Back to his old domain: on January 1, 2024, Tobias Wetzel will become the new managerial head of Sales and Service at KHS. This has now been confirmed by the company’s supervisory board. The 50-year-old switches from the Mannesmann Stainless Tubes group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of seamless stainless steel and nickel-based alloy tubes and pipes, to the systems provider. Between 2011 and 2020 Wetzel already held various managerial positions at KHS, most recently as head of the Service Division. He joins Kai Acker (CEO), Martin Resch (CFO Finance, Procurement and IT) and Beate Schäfer (CHRO) to complete the KHS Executive Management Board.
After finishing his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in general management at what is now the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Wetzel gained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from FOM International University for economy and management. His studies complete, he then started his career at Coca-Cola where he remained for over three years, amassing extensive experience in the beverage industry.
Prior to his starting in his new post, Wetzel held a number of managerial positions for the Dortmund systems provider over a period of ten years, first as head of RC Service Sales Support, then as executive vice-president of Corporate Controlling and finally as head of the Service Division until his departure. Between April 2015 and August 2019 he also assumed the management of the production site in Hamburg, then active under the name of KHS Corpoplast GmbH (now KHS GmbH). Before his time with the turnkey supplier, the graduate business economist spent around ten years in various functions at and companies of Mannesmannröhren-Werke – and has thus been working for Salzgitter AG, to which both companies belong, for over 20 years.
Sponsored Post – Experience the future of the beverage industry close up with KHS: at drinktec from September 12 to 16 the engineering company will be presenting its latest machine and packaging systems. The focus will be on the filler/seamer block SmartCan by KHS/Ferrum that provides clear benefits regarding hygiene, flexibility and simple operation. With its new Loop LITE PET bottle concept KHS is further helping to optimize the ecobalance of beverage packaging and promoting closed recycling loops. Furthermore, at its booth in Hall B4 the turnkey supplier will also be exhibiting a modular automation concept for PET lines plus its full range of services that include both on-site assignments and remote digital solutions.
After five long years, the wait is finally over: the beverage and liquid food industry can now again look forward to drinktec finally reopening its doors this September! Dr. Johannes T. Grobe, CSO of the KHS Group, is also eagerly anticipating the start of the trade show. “Messe München with drinktec is a close and indispensable partner for us. As the key innovative driver, this leading trade show enjoys a high standing in our branch of industry. True to this year’s KHS motto of ‘OUR PATH INTO YOUR FUTURE’, it’s the perfect platform on which to present our future-oriented systems and services to a large international audience.”
Dr. Grobe is especially delighted that drinktec can actually take place live in 2022. “In the past couple of years countless events have been canceled or staged in a purely virtual format. This was a difficult time for us all. Despite digital solutions, personal contact is essential. As one of the main exhibitors in Munich, we’re very pleased to be able to again welcome our customers and partners in person.”
KHS provides solutions to beverage industry challenges
The beverage and liquid food industry currently finds itself facing immense challenges and radical change. “The various global political tensions, our increasingly digital world and the effort to better protect our climate and environment are what dominate our work,” says Grobe. Flexibility and adaptability are the skills we need both now and in the future – for the latter even more so.” KHS supports its customers on this demanding journey forwards with reliable, future-proof systems and solutions. To this end, the company has specified four main areas of focus: Line Efficiency, Circular Packaging, Smart Operations and Reliable Services.
Space-saving filler/seamer block from KHS and Ferrum
The new filler/seamer block SmartCan by KHS/Ferrum gives operators greater line efficiency and maximum process reliability. Customers profit from a space-saving, flexible system that is convincing thanks to its simple operation and sets new standards with its optimized hygiene concept. At the same time the joint development scores on simple and fast format changeovers when filling different products.
KHS promotes closed loopswith new rPET bottle
Moreover, for KHS the issue of environmental protection is also a major focus at the trade show. “Consumers and beverage producers are actively calling for sustainable packaging that’s as climate-friendly and low on resources as possible,” stresses Grobe. “KHS is well aware of its responsibility here and helps customers by providing specific advice and developing and implementing recyclable systems.” With its new KHS Loop LITE packaging concept the systems provider is consistently continuing to pursue this policy and now presents a very light 0.5-liter PET bottle made entirely of recyclate. The specially-developed design of this ecofriendly packaging for highly carbonated beverages allows up to 25 % less material to be used compared to standard market CSD bottles and can be fed into the closed recycling loop with no trouble whatsoever. Its thin interior coating of glass also ensures long-term product protection, with the tried-and-tested Nature MultiPack system from KHS providing optimum carrying convenience.
