With the modular platform for its can fillers KHS not only gives operators great flexibility and optimised hygiene but primarily plenty of future viability. The new generation of KHS fillers is designed to cater for the future challenges of the market and the beverage industry in the long term.
Modular, configurable and expandable: these are the attributes that distinguish the global platform shared by KHS’ new generation of fillers. Following successive implementation of the technology for glass and PET over the past two years, this is now available on the market for can fillers. This means that in this container segment, too, the most demanding customer requirements for maximum adaptability and future viability can now be catered for even better.
Beverage canners profit from the new development of a universal modular system for all filler types on several counts. The use of identical parts makes for improved availability, meaning that fillers can be supplied more quickly. Installation and commissioning on site are much quicker as they are carried out using simplified or synchronised standards. What’s more, maintenance-free drive technology cuts down on the time and effort required for cleaning. The same goes for maintenance processes that have now been simplified and shortened by the fillers’ uniform design.
In view of the ever more diverse range of beverages, flexibility in filling is becoming increasingly important. One key criterion here is the choice of the right material for the expansion joint seal on each filling valve. PTFE (Teflon) is a material that can be excellently cleaned. With regard to customers’ growing product portfolios, the biggest advantage of this particular material is that it absorbs practically no flavouring substances – unlike standard seals made of elastomers such as EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene rubber) that soak up liquid like a sponge during production.
When there is a drop in concentration with the next product in the filling sequence, the EPDM again releases these flavourings. In order to prevent this unwanted effect, production has to be scheduled by flavour. The week thus starts off with a mineral water, for instance, and ends with the filling of a product with an intensive taste, such as an energy drink. With the KHS filling valves, flavour transfer is practically eliminated, giving customers more freedom when planning.
One major plus of the new development is its further optimised standard of hygiene, largely ensured by the pneumatic bell guides that are now lubrication free as they are no longer lowered mechanically by rollers and cams. This not only prevents wear but also avoids splash water. Another highlight is the optional hygiene cladding: thanks to raised jacket plates and a lower ceiling, the product room around the filler carousel is now much smaller. Built according to the ‘donut’ principle, the housing encloses the carousel in a ring and in doing so reduces the volume of the hygiene zone by up to 40%. This ensures an optimum, targeted flow of sterile air through the sensitive area, thus protecting the open cans from ‘impure’ shop air. It also cuts down on the number of HEPA filters needed.