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Peterstaler is now filling newly developed glass bottles thanks to a project successfully implemented by KHS


To date KHS has developed over 14,000 PET bottle and 7,000 preform designs under the auspices of its Bottles & Shapes™ program. The systems supplier has now expanded its holistic expert consultancy program for container design to include glass bottles and cans. Fast, reliable, inline format changeovers in particular are a major factor for bottlers. KHS assures just this when new products are launched, with Peterstaler Mineralquellen GmbH from Bad Peterstal-Griesbach in the Black Forest now also convinced of this fact. After investing in a new glass bottle line in 2015 the company recently decided to launch new glass bottles for its mineral water. The machine manufacturer from Dortmund was once again largely instrumental in the success of the project.

This particular project in the Black Forest was approached from a different angle; where KHS cooperates closely with its customers on the development of new PET bottles, in the glass container segment the design was already fixed. Here, Peterstaler had decided to deploy a new glass bottle developed by the Society of German Mineral Water Producers (Genossenschaft Deutscher Brunnen or GDB). “There’s a definite move back to glass, with the amount used on the increase in the mineral water industry especially,” says Wolfgang Sum, engineering manager at Peterstaler Mineralbrunnen. “Closer attention is again being paid to quality, value and the regional aspect. Because of the greater weight of transportation and the higher costs this incurs, bottling in glass only pays off [for deliveries] within a 200-kilometer radius of our plant.” This was another reason for expanding the company portfolio.

Peterstaler is now filling newly developed glass bottles thanks to a project successfully implemented by KHS

When launching the new bottle format the chief focus was on the wants and needs of the consumer. “There are an increasing number of single households, for example, and lots of people don’t want to have to drag heavy crates around anymore,” claims Sum. To reach out to this target group Peterstaler decided to fill its products into new containers known as GBD pool bottles, a one-liter bottle in crates of six for people living on their own. “This type of crate is practical and easy to carry and transport,” Sum affirms. The mineral water bottling plant also fills 0.5- and 0.7-liter bottles.

In 2015 Peterstaler invested in a new glass line from the Dortmund systems supplier. The desire for new bottle formats again involved the experts from KHS in the fall of 2017 who implemented the project within the context of its holistic Bottles & Shapes™ consultancy program. “In this case this meant adapting the finished bottle to the line and converting this so that the filled crates of water find their way to the supermarket shelf without a hitch,” explains Armin Wille, head of Service Sales at KHS.

Making use of the new bottles meant that the entire line had to be readjusted – from the decrater and bottle conveying system through the filler to the labeler and crater. The first bottle was then filled in the spring of 2018. Besides adapting the hardware KHS also reprogrammed the software for the whole system so that conversions are now possible at the proverbial press of a button within a very short time indeed. “The operator now intervenes as little as possible and knows exactly what he or she has to do to ensure that the filling result is always the same in the end. We attached great importance to this,” Sum states. For example, at the moment the changeover time from the last 0.7-liter bottle to the first one-liter bottle leaving the labeler amounts to around 45 minutes.

Peterstaler was also convinced by the sustainability of the KHS line. “Our prime source of heat for the bottle washer is still fueled by oil. We’re saving up to 35% here, for instance, and need less fresh water, thus producing less wastewater. Our electricity consumption has also been cut by up to 55%. A lot’s been achieved,” he smiles.

Alongside fast changeovers and low energy consumption service and maintenance also play a major role for Peterstaler. “So many things hinge on the people. When we signed the contract for the system back then, I said that we’re now entering into a new partnership,” says Sum. Peterstaler is also totally satisfied with this partnership, he stresses. “In the coming year I’ll have been with the company for 30 years. When I joined, machines from KHS were already in use. That just about says it all.” The mineral water bottler not only operates Dortmund plant engineering on its glass line but also to stretch blow mold its PET bottles – here again relying on the proven Bottles and Shapes™ program. “We designed our first PET bottle together in 2004,” Wille tells us. Over the years KHS has continued to develop these containers for Peterstaler. “Here, through lightweighting we’ve been able to make considerable savings in the amount of materials used by the customer and thus also in costs,” Wille emphasizes.

The installation of the line in 2015 and last year’s conversions were something of a challenge, however, according to KHS senior service engineer Roland Streng. “The production shop had the added attraction of being on the second floor. As when we installed the glass line, during conversion we also had to lift the heavy format parts in through the roof using a truck-mounted crane,” explains Streng, who goes on to casually remark: “We managed to squeeze an entire line into a telephone booth. At 600 square meters, the area isn’t very big. It was all very tight. But we did it!”

Peterstaler Mineralquellen GmbH was founded in Bad Peterstal in Germany’s Ortenau District in 1926. Its mineral water, marketed in a classic and a medium variety, is sourced from the depths of the Black Forest. The range of products also includes spritzers, fruit juice beverages, soda pops and sports and vitamin-enriched drinks. Peterstaler sells its water in both returnable and non-returnable PET and glass bottles.

The KHS Group has expanded its Bottles and Shapes™ program and now also applies its holistic expert consultancy program for container design and optimization to glass bottles and cans. The company discusses ideas with customers, gives advice on individual designs and at the same time identifies potential areas for improvement along the entire production line. During the process the KHS experts make detailed technical assessments with their global partners up front and check whether cans or glass bottles can be filled on existing customer machines without any problems occurring. The holistic program provides interdisciplinary project management from order entry to commissioning. The new format parts are specifically manufactured to fit the existing lines. With fast installation of and all necessary conversions on the system KHS ensures that new products can be introduced without any hitches. Thanks to integrated planning with the help of Bottles and Shapes™ KHS enables a trouble-free launch of new products and a reliable time to market.

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