Greater flexibility with automated line changeovers
Besides environmentally-friendly packaging, more and more consumers want to be able to choose from a wide range of products. Bottlers thus frequently need to expand their portfolios, with the number of stock keeping units or SKUs constantly on the rise as a result. In order to keep line availability and efficiency at a high level, they require fast product changeovers. KHS caters for this demand with its new, modular automation concept for PET lines. With fast, reliable and reproducible changeovers it significantly boosts the overall equipment effectiveness. In ideal conditions format changeovers from one to another SKU can be performed in 30 minutes – including running the system empty and restarting it. Up to 80 % of all manual activities are rendered superfluous by the new KHS setup.
Reliable consultancy thanks to digital solutions
The corona pandemic has clearly demonstrated just how important digital services are for maintaining production systems. “Contact and travel restrictions meant that it was much more difficult than before to provide consultancy in person,” Dr. Grobe states. “Our intelligent ReDiS and augmented reality remote diagnostics and remote maintenance services and our web-based Basic Line Monitoring system have proved to be of inestimable value in this respect.” The significance of these solutions will continue to grow in the future. KHS will thus be presenting its further developments in this field at drinktec.
The Dortmund systems supplier is also a reliable partner to its customers thanks to its expertise in 3D line design. At the offer stage, for example, KHS can illustrate how a client’s potential new line or single machine can be integrated into the prevalent conditions on site – taking all dimensions and technical limitations in the production shop into account.
The KHS Group will be presenting its plant engineering in Hall B4 at drinktec in Munich, Germany, from September 12 to 16, 2022.
The KHS Group and Ferrum AG are intensifying their longstanding cooperation. Pending approval from antitrust authorities, KHS GmbH will be acquiring a stake in Ferrum Packaging AG. The aim is to optimally bundle the competencies of both machine-engineering companies to form a common system portfolio in the interest of providing integrated customer systems. At the same time, customers will also benefit in the future from well thought-out, one stop-shop services.
The KHS Group and Ferrum AG have been working together extremely successfully in the can segment for years. Dortmund full-service provider KHS values most of all its Swiss partner’s innovative machine technology and its expertise based on many years of experience, emphasizes Martin Resch, CFO in charge of purchasing at KHS. “Ferrum AG is the worldwide well-known manufacturer of can seamers. Combined with our future-oriented solutions in the field of filling and packaging technology, we form an effective union that is valued highly in the market.”
The two engineering companies are now intensifying their cooperation even further. Ferrum Packaging AG was founded as a subsidiary of Ferrum AG and incorporates Ferrum’s entire worldwide can seaming business. KHS will be acquiring minority ownership in Ferrum. At the same time, Ferrum Packaging Inc., the US subsidiary of Ferrum Packaging AG, will be taking over KHS’ can seaming business together with its employees and will be integrating it into the joint offer.
Intelligently combined system solutions
The aim of the merger is to develop and globally market joint solutions. To date, the KHS Group has offered tried and tested Ferrum can seamers only as accessory components for its canning lines. Effective immediately, work in close cooperation will begin on developing even more efficient systems including a filler-seamer block. “Based on skilled future planning of technical components, block solutions are to be designed to be as integrative as possible and do away with redundant functions,” says Dr. Siegmar Stang, Executive Vice President Wet Area at KHS.
Combined filler-seamers designed for the maximum capacity class are planned with clear benefits for the overall process, as Oliver Bühler, CTO of Ferrum Packaging AG, explains. “We don’t want to merely present one solution; we want to develop a comprehensive system portfolio that meets the needs of every customer while offering clear customer benefits.” Among other things, the two partners have set themselves as targets for their new developments a lower TCO1 through shorter changeover times and more rapid sanitizing phases. In addition, the hygienic environment of the systems is to be further optimized.
