Food Engineering
TECH FLASH

New bottling plant fills 36,000 bottles per hour

January 27, 2012
Hacklberger Beverage Plant
At the Hacklberger Getränke-und-Logistikcenter, machines from BMS Maschinenfabrik handle crates and bottles. Source: NORD Drivesystems.

Founded in 1998, the Hacklberger Getränke-und-Logistikcenter (Hacklberger Beverages and Logistics Center) (HGL) is a spin-off of the Hacklberger brewery where beer has been brewed since 1618. The company supplies about 1,200 beverage dealers and is one of the largest breweries in Bavaria. HGL bottles several beverages, including 14 different types of beer, 25 types of alcohol-free beer and four types of mineral wter. Over 300,000 hectoliters (7.925 million gallons) leave the production facilities each year; the new bottling plant fills up to 36,000 bottles per hour.

When consumers return bottles, they tend to put a mixture of various bottles into the case. This is difficult to manage when mixed cases arrive at Hacklberger. On arrival, cases are loaded on a conveyor system that brings them into the production area. Then the cases are put onto a dedicated belt where they are automatically identified and moved to the appropriate storage areas. Bottles and cases that are not recognized are arranged into the correct sequence for manual sorting.

The cases then pass through a case-washing system. In the next stage, the screw caps are removed from the bottles as necessary. Crown caps and other closures are also removed. The bottles are then conveyed to the washing system. After a sophisticated washing process, the bottles are checked for damage and dirt, and defective bottles are automatically rejected. After the bottles are refilled with beverage, they are automatically fitted with screw caps or crown closures and labeled.

In the next stage, the bottles are conveyed to the output station, where they are packed into cases and then stacked on pallets. Once the pallets have been banded, they are finally transferred back to the central storage area.

Packaging, palletizing and transport technology are provided by a single source, the BMS Maschinenfabrik Company. “One of the important things was the interaction of automated technology, as well as the possibility of being able to use the various containers, which are unpacked by the system using a wide range of sorting methods,” explains Gerhard Bielmeier, designer at BMS Maschinenfabrik.

“It is the speed of the system that is decisive, and the speed is provided by the drive units. Therefore, the drive technology is the decisive factor for the productivity of our systems. Our success is certainly partly due to the innovative drive technology from Getriebebau NORD, which we have used consistently for many years.” says Bielmeier.

Hacklberger Beverage Plant Drive Close-up
NORD drive technology is used in the conveyor system. Source: NORD Drivesystems.

NORD mechanical and electronic drive technology is used in the BMS packaging, palletizing and conveyor systems. Distributed system concepts are being implemented with the compact SK 300E, a combination of a geared motor and a fully equipped frequency inverter. The SK 300E frequency inverter is mounted directly onto the motor and is integrated into the drive unit. The inverter has a maximum protection class of IP55 or IP66. The CANopen interface on the frequency inverter enables the parameterization and control of the devices. In addition to distributed drive units, centrally installed SK 700E series frequency inverters are used. They include POSICON positioning control, which enables the implementation of relative or absolute position control. “The additional positioning possibilities simplify the task of the control system. For example, there is the possibility of using a photoelectric beam detector to directly control the drive unit, so that it stops or starts again. That is easy to program,” says Bielmeier.

Energy efficiency and environmentally friendly drive technology were also important factors in favor of NORD equipment. The NORD drive units are equipped with an energy-saving motor and a two-stage, bevel helical gear unit with 97 percent efficiency. In addition, the trio SK 300E units have low electromagnetic emissions. The NORD trio SK 300E combines the frequency inverter, the motor and the gear unit into a compact unit, which includes a line filter.

 For more information: Barbara Houdek, 608-849-7300, barbara.houdek@nord.com, Web.