Phraya Bhirom Bhakdi was over 60 when he founded his brewery in 1933. He was no stranger to hard work, however; he was taught by his father and various monks in keeping with the Thai customs of the day; he earned his keep from a young age as a teacher; he was later a clerk in the wood industry before setting up his own wood business and had his own car dealership before proving very successful in the ferry business. When a new bridge was built, it literally put an end to this source of income in 1929. He then came up with the idea of brewing beer in his own country. At the time people in the kingdom of Siam only drank imported beer. In 1930 he applied for permission to build the first brewery in Thailand and traveled to Europe to learn the art of making beer. On his return his dream came true; in 1933 he was granted his license and immediately began building. In 1934 the first bottles of brand beers Singha (pronounced “sing”) and Golden Kite rolled off the production line at the brewery. He named his Singha beer after the mighty lion of Hindu mythology, the word for which is also found in “Singapore”. Singha was to be a clear symbol for the ambition of its creator, an ambition which – we can safely reveal – has definitely been fulfilled.
»In addition to functionality, we attach great importance to having lines that operate sustainably and also affirm our corporate philosophy, which is marked by social responsibility. And that is the case.«
The major challenge on site was to master the relatively high filling temperature of the water. The answer was to highly carbonize the water and fill it at an appropriately high pressure. This means that Boon Rawd can do without the usual cooling required during the filling process and the later heating of the bottles to prevent any condensation forming prior to labeling.
The new glass line handles both refillable and non-refillable containers. They can be filled with either still or soda water. This system can master up to 50,000 bottles per hour. The depalletizer and bottle washer are of course also from KHS. An Innopack PPZ unpacks the bottles at the beginning of the line and a second packs them up again at the other end.
»Our operators are especially impressed by the easy handling of this very powerful and robust system.«
The experts at Boon Rawd and KHS are also now using a new labeling system. In place of sleeve labels which have never changed roll-fed labels are now applied to the glass bottles, which is very unusual in practice. As a result the company saves both labeling material and money. The roll-fed setup also gives the customer more flexibility in that it can use various label designs, like those often required for special promotions.
With its royally approved premium beer and countless quality products – primarily its Singha and Purra water and soda water brands – Boon Rawd is very well placed on the Thai and Southeast Asian markets. The newly installed filling and packaging systems from KHS will help the company to continue to keep its promise to its customers to provide the best quality products. Under the sign of the lion and with a royal warrant, of course!
Services to king and country
In the year of its founding King Rama VII visited the brewery not once but twice to witness the modern mechanical marvel of the day. In 1939 Boon Rawd Brewery was granted a royal warrant under King Rama VIII for the brewery’s continued services to king and country. The Royal Garuda symbol is now proudly displayed at the brewery and on the necks of every bottle of Singha.
The entrepreneur’s economic plans also proved successful; by 1941 he had already claimed just under two thirds of the inland market. Phraya Bhirom Bhakdi lived long enough to see his company rise to success. His offspring now run Boon Rawd Brewery in its third and fourth generations.
In the meantime the company also sells drinking water, soda water, mineral water and many other food and beverage products besides its beer. Although the consumption of beer is currently stagnating in Thailand, there appears to be plenty of potential for further growth in the water segment which Boon Rawd aims to exploit. This is why it wishes to significantly increase its filling capacities over the next few years.
Bring on the water!
While soda water only reaches the retail trade in glass bottles, PET bottles are proving more and more popular for still water. With the exception of the glass half-liter bottle, Boon Rawd sells its Singha water in plastic bottles holding between 0.5 and 19 liters (the latter size for water coolers). Still Purra water is another of its products marketed in PET sizes of between 330 milliliters and 1.5 liters.
This was also why Boon Rawd ordered two PET lines from KHS: one for the Wang Noi Beverage site in Central Thailand and one for the Surat Thani Beverage site in the south of the country, where KHS also delivered a glass bottling system. Each of the two PET lines has a capacity of 36,000 bottles per hour. The lines each comprise an InnoPET Blomax Series IV stretch blow molder, an Innofill NV filling system with 60 filling stations and an Innoket 360 roll-fed labeler with an integrated sleever as a seal for safe consumption. An Innopack Kisters SP Basic shrink packer then packs the bottles and the Innopal PB1N2 palletizes them.