Comprehensive one-stop-shop services
The intensified cooperation will also bring about extensive customer benefits in the area of customer service. In the future, all services for combined systems from KHS and Ferrum will be offered from a single source. “This will not only reduce the effort for our customers, they will also benefit from shorter machine wait and downtimes,” explains Dr. Beat Bühlmann, President of the Board of Directors at Ferrum.
The planned services include joint overhauls of the systems and integration of the KHS remote maintenance system ReDiS2. Coordinating the supply of spare parts will also result in improvements in discontinuation management to ensure continued operation of the machines and thus the availability of systems.
1 TCO = Total Cost of Ownership 2 ReDiS = Remote Diagnostic Service
“Reduce, reuse, recycle”: for the KHS Group these three pillars of sustainability are a composite part of its corporate philosophy. The manufacturer of filling and packaging technology consistently focuses on resource-saving, recycling-friendly systems and solutions. Together with Austrian packaging expert ALPLA KHS has now developed a returnable PET container that at 55 grams is extremely light. The 1.0-liter bottle’s high recyclate content of 35 % also has a very positive effect on its overall ecobalance.
For decades the KHS Group has been heralded as a technological leader in returnable container systems, chiefly driven by its great innovative strength and striving to develop sustainable, future-proof plant engineering. The various partnerships it has formed with innovative figures in the industry have proved a further recipe for success. Together with ALPLA KHS has now developed a returnable PET bottle that is impressive with its low weight and high recyclate content. With this development the engineering company adheres to its maxim of “reduce and recycle”, states Arne Wiese, Bottles & Shapes product manager at the KHS Group. “We aimed to produce a returnable container system that’s as environmentally friendly as possible. Two parameters are of prime importance here: low weight and a high percentage of recyclate.”
By optimizing the bottle base and neck the packaging experts managed to considerably cut down on weight compared to conventional returnable PET containers. At 55 grams, on average the 1.0-liter bottle is ten grams lighter than its standard counterparts. Compared to glass containers it clocks up just a tenth of the weight on the scales. “This optimization means that the amount of material used is much lower. At the same time, fuel consumption and thus also CO2 emissions drop during transportation,” Wiese explains. Both have a positive effect on the bottle’s ecobalance.
Despite less use of materials the returnable system is ideal for a high circulation. The PET bottle has good resistance to caustic, meaning that its quality and appearance are maintained even after numerous washing cycles.
Sustainable: packaging system with high recyclate content
The aspects of easy recyclability and the use of recyclate also played a major role in the bottle’s development. The environmentally-friendly returnable container is not only fully recyclable and thus remains in the recycling loop; its high recyclate content is also compelling. “We’ve had outstanding test results with preforms made of up to 35 % recycled materials; preforms containing 50 % recyclate are also feasible for some brands,” states Wiese. The PET system devised by KHS and ALPLA therefore more than satisfies the European Commission’s requirement that one-way PET bottles comprise 30 % recyclate by 2030.
The optimized preforms can be blown on all KHS stretch blow molders for returnable containers. These include the particularly resource-saving InnoPET Blomax Series V. The new packaging system is suitable for all types of beverage in the returnable container segment. “We’re convinced that we can place our ecofriendly PET bottle on the market quickly and successfully. Our aim is to implement the market launch in close cooperation with bottling companies,” Wiese concludes.
The KHS Group has invested €20 million in modernizing its headquarters on Juchostraße in Dortmund, Germany. In a bundle of measures underway since 2015 the company has built a huge, approximately 4,300-m2 production shop and fully renovated another. As one of the world’s leading providers of filling and packaging systems for the beverage industry KHS is thus ensuring that it stays competitive in the long term.
The last construction machines will disappear in the spring, marking the end of the extensive process optimization and other measures at the KHS production site in Dortmund. According to plant manager Dr. Joachim Konrad these were absolutely essential to strengthen KHS’ competitiveness. “As a company active worldwide we find ourselves in a competitive situation and want to carry on manufacturing in Germany. We’ve therefore further digitalized and automated our infrastructure and processes in Production.”
