Award for KHS

German Design Award for pioneering innovations

At the 2016 German Design Award KHS won the prize for outstanding communication design in the packaging and sustainability categories for its new developments Nature MultiPack™ and Direct Print Powered by KHS™. Direct Print Powered by KHS™ technology enables beverage producers to digitally individualize the design of their PET bottles on an industrial scale, with a high resolution and 360-degree dressing in real time that eliminates the need for labels and cuts down the time to market from several weeks to just a few minutes. Nature MultiPack™ with its individually customized PET bottles uses a special adhesive which replaces shrink film, plastic rings, and cardboard. This reduces the amount of material required by 90% and consumes a lot less energy in an ultimate expression of sustainability. Both of these pioneering systems are KHS’ own developments, where the machinery is manufactured by KHS and the marketing, services, and system solutions are provided by NMP Systems GmbH, a fully-owned subsidiary of KHS.

Innovative and sustainable packaging solutions

Nature MultiPack™ is based on specially adapted adhesives which simply bond containers together to form multipacks of PET bottles, cans and even glass bottles at some time in the future. This redirects the focus to the primary container while reducing secondary packaging by 90%. As shrink tunnels are no longer needed, packaging system energy consumption is reduced by 67%. The removable adhesives have little residue and thus leave clean surfaces on the bottles and cans, preventing significant amounts of packaging waste being generated in stores and with customers. This form of bottle design, combined with a standard industrial carrying handle, allows advertising messages to be conveyed and improves handling.

The German Design Award is the most important international design prize endowed by the German Design Council and has been awarded once a year since 2012. It is one of the most well-respected design competitions in the world. Its declared goal is to discover, present, and honor unique design trends. The award is given to submissions from the fields of product and communication design that are ground-breaking in their own way on the international design landscape.

Further details on Nature MultiPack™ and Direct Print Powered by KHS™ are available at

Direct Print Powered by KHS™ is the first industrial-scale digital printing system with low-migration, UV-curing inks for the food-safe decoration of PET bottles. The Direct Print illustration management platform combines the production of samples for print release with industrial online systems for direct bottle printing. This enables beverage producers to change graphics and decorations individually within minutes instead of weeks, presenting a completely new way of linking customers in to an increasingly digital world. In the future Direct Print technology will fully replace classic labels and in doing so reduce the consumption of materials, the carbon footprint and the number of time-consuming changeovers on much more flexible filling and packaging lines.

New production shop for KHS Corpoplast and KHS Plasmax

A new addition in Hamburg

KHS has reacted to the growing demand on the PET market worldwide and is investing €3.5 million in its Hamburg site, its stretch blow molding headquarters in Germany. In October of last year the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new production shop took place which gives KHS Corpoplast and KHS Plasmax an additional 2,500 square meters of space. This new building marks the second phase in the investment package begun in 2012 with the construction of a new commissioning shop, also 2,500 square meters in size, which will increase the efficiency and capacity of production in the long term.

The procurement, logistics, and assembly processes at the plant will be optimized on the basis of KHS’ modular product structure. The new production cycle will shorten processing times, for example, with the materials required for a two-day work cycle supplied to the relevant workstation. The workstations are designed to include all the necessary work equipment, such as tools, lifting and assembly devices and material provision systems, so that no time is wasted for the transport, searching, and setup of components.

More capacity, more speed

The new building will contain two floors for production and offices, into which KHS will integrate commissioning and acceptance testing for stretch blow molders, blow molder/ filler blocks and PET coating machines built by KHS Plasmax GmbH. “With this expansion we’re boosting our capacities according to our vision of leadership in technology and service in the PET segment,” explains Thomas Karell, managing director of KHS Corpoplast, at the start of construction. “We’ll soon be able to simultaneously commission more systems than ever before. This will continue to ensure that KHS technology is available to our customers in its accustomed high quality within a short delivery period.”

KHS technology dialog

Please DO touch!

At the end of 2015 KHS launched a new series of small but select events for its customers in the German-speaking parts of the world: the KHS technology dialog. Here, practical orientation is considered more important than theory as the opening event immediately displayed. To enable participants to view the technology in question under real, live conditions, KHS invited its guests to two traditional Bavarian breweries where KHS machines are already in successful operation. At Schönram in Petting and Engelbräu in Rettenberg the visitors were given an intensive insight into the process and filling technology which had been specially developed to the breweries’ requirements.

“Medium-sized and smaller breweries especially hold plenty of potential for optimization,” observes Markus Hunneck, head of Sales Germany for KHS GmbH. “There is great interest in finding out which single KHS machines can help make the technology at these companies more efficient.” The specific pieces of process technology in focus here were the KHS Paramix C, a beer stabilization system and a beer filtration unit, among others. The experts from KHS also presented systems for reducing the oxygen content as well as the intelligent Innopro CIP-C sanitizing system. In the filling technology segment the spotlight was on the Innofill Glass Micro DPG bottle filler for low and medium capacities at medium-sized breweries. The Innofill Glass DRS ZSM was also presented that measures the fill level with a probe and enables it to be centrally adjusted to thus ensure high availability.

“Without exception the feedback from those who took part was extremely positive,” smiles Hunneck, “and there was a lively exchange between the brewers themselves and with the experts from KHS.” The series will be continued in September to mark the 500th anniversary of the German Purity Law from 1516.

