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German brewer upgrades

The Arcobräu Gräfliches Brauhaus GmbH & Co. KG brewery, headquartered in Germany’s Lower Bavarian village of Moos, has brought its bottling operations up to the very latest state of the art.

Stakeholders in the recent machinery upgrade at Arcobräu Gräfliches Brauhaus GmbH & Co. KG.
Stakeholders in the recent machinery upgrade at Arcobräu Gräfliches Brauhaus GmbH & Co. KG.

The mid-tier family-owned brewery has installed a new Modufill HES filler with crowner from Krones AG plus a Krones Checkmat bottle inspector and the requisite conveyors. Brewery Director Holger Fichtel and Brewmaster Günther Breitenfellner attached particular importance to the quality of the beer bottling process, based on exceptionally low oxygen pickup and maximised hygiene.

The Modulfill HES filler is an energy-efficient, intelligent, probe-controlled filling system, without a vent tube, featuring a tubular ring bowl with 96 filling valves and an 18-head crowner, and prepared for subsequent retrofitting of a capper. With its rated output of 33,000 0.5-litre NRW bottles per hour, it is designed to handle both top- and bottom-fermented beers, and alcohol-free types as well. Thus capacity upsizing was not the aim of this investment. Double pre-evacuation with interpolated CO2 flushing ensures minimised oxygen values: “With this technology, we can enhance the stability of the beer’s taste,” comments Brewery Director Holger Fichtel. Warm filling at temperatures greater than 15 degrees Celsius is also possible without any reduction in output.

The product-friendly filling system of the Modulfill HES provides enhanced levels of hygiene and filling stability, minimizes fobbing, and ensures accurate fill quantities. The bottles are pressurized and vented via two separate gas paths, which prevents liquid passing from the filled bottle into the pressurisation channel, thus providing considerable advantages in terms of filling stability and hygiene. During pressurization, no residual liquid can penetrate into the empty bottles. Unwanted fobbing and hygiene risks during filling are thus precluded. Hygiene safety is rounded off by an automatic cold gush-type jetting of all microbiologically relevant machine components. For Brewmaster Günther Breitenfellner, the line is unmatched in meeting the stringent hygiene stipulations involved.

The Checkmat FM-HF installed downstream of the filler inspects the filled bottles for over- and underfills, with filling valve and crowner head assignments, and also incorporates a closure monitoring feature and logo detection for the crown.

An entirely new Siemens S7 control system regulates all the bottle conveyors between the unpacker and the packer, including integration of the existing machines and conveyor systems. The empty-bottle inspector and the filler are monobloc-synchronised electronically, which enables the buffering times between the machines to be optimized. In the new bottle conveyors, only efficient, energy-economical drives are used.

Filler, bottle inspector and conveyors had to be installed at the Arcobräu Brewery under severe space constraints. An extremely tight timeframe was scheduled for delivery, erection and commissioning. Now, Arcobräu can bottle its wide range of beers in optimum quality using state-of-the-art technology while ensuring long-lived taste-stability.

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