Here, key elements of the modernization included extending the production area and renewing the machine park. At its production site on Juchostraße KHS has erected a completely new production shop. In an area measuring 4,300 square meters the systems supplier has now created conditions that enable the relevant technology for container and pack conveyors to be merged and order processing to become more efficient. KHS has also modernized one of the oldest production buildings on the company premises. With an investment volume of six million euros for this project alone the engineering company has not only renewed the shop floor and roof; it also optimized its Sheet Metal Manufacturing Department housed in the hall, incorporating new technology that includes a faster, more efficient fiber laser, a combined punching/laser machine and a larger, fully networked sheet metal warehouse.
This yields many benefits for KHS customers in the beverage industry, among them leading brands from around the globe. “Demands are becoming more complex. Like when you configure a new car nowadays, we can customize our filling and packaging systems to suit the precise requirements of the respective customer,” states Konrad. “We cater for the huge individualism of each customer with our cleverly compiled, standardized product modules that allow systems to be designed and constructed in automated processes.” Production sequences have again been considerably simplified during the course of numerous optimization measures.
Strong signal to the regional economy
Local employees also profit from the site’s extensive modernization. KHS has now renewed the factory canteen and various office complexes, including the workstations in various company departments. With around 1,200 personnel the company in Dortmund manufactures machines for labeling, pasteurization and bottle washing, among other equipment, plus container conveyor technology for industrial beverage production.
For KHS, the modernization is a big commitment to the production facilities on Juchostraße, says Konrad. “The Dortmund plant is extremely important to the KHS Group, also because of its standing as our international company headquarters. With our investments we’re making it fit for the future. This sends out a strong signal to the regional economy.”
KHS also aims to make local commitments above and beyond this. The enterprise is helping to devise a Science 2.0 master plan that the Dortmund council adopted in November of last year. In the field of production technology KHS is engaged in an exchange of expertise together with representatives from other companies and the TU Dortmund. “We’re pleased to be doing our bit for a strong regional economy and can apply our practical experience in this area. As a large industrial employer we also benefit from well-trained specialist workers,” Konrad concludes.
The war on packaging waste is fought on many fronts in the beverage industry – from the manufacturers of packaging materials to the bottler. KHS is helping to develop new standards in this field, from which beverage producers and consumers alike are set to profit.
The way to produce ever more sustainable primary and secondary packaging involves two major lines of approach: recycle and reduce. The first requires that packaging materials are kept in constant circulation by them being reclaimed, processed and continuously reused. The second entails finding many different ways of using less and less packaging material in order to save on resources and avoid waste. “The greatest challenge for us is the processability of the packaging materials,” says Karl-Heinz Klumpe, packaging product manager for KHS in Kleve. He explains what he means in the following example. “Shrink film made of recycled plastic demonstrates very different shrinking properties versus film made of new material. As an engineering company we can’t provide all the answers ourselves but instead have to coordinate closely with the film manufacturers.”
To this end KHS is staging a number of workshops this year. These aim to find out how the percentage of recyclate in film – as stipulated by the new German Packaging Law, for example – can be increased. “You make a few changes to the chemicals or recipe of your film and we adjust the air fl ow or temperature accordingly,” is how Klumpe loosely summarizes the topics up for discussion. “Providing that there’s a standard of quality which is accepted by the big bottlers’ marketing departments, of course. With film made of 100 % recyclate the shrink results aren’t yet satisfactory. Together we still have to work out how to close the gap here between recycling requirements on the one hand and the demand for packs of ever increasing quality on the other.”
Another avenue film manufacturers are exploring is to reduce the thickness of their film. “The material’s getting thinner and thinner,” states Klumpe. “To provide the same stability the materials have to be more and more complex. This has its limitations when used for beverage packaging: below a thickness of 35 microns it’s possible that the price per kilogram for film then again rises. When it comes down to it, neither bottlers nor their customers want to pay for this.”
Spotlight on economy
Klumpe well realizes that the striving for greater sustainability is often rooted in aspects of economy rather than ecology. “Everything we do to reduce the amount of material used primarily has a financial motive and aims to cut costs for bottlers. Or – if we’re talking about recycling – film manufacturers of course have to continue to develop and adapt so that their business model can be further maintained even in the face of stricter legal requirements.”