KHS Asia moves to a new location

As strong as a lion in Singapore

For 36 years KHS Asia has continued to steadily grow with the market, with the number of employees rising over the last few years to a total of 112. This growth and the expansion of the KHS sales and service hub for Asia has made a move to larger facilities necessary. At the end of 2015 the new regional center in the financial metropolis and nucleus of Singapore was relocated to The Concourse, a modern office block which enjoys a central location and excellent transport connections. “This is a major criterion for our team,” explains Gerhard Schmitt, one of the two regional center managers. His colleague Volker Geng adds, “With our other offices in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Manila, Rangoon, Seoul, and Osaka our people are distributed throughout Asia and thus have to travel a lot.”

Both the airport and Salzgitter’s Asian offices can be reached by car from the new site in a matter of minutes and the local spare part warehouse is less than thirty minutes away. In typical Asian fashion, a party was held to mark KHS Asia’s business activities being moved to a new working environment, with the obligatory traditional lion dance, magnificent costumes and loud music all part of the festivities. “Throughout Asia this ritual is said to bring good luck,” reports Schmitt, “and you couldn’t imagine a special event like this taking place without it.”

Im Rahmen der Betriebsbesichtigungen stand die praktische Anschauung im Vordergrund

Iberoamerican VLB symposium

Bem Vindo ao Brasil!

Gäste der KHS-Hausmesse gewinnen bei der Werksbesichtigung in Kleve ganz praktische Einblicke.

In-house KHS exhibition in Kleve

Less is more

Despite the tense economic situation and ongoing crisis, in the medium term South America is seen to be a growing consumer of beer and soft drinks. Commensurate with the significance of this market KHS has a production site in both São Paulo, Brazil, and in Zinacantepec, Mexico; it also sponsors the Iberoamerican Symposium held by the Research Institute for Brewing and Malting Technology, Berlin (VLB), one of the leading research and training facilities in the industry worldwide. Accordingly, the trade forum that takes place annually has a top-class line-up. Many of the key executives, engineering managers and master brewers working in South America trained in Berlin and welcome this opportunity to keep in touch, make new contacts and exchange ideas – most recently last September in Brazil.

Less is more was the motto of this year’s in-house KHS exhibition held at the production site in Kleve, Germany, on March 3 and 4, 2016. The presentations included innovations that shorten changeover times, reduce the amount of materials used, reduce energy consumption and thus generate greater sustainability and greater economy. In other words, less is more.

Participants at the symposium also look for totally new impetus and innovative approaches to the traditional art of brewing – and find them in the many expert talks given at the event. Dr. Peter Stelter, for example, executive vice-president of Strategy & Technology Management at KHS, spoke of the correlation between energy consumption and the total cost of ownership. “There’s a growing interest in the topic of TCO,” he asserts. “The consumption of water, compressed air, and especially energy is a big cost factor. Many companies are thus now prepared to accept higher investments in additional equipment, such as heat exchangers, if they can see that this guarantees them a fast return on their investment.”

The scale people in South America think on became especially evident during the tours of various plants which are part of the symposium. “A brewery with a capacity of ten million hectoliters a year is considered to be rather small here. In Germany this is how much the two biggest brewery groups combined output in twelve months,” explains Stelter. This fact alone shows just how vast the market potential is in Brazil and strengthens Stelter’s conviction that KHS is on exactly the right track with its regional involvement. As the local language is Portuguese, organization at a regional level is essential in order that KHS can communicate quickly and easily with the nation’s breweries.

Visionary talks

On the first day of the event the around 150 guests were welcomed to the city hall in Kleve by chairman of the KHS GmbH Executive Management Board Professor Niemeyer and member of the KHS Executive Management Board Professor Grabenweger and introduced to the event’s various topics. The section on packaging lines of the future was opened with a talk by Philippe Meulemans, director of Engineering & Technology at Coca-Cola Enterprises. He presented what’s known as the Dark Line concept for a fully automated production line which operates in an unlit production shop without personnel. Hans van Vijfeijken, global manager for Engineering & Maintenance at Bavaria Brewery in the Netherlands, then spoke on preventive maintenance, where the idea is not to repair machines once they’ve failed but to maintain and service them in advance to prevent downtime. On behalf of KHS Christopher Stuhlmann, head of the Packaging Technology Product Center in Kleve, and Frank Haesendonckx, head of Sales & Technology at KHS Corpoplast in Hamburg, gave a lecture on future-oriented, resource-saving packaging concepts – also under the heading of less is more. The series of talks was concluded by Flexibility in Secondary/Tertiary Packaging by Edgar Petsche, head of Market Zone Europe/CIS. After a summary of the contents of all talks by Norbert Pastoors, head of the Packaging Products Division, the afternoon in the city hall was rounded off by a lively podium discussion. Later, visitors enjoyed a delicious and entertaining end to the day over dinner in the informal setting of the historic Kleve Baumannshof manor house.

Practical demonstration

On the second day of the exhibition during a tour of the factory in Kleve guests were able to gain an impression of the innovations discussed in theory the day before – live and in practical operation. On show was the Nature MultiPackTM system that produces packs of six PET bottles, for example, joined together only by dots of adhesive – without the need for any film whatsoever. This innovation recently won the German Design Award. Visitors were also able to study machines which give them greater flexibility in production and higher line availability through increasingly shorter changeover times, such as a TPFO tray shrink packer where a full format changeover takes less than ten minutes. A packaging and palletizing block was also presented which features a pressureless, gentle, dynamically controlled buffer system, optimized line balancing, and – thanks to elimination of railings – shorter changeover times.

In keeping with the successful in-house exhibitions in Dortmund and Hamburg last year this event also proved to be a convincing and inspiring forum for the exchange of ideas and experience between KHS experts and our customers. Our guests were interested in and open to the new developments presented, enthusiastic about the perfect organization and variety of topics on offer and gladly seized the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at KHS in Kleve.