Krones has launched what it describes as an ‘ultra compact’ single-end bottle washer designed specifically for beverage manufacturers with small to medium outputs.
The machine (pictured) can be supplied to cater for different model widths, and incorporates technology from Krones large-scale Lavatec machine, according to the German firm’s chairman Volker Kronseder.
He presented the machine to journalists at Brau Beviale last week - where FoodProductionDaily.com also conducted a video interview with Krones - and said it was the first time the Neutraubling firm had exhibited a washing machine at a trade show.
“We never exhibited a washing machine before because they were all so big, but this one is so compact. All the mechanical components are similar to our high-performance machines,” he said.
“The intake and the output are all made of stainless steel and you can empty all the tanks very easily.”
Krones said the machine could also be supplied with a clean-design option. This features hygienic housing and piping guide systems (with central draining points), an open bottle slide (made of germ-resistant plastic sections) and an easily accessible discharge for fast, intensive cleaning.
Grey bottle prevention
Discussing the machine's features with journalists, Kronseder said: “There is also automatic screen cleaning. A pump sucks up the caustic fluid from the bottom, the soiling stays at the bottom. If you open the valve then you can flush out the salt and the things that have been filtered out.
“This machine has an output of 6,600 bottles per hour, and the performance can be ramped-up to 26,000 but then it’s of course a different size.”
One unique feature of the machine, Kronseder said, was an option that prevented grey bottles. “When downstream [within the machine] there is interference, the bottles that stay in the washing machine too long turn grey.
“So if they can move out, they are doing another round. So they are going through the washing process again, and therefore never become grey.”
Krones said that, despite its small footprint, Lavatec E2 produced good cleaning results by carrying the bottles through the machine in a horizontal loop for “maximum caustic dwell time”.
Rotary jetting tubes
Lavatec E2 works by transferring the containers from the pre-cleaning zone to the caustic immersion bath, which they pass through in a horizontal loop path.
Here, rotary jetting tubes clean bottles on the inside from various angles, while the outside of bottles are cleaned from above by large-volume jetting units.
Passing into the post-caustic tank, double nozzles also clean bottles from below, and (according to Krones) accurately targeting the shoulder area of bottles for an enhanced cleaning effect.
Prior to leaving the machine, bottles are cooled-down using small quantities of fresh water, with the final residues dirt and caustic targeted.
Kronseder said the Lavatec E2 exhibited at Brau had been purchased by the new mid-tier Orth brewery in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, which has also bought a Kosme filler rated at 6,000 containers an hour.