Standardization is the word of the moment when it comes to production and filling systems for the beverage industry. The reason for this at first seems rather paradoxical: beverage producers are actually marketing increasingly individual products, with their product portfolios growing ever more complex. Add to this the fact that the life cycles of these products are also becoming shorter, it’s then logical that the plant engineering needed to produce them must be ready for operation all the sooner – from development through construction to delivery, installation and commissioning. However, pressures of cost, constantly increasingly on all sides, call for modular setups which can be scaled and reproduced. Once these have been found, the result is a win-win situation for both the beverage bottler and the systems manufacturer.
One of the special highlights in this context is the new KHS Innopas SX tunnel pasteurizer. The system includes a number of fundamental new features. Firstly, it has a highly modular structure which is easily visible on first sight. “This machine is neater and more structured than anything else currently on the market,” says Sebastian Zeller, development engineer at the KHS Bottle Washers & Pasteurizers Product Center. “The pasteurizer can be configured and precisely adapted to suit customer requirements as in a modular system.”
The machine’s modularity gives clients another key advantage, as Zeller’s colleague, product manager Knut Soltau, adds. “The modular design allows a cooling tower or new configurations in the heating system to be easily incorporated into the existing installation space at a later stage should changes be made to the portfolio. The pasteurizer itself can later be connected up to a CIP system or retrofitted with an energy flow meter.”He becomes very enthusiastic when listing the many options the machine has. “These make the system extremely flexible and future proof – even with functions which the market isn’t yet asking for at the moment. I’m convinced that the KHS Innopas SX is an investment which will keep our customers happy for a very long time.”
Zeller and Soltau agree that the maximum microbiological quality of their customers’ products takes top priority – which, of course, is precisely what the Innopas SX provides at the accustomed high level as part of KHS’ proven pasteurization unit control system. In this respect bottlers who opt for the new pasteurizer can also look forward to another new feature, namely flexible speed adjustment. This ensures that the machine adapts to suit the line behavior and that downtimes are largely avoided. “This is the greatest benefit of this new technology; no one else offers this,” Zeller emphasizes. “With our patented zone shutdown the zone temperatures in the tunnel pasteurizer are either lowered or raised according to the conveyor speed. For most processes the pasteurizer dynamically adjusts to match the line behavior within a range of 50% to 105% of the nominal capacity. In doing so, important process parameters, such as the pasteurization units and maximum temperature, remain more or less constant. In avoiding stops and gaps in this way, both media and energy consumption significantly drop, which has a positive impact on line behavior. And the new level of flexibility which results from this greatly eases the production of a customer’s increasingly diverse range of beverages, especially for contract fillers.”
Zeller is also very excited about the new infeed and discharge heights, which are now around 20 cm lower. “This makes the machine much easier for operators and maintenance personnel to access. The conveying segment is also reduced in size; the length of the conveyors required by the machine is shorter and less space is required.”
A number of design engineering details also facilitates operation of the pasteurizer. Besides the machine being more clearly structured, access has been further improved. This reduces the amount of effort required for maintenance and cleaning and enables safety concepts to be optimized. The standardization of many components, which goes hand in hand with the modular design, permits spare part stockkeeping to be streamlined. Insulation of the roof surfaces and side elements also improves the energy balance.
You can see just how much passion and energy has gone into the new system when Knut Soltau describes the development process. “All in all, up to 50 people were involved at KHS across the board – including colleagues from Purchasing and Quality Assurance. Customers were able to gain their first impressions of the new technology at the in-house KHS exhibition in Dortmund in 2015. Since then, further improvements have been made based on customer feedback and knowledge gleaned since the launch.” This will continue to be the case; at the moment a prototype is already up and running at RHODIUS Mineralquellen – with results that all those involved find inspiring. Reason enough, then, for the entire industry to look forward to a new standard in pasteurization.
Your contact on this topic
Product manager, Bottle Washers & Pasteurizers
KHS GmbH, Dortmund, Germany
Phone: +49 231 569 1887
Product engineer, Bottle Washers & Pasteurizers
KHS GmbH, Dortmund, Germany
Phone: +49 231 569 1163