The same applies to microbreweries as to any other beverage producer: it’s the label which gives the bottle a face and the product its identity. If there was no label, the consumer at the point of sale wouldn’t know which bottle to choose. In order to avoid this, small companies use the same labeling technology as their bigger counterparts – in principle, at least, for their requirements are specific and differ from those of major breweries in several respects. The important selection criteria for microbreweries are a smaller performance range, as small a machine footprint as possible and the use of extensive and flexible equipment.
The machine manufactured by KHS in the accustomed robust and high-quality design has a number of additional options with which the machine can be equipped and upgraded; date coders, Innocheck inspection technology, and VarioDrives for motorized bottle platform rotation can be installed, for instance. Other options include base notch and side notch alignment or alignment recesses for contour containers. Special label forms from cap seals and tax revenue stamps to tin foil labels can also be integrated. Extra options such as product date coding are operated like the machine itself through the new KHS ClearLine monitor which greatly simplifies familiarization with and handling of the machine for operators.
Lower cost of investment
This is not the only reason why procuring such a machine is relatively easy for small and mini businesses to shoulder, however; to keep the cost of investment as low as possible, many identical parts are used in the Innoket Neo and Innoket Roland Flex. This not only improves economy but also allows this comparatively simple series to be integrated into the revamped assembly concept with its shorter processing times. Standardization also simplifies and improves the availability of spare parts. For all the simplification and standardization small beverage companies still don’t miss out on anything; on this table machine sheet-feed cold glue, self-adhesive and hot melt labeling can be performed. The new machine is thus not called “Flex” without good reason!
As on all KHS labeling machines the Innoket Roland Flex is controlled by the new KHS ClearLine monitor which permits extremely simple, intuitive operator prompting.
The first of these new labelers has now been installed and commissioned at Kirner Privatbrauerei (see article on page 44) together with the new Innofill Glass Micro bottle filler. The two machines harmonize very well – and not just visually.
Maximum ease of operation
The focus of the Innoket Neo series is generally on the operator. In order to ensure that the heaviest setup part does not weigh more than twelve kilograms, heavy format parts such as the vacuum drum on the roll-fed station have been segmented for easy changeovers. Barriers preventing the removal of large components have been removed by intelligent design engineering, such as the fold-down blower on the gripper cylinder. On the carousel unique, patented folding door technology gives the best possible freedom of movement for changing the brush-on applicators.
Should the Innoket Neo performance range still be too large for some customers, KHS has extended its labeling technology portfolio to include the Innoket Roland Flex which is designed for labeling tasks at rates of 5,000 to 25,000 bottles per hour. Labelers have been sold under the name of Roland for over 30 years and these enjoy an outstanding reputation in the food and spirits sectors in particular. Tried and tested a thousand times over, the technology in this series of machines has now been completely reworked and adapted to suit modern requirements.
The Innoket Roland Flex is a table machine equipped with stations that are mechanically set in rotation by gear wheels powered by the main drive. Unlike the Innoket Neo and Innoket SE it does not need any servo-driven stations.
The new KHS Innoket Neo is the ideal labeler to service these specific demands. It is not only extremely well received in big companies with labeling requirements of up to 74,000 bottles per hour but also by smaller businesses with an output of 25,000 bottles an hour. What makes this machine so popular is its extremely flexible module system which allows application of all standard labeling processes. It doesn’t matter whether just one labeling method is to be used, several labels are to be applied at once, or various processes are to be run alternately; the Innoket Neo series operates without interchangeable stations – as found on the KHS Innoket SE, for example – and unlike classic table machines the labeling stations are not bolted to fixed points on the table but can be freely positioned.
The machine is so versatile and flexible that it can safely be described as an all-rounder. In one English craft brewery, for example, it has been integrated into a predominantly manual production line as a self-adhesive labeler. For a company in Japan it has been configured as a cold glue machine with a maximum capacity of 19,000 bottles per hour and one Russian beverage producer successfully uses the Innoket Neo for a combination of cold glue and roll-fed labeling.