Together we can achieve more. This is why we have long been an active member of a number of associations. This promotes the exchange of experience and transfer of knowledge – with all those companies involved and their customers reaping equal profit.
To be right up to the minute so that you can push your innovations: this is what many companies aim for who, like us, stand for top technology and want to enable sustainable change through their product portfolio. It is thus all the more important that we form networks, pass on new findings, discuss possible solutions and represent our shared interests. This is all possible if we work together under the auspices of an association which for us is an established tradition – and also one which is constantly subject to change. While this exchange used to be specific to a certain branch of industry, with brewery associations playing the most important role, for instance, networks are now more usually formed across several disciplines. Superordinate topics, such as recycling, plastics and adhesives or material specifications, are becoming an increasing area of focus when solutions need to be found to current questions. It is thus essential that we work together across our various sectors, adopting a number of different perspectives and coordinating our wealth of experience.
Focus on sustainability
Sustainability is now a central theme in all associations. Practically every innovation is rooted in the endeavor to practice resource and energy efficiency. In an attempt to afford this objective an even greater awareness, the German Engineering Association (VDMA) has launched its Blue Competence sustainability campaign which KHS is committed to out of conviction. Our references for Plasmax coating, water cascading system and water cooling during beer filling show just how fruitful this commitment can be.
Our Plasmax coating comprises a flexible, ultra-thin layer of silicon oxide whose properties correspond to those of chemically pure glass. This layer applied to the inside of PET bottles gives premium product protection, allowing neither oxygen to penetrate the bottle from outside nor carbon dioxide in the beverage to escape from the inside of the receptacle. Furthermore, the bottle remains 100% recyclable and its weight can be reduced by up to 17%. This freshness protection, which we promote under our FreshSafe logo, preserves the product’s properties almost as long as a glass bottle.
Our water cascade was developed with the aim of saving water and heating energy when sanitizing systems and filling returnable kegs. By cascading water across a number of machines we can now use this precious commodity four times and have thus almost halved the amount of fresh water consumed from 12 to seven liters per keg liter. The system’s hot steam consumption has even sunk by 70%.
Another example of resource savings is our highly efficient new water cooling system for vacuum pumps during beer filling. The water required to lubricate, seal and cool vacuum pumps must be permanently cooled. As it warms up during operation, this water used to be regularly replaced, consuming an average 12 liters of fresh water per hectoliter of beer filled. Our new system now uses a heat sink which had previously gone unnoticed: the cold beer itself (4°C). In a hygienic, safe heat exchange system the required amount of cold is extracted from the beer and added to the water. This enables up to 98% of fresh and wastewater to be saved, plus a maximum of 45% of the required pump power. In addition, no coolant is needed in the filler section.
Besides our campaigns within the VDMA we are a member of the Central Association for the Electrical and Electronics Industry (ZVEI), where we actively support the various issues surrounding Industry 4.0. Here, we have developed important applications which can devise concrete solutions using Industry 4.0 technologies.
Together with Krones AG and Sidel International AG we have also founded the Association of the Beverage Machinery Industry (ABMI). This association gives European manufacturers of filling and packaging machines the opportunity to find out about topics that are relevant across the industry. We are also a member of the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) which campaigns for hygiene awareness in the processing and packaging of food. Likewise we work with large associations such as the Association of German Engineers (VDI), with whom we are currently running a research project on condition-based maintenance in conjunction with RWTH Aachen University.
Our commitment and cooperative partnership in and with various associations is thus extremely targeted and always dependent on the topical challenge we happen to be tackling. This gives us a very wide scope regarding the perspectives and expertise which flow into our commitment to sustainability.