Material Handling

Maximum of versatility

Varioline. Krones presents packaging combinations from a single source. The basic idea involved is that a single machine replaces up to six conventional individual machines linked by conveyors.

Varioline packaging system for brewing and beverage industries. (Fig.: Krones)

The Varioline packaging system has proved highly successful in establishing itself within the beverage industry. As evidenced by more than 30 machines commissioned within a period of just two years. There are good reasons for this. For the brewing and beverage industries, flexibility in end-of-the-line packaging is an increasingly important consideration. Often individual containers have to be first placed in multipacks, and these then packed in an appropriate sales or outer package. Since both the multipacks and the end-of-the-line packages are subject to changing consumption trends and will vary for different target groups, consumption occasions or export nations, maximised flexibility is imperative. By developing the Varioline as a flexible solution, Krones has found the right answer for this job profile. The basic idea involved is that a single machine replaces up to six conventional individual machines linked by conveyors. With the Varioline combination conjuror, packaging processes involving up to three stages can be handled by just a single machine. The logical consequence is space savings, reduced maintenance work and fewer operators.

The modularised Varioline kit consists of three modules, which can be combined to form a customised packaging system. These three units, the cartoning, feed and basic modules, feature an identical basic construction to create a modularised design concept that ensures flexibility for the future. The machine can handle up to 52.000 containers per hour.

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The Varioline packaging systems can also be block-synchronised with other machines, like a Variopac Pro shrink-wrapper, so that besides carton packaging pure and simple the packs can also be wrapped in film. This option is already up and running at three clients, who have thus created maximised flexibility within a machinery block.

The huge demand from the market has made clear the vital importance of providing supportive consultancy for the clients in regard to possible packaging options and materials. Krones accordingly works closely together with the major carton packaging manufacturers and cooperates with partners who support the development of pack prototypes. Like with bottle design, Krones can now assist bottling plants as a consultant by suggesting appropriate packs.

In the USA there is the world’s biggest market for baskets and multipacks. Most recently, the American brewing conglomerate MillerCoors has modernised and streamlined its packaging technology. For this purpose, the group has installed two new Varioline packaging systems in each of the non-returnable glass lines at four of its facilities. The Varioline machines, installed for parallel operation, have replaced the old technology, which was based upon a concatenation of individual machines. With erectors for baskets and cartons, an intermittent packer and a carton closer, this multiplicity of units added up to a highly elaborate and personnel-intensive technology. The eight new Variolines now offer advantages: they are flexible and space-saving, need lower staffing levels and provide a higher level of efficiency, since now fewer machines are running. pb

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