What applies to plastics also applies to cardboard – chiefl y when it comes to reducing the amount of material used. Paper factories are experimenting with thinner cover layers and lower ridges in the manufacture of corrugated cardboard. “The stability and durability are OK,” assures Klumpe. “However, we have to answer the question of how suitable these materials are for use with machinery. What happens when the cardboard absorbs moisture? If the cardboard is thicker on the outside than the inside, it bends rather like a bimetal and can only be processed on machines with certain restrictions or not at all. What can we do to counteract this?”
In terms of recycling less attention is paid to cardboard than to plastic. Yet here, too, the reuse of this material is an issue, for example in how far print can affect the recyclability of the paper.
KHS is itself also experimenting with new packaging materials. For instance, a manufacturer from Sweden recently approached the company with a newly developed, award-winning cardboard looking for partners for a market launch. “Our top requirement is that we can be sure that we can process the cardboard without any problems,” Klumpe stresses.
The packaging experts in Kleve are also in constant dialog with the manufacturers of adhesives and adhesive application systems. “Here, we explore how we can avoid having to heat the glue so intensely or how we can reduce our consumption of adhesive,” says Klumpe. “We’re now applying smaller and smaller dots of adhesive as opposed to the diamond shapes we used to use.” All told, sustainable product innovation is a constant process which KHS is undergoing with both proven and new partners. The focus is always on the question of which approach can be adopted to save on materials, time and energy on the machines.
One example of how energy can be saved is the shrink tunnel with porous gas burners. To heat the air KHS has decided not to use electricity as the energy transfer medium but to work directly with gas to prevent energy being lost during transport from the producer to the consumer. This saves up to 50 % in energy costs and CO2 emissions are cut by as much as 60 %.
In the last few years KHS has also set standards in many other areas with its resource-saving packaging machines. Both Fully-Enclosed FilmPacks and nested and shifted packs have done away with the need for stabilizing cardboard pads or trays. “We don’t need any more cardboard at all here,” smiles Klumpe. “The taut film gives us a good shrink pattern and a sturdy pack.” In a countermove the DisplayPacker has also been developed where large packs are placed directly onto cardboard trays without the need for an extra wrapping of stabilizing film.
However, one of the most outstanding examples of how material can be reduced is the Nature MultiPack™. In 2018 it was launched to market as a six pack of cans by the Carlsberg Group under the name of Snap Pack. A few dots of adhesive developed specifically for this pack which hold the cans together and a stabilizing carrying handle make any further packaging material redundant. Once the new pack format has been fully rolled out, by completely eliminating the use of shrink film for cans Carlsberg is set to make a plastics saving of up to 76 % – that’s more than 1,200 metric tons a year. Danone Waters first made successful use of the Nature MultiPack™ to launch its prestige PET bottle for Evian in 2016.
“In the development of sustainable packaging we see ourselves acting as an interface between all those involved and the beverage industry,” Klumpe sums up. “We’re helping to develop new standards which marry ecological demands and legal provisions with bottlers’ economic interests.” A challenge which is sometimes tantamount to the squaring of a circle.
KHS plans to build a new plant and service center in Kunshan, China. VIP guests from the local government and KHS Group attended the groundbreaking ceremony. The Kunshan plant project is a clear statement of the company’s commitment to China and its Chinese customers.
As one of the leading global manufacturers of filling and packaging systems, KHS has been serving the Chinese beverage industry since 1904. In 2008, KHS entered the China market with its first representative office in Beijing. Following the opening of its headquarters in Shanghai in 2014, KHS now intends to build a new plant and service center in Kunshan, enabling the company to respond more quickly to the local market.
Kunshan’s deputy city mayor, party secretary and head of Zhangpu attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the KHS Kunshan plant on October 17, 2019. The executive management board of KHS GmbH and CFO Mr. Martin Resch, Managing Director Mr. Thomas Karell from KHS Corpoplast GmbH as well as William Wu, KHS China CEO, were present and gave speeches during this milestone event.
Strategic partnership for a lasting win-win situation
With a total investment of around €10m, the new around 10.000 m² large factory will make engineering, production, logistics and service more efficient. KHS will be an important partner for the city of Kunshan and offer greatly enhanced support in the further development of the regional industry. Furthermore, the broad-scale plant will also help KHS expand its business within Asia as a whole. A continuous win-win situation can be expected for both sides involved.
