The German company’s new Innofill Glass filling system provides a technical basis for various KHS electronic filling systems designed to suit specific filling methods.
KHS said the move was inspired by the automotive industry, where basic technical concepts are enhanced across a common platform.
The first system produced on this platform is Innofill DRS-ZMS (pictured), a pressure filling system designed for bottling beer. KHS said it would add fillers for beer, soft drinks, wine, sparkling wine, and spirits in the near future.
Shorter production times
Ludwig Clüsserath, manager of KHS’s Filling Technology Competence Center told FoodProductionDaily.com:
“The next step is to adapt the setup for further filling systems from KHS for soft drinks, water, wine, sparkling wine, and spirits. Here, the modular machine program also shortens production and processing times, thus resulting in shorter delivery periods.”
Principal features of Innofill Glass include an open design with, in the company’s words “no corners and edges but with curves and slopes, enabling a rapid runoff of liquids”.
“In place of the conventional filler front table, a bottle transfer frame connects the stars and capper modules using open pipes with no flanges,” KHS said.
Torque motors are another advantage of the system, KHS added, since they provide high torque at a relatively low speed to drive the transfer stars and capper.
Drives with torque motors have 96 per cent efficiency, the company said, compared to 85 per cent efficiency for conventional drive systems.
“At the same time the cost required for maintenance is minimized thanks to an extremely low susceptibility to wear,” the company said.
Automatic exterior cleaning is simplified by the fact that electrical elements, pilot valves and control hoses are not located in the filling valve hygeine area.
Enhanced filling quality
KHS said the new Innofill DRS-ZMS system would enhance filling quality and line availability, while reducing maintenance, power, water, and cleaning costs.
Clüsserath said:“These achievements are made possible by the use of modern, extremely low wear, and lubrication-free components, which have been developed in close cooperation with highly specialised partners.
Instead the electronics and solenoid vales are separated from the filling area.
Another system benefit claimed by KHS is the reduction of the number of parts in the filler carousel section to reduce weight and increase system stability.
Specifically, a “compact valve manifold” is 50 per cent smaller than the previous valve used by KHS, while the filler and capper system can be expanded using modules to include additional cappers.
Operation is also simplified by a control panel with “user-friendly operator prompting” using buttons, coloured graphics and interactive handling instructions, with several different operating levels.