A real competitive advantage for beverage producers

Gerhard Schubert GmbH Verpackungsmaschinen and KHS, the specialist in beverage bottling systems, have brought together their expertise in bottle packing and combined their technologies as part of a collaborative effort: the jointly developed block solution delivers maximum flexibility and stands out with its exceptionally compact design.

The collaboration opens up a higher degree of customisation in packaging solutions for breweries and other beverage producers with close to unlimited format possibilities – resulting in decisive competitive advantages.

In conventional production lines for packing beverage bottles in baskets or cluster packs, individual machines are connected via transport units. The jointly developed block solution connects Schubert’s and KHS’s machines inline by bringing together the individual modules into a single compact, space-saving unit. Additional transport units are no longer required. This is made possible by the use of Schubert’s Transmodul. The patented transport robot takes over the transport of erected cartons in the KHS system and then transports the bottle-filled cartons to the corresponding module for gluing and closing.

In addition to its long-standing experience in developing modular solutions, Schubert brings its many years of expertise in the packaging of beverages such as beer, yoghurt drinks, champagne, apple wine and fruit juice. Renowned manufacturers successfully use the top-loading technology in the final packaging of their products. The new combination of systems from Schubert and KHS achieves an inline output of up to 72,000 bottles. Depending on how many modules are blocked together, the system can process as many as 30,000 bottles per hour even when disconnected from the product flow.

“Bringing together a variety of different modules, our customers are provided with exactly the system that meets their specific requirements in terms of packaging design and performance capability,” explains Gerald Schubert, Managing Director of the Gerhard Schubert GmbH. Flexibility is also reflected in the variety of possible packaging variants: the system can handle cases as well as baskets, clusters and other secondary carton packaging. “Even with production volumes of more than 100,000 hectolitres, the benefits of our customised machine concept can be fully exploited. And, if required, the customer can easily expand the line at a later date,” highlights Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer, Chairman of the Board of the KHS Group based in Dortmund.

A packaging block jointly developed by both companies will be used in the future by the Schützengarten Brewery in St. Gallen. The solution is a multifunctional combination of a KHS packer blocked with a Schubert erecting and closing module which can pack cases as well as cardboard boxes. The Swiss brewery will be processing eleven different bottle formats on the compact line – seven of which are returnable and four disposable. The returnable bottles are packed in six different plastic cases. Schützengarten uses six different carton formats for the disposable bottles. The customer benefits from a highly flexible overall solution, which enables significant increases in packaging quality and efficiency.

In the future, the Swiss Schützengarten brewery will be using a combination of a KHS packer blocked with a Schubert erecting and closing module.