“Kunshan is an attractive city for the beverage industry with skilled workers, well-developed infrastructure and widespread logistics networks for this kind of project,” said Mr. Martin Resch with great thanks to the deputy city mayor of Kunshan, Li Hui. “We are now able to produce a larger product portfolio including single blow molders, fillers, and labelers as well as in various block versions, increasing the expertise in handling entire line projects,” claimed Mr. Resch. “With our product range, KHS maintains its position as one of the global market leaders and a pioneer of filling and packaging technology. This also says a great deal about the innovative strength of the team in China.”
Innovative German technology, efficient local manufacturing
Mr. Thomas Karell with the representative of the management board of KHS China expressed great delight at launching the new factory at the ceremony: “All of the KHS Group’s knowledge and capabilities will be on show at our new location in Kunshan. Thanks to the use of innovative technologies, the production system being established will set new standards for productivity and sustainability.”
“Our goal is to improve the production efficiency of our customers throughout the entire life cycle of their engineering, providing state-of-the-art technology and services,” stated Mr. Karell. “The new plant in Kunshan establishes an important local basis to meet this goal, focused on our Chinese customers.”
Sustainable economic benefits, greater social influence
Based on more than 150 years of experience and a constant focus on core expertise, KHS is able to help customers achieve long-term social and ecological responsibility goals. Willian Wu is full of expectations for the future of the Kunshan plant and KHS China: “We will combine economic success with socially and ecologically responsible behavior. Along with top technical performance, maximum sustainability is particularly close to our hearts.” He also indicated that KHS China is respected not only for its highly efficient products and systems, but also for its round-the-clock, local and on-site service which extends far beyond the commissioning of systems.
“KHS China now assumes technological and environmental leadership with solid and innovative German technology for optimum products and solutions,” emphasized Mr. William Wu. Looking to the future, KHS China will constantly strive to realize superior quality and ensure sustainable development in the Chinese market.
In its new sustainability report for 2017/2018 KHS documents its various sustainability measures, successes and targets
In its new sustainability report for 2017/2018 KHS documents its various sustainability measures, successes and targets. The latest publication focuses on saving resources within the company and as regards product and service concepts.
“KHS has always attached immense importance to protecting people, the climate and the environment. In our sustainability report we show which measures we’ve already taken and which we are yet to implement in this respect,” says Kai Acker, CEO of the KHS Group. The Dortmund systems supplier’s third voluntary report is again based on the globally recognized sustainability reporting standard developed by the Global Reporting Initiative and on the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.
Concepts for the future
“We aim to continue producing holistic systems and solutions for our customers and at the same time protect the environment,” states Acker. To this end KHS intends to lower its carbon emissions in the long term by making considerable savings in energy, materials and resources – and not just within its own company but also regarding its product and service concepts. In this way the Dortmund engineering company is helping its clients to reach their own sustainability targets.
The most recent example of this is the next generation of the KHS Innofill Glass DRS ECO glass filler, distinguished by its lower energy consumption which is reduced by up to 20%. The machine also cuts carbon emissions by as much as 50%. Thanks to digital networking and monitoring the glass bottle filler also provides optimum product quality and higher line availability. “By increasingly applying intelligent products and solutions we can also boost the efficiency of our plant engineering,” Acker explains.
Employees a source of innovation
One core component of the KHS sustainability report is the company’s personnel. Besides providing a number of facts and figures the machine manufacturer gives readers an insight into the diverse fields of work covered by its many employees and their specific commitment to sustainability over the past two years. “Our employees are of central importance to KHS. It’s they who are behind every single idea and development and who are largely instrumental in promoting our economic and sustainable actions,” emphasizes Acker. In the future KHS will continue to intensify its development in the context of climate and environmental protection and check into which process steps further measures can be integrated.
Most decisions to buy are made directly at the point of sale: the significance of product presentation is growing, with an attractive visual appearance becoming ever more important. KHS is therefore now also offering its successful Innoket Neo labeling series for cans to manufacturers of small batches and producers with a high brand variety. The machine opens up new avenues in product marketing and flexibility in production. Warehouse capacities are reduced and energy is saved.
