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Krones beer filling line for Boag's

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IN what is one of the largest single orders in its 125 year history, JL Lennard has recently supplied and installed a Krones high-speed turnkey bottling line at J. Boag & Son's Launceston brewery.

It is the first Krones turnkey beer packaging line in Australia, and at 800 375ml bottles a minute, it doubles the brewery's bottling capacity. It is designed to package James Boag's Premium, Australia's second largest selling premium beer brand.

The Krones lines is the centrepiece of a $15 million upgrade of the Launceston brewery.

J.L.Lennard Engineering manufactured all the bottle and carton conveyors in its Brisbane facility. The installation and commissioning, was managed by J.L.Lennard site and project engineers along with a team of Krones commissioning engineers from Germany.

A spokesman said the Krones range was exclusively distributed and serviced in Australia by JL Lennard, a family-owned Australian company founded in 1879, which could tailor a Krones machine or line to custom-fit most applications.

He said the Krones turnkey line in Launceston consisted of a Krones Pressant universal depalletiser; a Krones Mecafill VKPV 87-valve rinser/filler/crowner bloc; a Krones/Sander Hansen pasteuriser; a Krones Topmatic labelling machine with an automatic bulk glue system; a Krones Variopac high speed shrink wrapper; three Krones 2A linear robotic palletisers with automatic pallet infeed plus Krones Syskron LDS line data software control.

The Mecafill VKPV filling system was an electro-pneumatic system which permitted quick individually adjustable filling steps.

These were program steps that could be saved and programmed centrally in an operating unit, that were reproducible at any time. This enabled fast change-over times for bottle sizes and products.

"This well proven system replaces the purely mechanical filling system offered by other filler manufacturers," the spokesman said.

The wrap-around case packer at the end of the line was an Italian machine from SMI and Krones would be supplying Checkmat fill height, missing-crown and missing-label detectors. Videojet inkjet coders, from Tronics , would be used on the labeller.

J.L.Lennard Engineering manufactured the bottle and carton conveyors at its facility in Mansfield, Brisbane and a team of Krones contract engineers was doing the electrical and mechanical installation. Krones commissioning engineers were then to commission the line and carry out training for the operational and maintenance people at Boags, he said.

A spokesman for SMI Pacifica said the latest case-packer is the third SMI machine at the brewery, which installed its first some 10 years ago. The latest, the WP-800 was also SMI's fastest and was capable of filling 80 cartons a minute.

"The machine runs so fast that standard hot-melt hoppers would be run dry, so it is fitted with a high-capacity OEMasterfill glue module that continually delivers small doses to the gluepot, matched to the filling rate.

"It also features an extended carton magazine which substantially increases storage volume, making it easy for the line operator to maintain board supply, using cartons from Boag's choice of supplier," the spokesman said.

Because all moving components were co-ordinated by computer, the SMI machines had proven faster, smoother and more reliable than drop packers. Product changeovers could be done in minutes from the control screen, without the need for change parts.

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