The German Design Award presented by the German Design Council is one of the world’s most highly acclaimed prizes for design.

Prestigious design prize for “KHS competence”

Among the best

With a German Design Award Special Mention the new digital version of KHS’ prestigious customer magazine “KHS competence” has earned recognition from a panel of judges who know what they’re talking about.

Since the 1950s the systems supplier from Dortmund, Germany, has been informing its clients about current technical innovations, exciting customer projects and relevant market trends in the beverage industry in its very own customer magazine. More of a journalistic publication than a technical journal, “KHS competence” has long been a genuine triumph. The modern design concept and first-class images photographed at KHS and customer sites throughout the world greatly contribute to this success.

User-friendly web magazine

In the past the magazine was available on the Internet as a PDF lookbook. At the end of 2015 a completely new e-paper was launched which includes many new, user-friendly features. Thanks to its responsive design the digital version of “KHS competence” is per­fectly displayed on both PCs and mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Unlike the print version the electronic variant is further enhanced by clear graphics, more in-depth information and supplementary videos and audio files. Flexible navigation on just two levels and an intelligent search function provide quick, direct access to the magazine content; thanks to the use of content keywording readers can compile their own personal version of the publication containing the information that particularly interests them. Articles can also be shared on social networks or by email.

Nicole Pohl, senior online manager for KHS Corporate Communication, explains. “With this we’re giving our renowned, high-quality magazine a digital platform which clearly meets reader demand for fast and concise information research. We’re also giving users not yet familiar with the magazine beneficial insights into KHS’ innovative systems, this reflected in the e-paper’s design and intuitive user prompting. After all, searching for information should be fun!”

Highly esteemed award

The German Design Council thinks that KHS has brilliantly achieved this. Each year its top-class jury of design experts from business, publishing and various agencies presents the German Design Award. The accolade distinguishes unique design trends which are pioneers on the international design scene. The German Design Award is one of the most acclaimed design competitions in the world and also held in high esteem outside expert circles. KHS is thus all the more delighted that this year the digital version of “KHS competence” earned a Special Mention in the Online Publications Cate­gory. “A well-designed medium which presents its contents in an interesting ­manner and with a high graphic content whose high-quality ­photography is impressive,” is how the jury formulated its decision in favor of the magazine. In the Online Publications Category the KHS web journal finds itself in the best company alongside award-winning e-papers from Audi, Bosch and Commerzbank.

Patrick Heitmann, who is jointly responsible for the magazine ­together with Nicole Pohl, is extremely pleased with the praise and distinction “KHS competence” has received. “This is of course a mark of great recognition for and confirmation of our work,” he smiles, “and at the same time an incentive for us to carry on this way and continue to promote new contextual ideas as we’ve been ­doing to date.” Incidentally, this is not the first German Design Award for KHS. In 2014 the company was presented with the prize for its ClearLine machine design concept and again in 2016 for the ­sustainable ­Nature ­MultiPack™ packaging concept.

There’s plenty of space for process engineering container development at the new PET Competence Center at the KHS site in Hamburg, Germany.

New competence center in Hamburg, Germany

Pooling of PET expertise

In setting up the PET Competence Center KHS Corpoplast is strengthening its focus on providing support in the development of PET packaging. By building a new production shop and reorganizing the production process space has been made for the further expansion of process engineering container development at the production plant in Hamburg, Germany.

This is already allowing customer-specific requirements in the new machine business to be supported and packaging optimizations to be made to existing PET lines. This may entail giving the bottle design a visible facelift, for example, exploring various aspects such as lightweighting or boosting line efficiency by optimizing the packaging. “Through virtual prototyping and with the help of finite element analysis or FEA cal­culations we can simulate the axial rigidity regarding the top load, for example, so that only select geometries have to be im­plemented during sampling,” explains Frank Haesendonckx, head of Sales and Technology at KHS Corpoplast. “We also focus on generic packaging development in order to promote PET applications in new market segments. By making qualitative estimates in advance we save three to four iteration loops or development costs for ­additional container shapes here. This also signifi­cantly reduces the time to market for our customers – in other words, the length of time from the development of a product to its market launch.” More specifically, by simu­lating the heating and blow molding pro­cesses the distribution of the wall thickness in the container can be computed and the corresponding bottle properties determined without sampling being necessary. This allows feasibility studies to be implemented faster. In addition, block systems are simulated and tested so that specific aspects of the combined engineering can be evalu­ated to the best possible degree – both with ­regard to the current machine development and in view of the planned packaging development in advance.

Future creative laboratory

In the future the interaction of the bottle with downstream equipment beyond the actual production of the bottle and beverage is to be tested and optimized as part of an integrative observation process, for instance in the ratio of film to bottle or of packaging to labeler. Following a further stage of expansion, from the middle of 2018 at the latest the PET Competence Center will have facilities for customer training courses on container technology and bottle design. Customers may also use these rooms as a creative laboratory for the mutual development of container designs – next door to the sampling lab where thanks to the use of modern 3D printers samples which permit ready assessment of the look and feel of the future bottle can be produced within the space of a few hours.

Extremely pleased: Christian Klahm, master brewer at the TU Berlin; Professor Matthias Niemeyer, chairman of the KHS GmbH Executive Management Board; Professor Frank-Jürgen Methner, TU Berlin; and Thomas Matheyka, head of the KHS Keg Product Center (from left to right).

University cooperation

Keg system for research and education

Conscious of the fact that up-and-coming young professionals are edu­cated at universities and graduate schools, for many years now KHS has worked very ­close­ly with the Technical University in ­Berlin, Germany. The most recent example of this ­long-term association is the handover – including the relevant training – of a modular Innokeg AF1C1 kegging system to the Institute of Food Technology and Food Chemistry’s technology center.

The university is delighted with its cooperation with KHS as its students will be able to carry out filling and washing procedures on the system and test various quantities, media and cleaning cycles as part of their course in brewing and beverage technology. “On the one hand our students will be trained on an ultramodern system and learn precisely how keg filling and washing work,” explains Professor Frank-Jürgen Methner, head of the Department of Brewing Science. “On the other, with the help of this technology we can continue to push ahead with our research projects.” This interplay of education, research and industry is also of benefit to KHS. “Applying the experience gleaned on the academic side of things we can further develop the system for our customers,” states Thomas Matheyka, head of the KHS Keg Product Center.

As a potential future employer KHS is also helping students to make initial contact with the industry. At the start of their practical module they can gain experience with the systems supplier from Dortmund and write their bachelor’s or master’s thesis at the company – an opportunity several dozen students are currently making use of.