8% per year over the last twenty years. We’re reckoning on around 7% for the next ten years.” This success story is all the more amazing when we consider that the amount of beer drunk per head in Australia has practically halved since the 1970s – from 140 liters then to around 75 liters today. Coopers’ strategy of providing pure, unadulterated taste of the best quality has thus paid off for the company, deeply rooted in the land down under for several generations. With its message of “Australian made, Australian owned”, which is printed on all Coopers labels and packaging, the company has struck a patriotic chord with beer lovers, thus promoting the successful sale of its products – especially in its native land.
In order to continue to meet this demand, the logical conclusion was to make a further investment in a glass filling line. Thanks to the good experience it has had in the past, Coopers again opted for line expertise from KHS, enabling it to get its top products into the stores even faster. According to Coopers’ operations manager Nick Sterenberg, “With the new line we can realize larger production batches. We thus now chiefly fill and pack our bestselling beers on the new high-performance KHS glass line, thus achieving a higher line efficiency for all of our lines.” The line
- is configured for an output of 66,000 bottles per hour,
- processing three sizes of bottle holding 0.355, 0.375 and 0.75 liters and
- incurring especially low operating costs.
The experts from Coopers and KHS also planned the line in detail in advance using a 3D Powerwall, among other devices, which allows viewers to directly navigate their way through the line. The package also included supervising installation along with extensive customer training courses on site. “This allowed us to check out the line very carefully prior to ordering and have any changes we wanted implemented even more specifically,” praises Sterenberg. The result is a line with many components which mirror Coopers’ high demand for top quality.
- Depalletizer – the pushing system offers maximum reliability during depalletizing; plastic sheeting protects the product; minimum glass loss; outstanding performance.
- Rinser/filler block – there are special rinsing programs for all products; changeovers at the press of a button on screen; fast filling phase for high valve filling outputs; pressure filling system for CO₂ especially low oxygen filling and low CO₂consumption.
- High-performance labeler – modular design; processes up to 72,000 bottles per hour; extremely flexible; reliable, operator friendly and robust; very long service life.
- Packer ensures exact blank feed with great flexibility; palletizer enables precision layer preparation; four-sided centering for gentle, perfect palletizing.
In short: Nick Sterenberg is delighted and praises the renewed good team work on this project. “What was very important to us was the fact that we’ve had very good experience with our KHS machinery and KHS service for decades now. Here down under it’s vital that our technology is robust and reliable and that we’re assured quick and reliable service.” On that note: “Bottoms up!”.