Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG is a Gerolstein, Germany-based maker of sparkling and non-sparkling mineral water, and soft drinks made from the mineral water. Known as an innovative firm committed to the land and its heritage, Gerolsteiner uses an in-house quality assurance department and electronically monitors everything from sourcing through bottle filling.
To boost product safety in the manufacture of PET containers, Gerolsteiner relies on a preform deduster from KHS. By cleaning its PET preforms, the company cuts costs and improves quality in the production process. Any foreign bodies are gently and reliably removed prior to the stretch/blow-molding process.
PET preforms can be soiled for a number of reasons. Sometimes particles such as PET dust or foreign bodies, including splinters of wood or fragments of PET, can enter preforms during production, transportation or storage.
"If foreign bodies like these are detected during preform inspection, the preform is rejected," explains Marco Böhnke, Product Manager at KHS Corpoplast. Although the rejection rate for soiling of this kind is usually under half a percent, even this very slight amount is soon noticeable at a high production volume. A preform may only cost a few cents, but by dedusting preforms and preventing unnecessary rejections annual savings into five figures can be made. The mineral water bottling plant in Gerolstein in Germany has now opted for this system.
To save costs for preforms that would otherwise be lost, Gerolsteiner placed a dedusting unit from KHS upstream of its inspection system. After six months in operation Dieter Kuhl, Production Manager for one-way containers at the bottling plant, says, "We're constantly working on improving the quality of our products. Further developments in inline quality control also help us here. We're one step nearer to this goal with our dedusting unit and in addition we're cutting our costs in the long term."
A compressed air lance inserted into each preform used in the compact system removes unwanted particles at a rate of up to 81,000 preforms/hr. As a result fewer PET preforms lost and the risk posed by contaminated preforms is minimized further in combination with an inspection unit.