Images of production shops filled with pallets of differently printed empty cans will soon be a thing of the past. Says Cornelius Adolf, labeling product manager for KHS, “We’ve expanded our existing portfolio to include can labeling to give the customer more design options and enable these designs to be implemented faster with smaller warehouse capacities.” This is because minimum order quantities and long delivery times for empty cans limit flexibility. It is now possible to order unprinted cans within a much shorter period and to label them using the KHS Innoket Neo, thus simplifying logistics processes.
Wrap-around labels with optical alignment
The Innoket Neo can be used to apply self-adhesive film or paper labels. Here, the container can be either partly or fully wrapped with a label – including optical alignment. “The look and feel are unique”, is how Adolf explains the results of the self-adhesive labeling method. With this technology beverage producers can also respond much more rapidly and flexibly to the steadily growing variety of products and labels on the market. With this system the design or logo can be changed within a few hours and the cans dressed with suitable motifs. “Customers can even print their own labels. This considerably shortens the time to market. An attractive product is a clear distinguishing criterion at the point of sale,” says Adolf. As no cans with varying motifs have to be ordered, costs are also cut as higher numbers of unprinted containers can be purchased.
The space-saving machine with its 14 can plates driven by servomotors comes from the established Innoket Neo module system and gives manufacturers of small batches and producers with a great variety of brands many benefits. At high machine availability up to 35,000 full or empty cans in all standard sizes can be labeled per hour. The machine can be positioned upstream or downstream of the filler. Format changeovers are quick and do not require any additional tools. The labeler also has a high level of energy efficiency, with a power consumption of just five kilowatts per hour.
Dr. Johannes-Thomas Grobe is to be the new head of Sales and Service at KHS GmbH. This has now been confirmed by the company’s supervisory board. The 53-year-old shall be moving from Dürr Systems AG, a machine and systems manufacturer for the automobile industry, to the Dortmund systems supplier. Dr. Grobe joins chairman Kai Acker and Martin Resch on the KHS Executive Management Board.
The restructuring of the KHS Executive Management Board is now complete. “We’re very pleased to have gained a proven expert and leader for our company in Dr. Grobe. He brings with him a wealth of industrial experience gleaned during his professional career,” says Acker, chairman of KHS’ Executive Management Board. Dr. Grobe has extensive knowledge as an executive manager of product and technological developments, innovative projects and production and manufacturing processes.
The computer scientist, who obtained his PhD from RWTH Aachen University in 1998, initially held various posts at Bosch Rexroth AG, among them the vice-presidency of Sales for Industrial Management, Key Account Management and Application Development for Industrial Applications. Dr. Grobe was then managing director of Bosch Rexroth in India.
On September 1, 2015, he joined Dürr Systems AG as senior vice-president of Sales and Marketing for Paint and Final Assembly Systems. On April 1, 2019, Dr. Grobe will take up his new position as head of Sales and Service at KHS. “We’re well set up for the future and shall together generate key impetus for the growth of the KHS Group,” states Acker.
Berlin startup share is the first beverage producer in Germany to sell its water in PET bottles made of 100 % recyclate. With its expertise from the Bottles & Shapes™ consultancy program the KHS group supported the company by helping to design and develop the bottle in a very short time indeed.
The plans are ambitious: in 2019 share wants to fill water into about a million bottles a month made entirely of recycled PET and thus save over 200 metric tons of plastic waste a year, according to the company. For several weeks now the product has been on sale at Germany’s supermarket chain REWE and drug store dm and has caused quite a stir in the media. “It took a long time for the original idea to be implemented,” says Iris Braun, head of Product and Social Projects at share. “Finalizing the technology and obtaining certification are both lengthy processes. Your partners are thus crucial.” Besides the two aforementioned retailers share’s other partners are bottler Mineralbrunnen Allgäuer Alpenwasser and preform manufacturer Plastipack, which is also the world’s biggest converter. KHS Corpoplast was also largely instrumental in the implementation of the project.
Experience from over 4,000 realized bottle designs
The German engineering company supported the startup in several ways, including in the development of the recyclate bottle design, states Marc Eysel, who is responsible for sales in Northern Europe at KHS Corpoplast. “We implemented the development very quickly and worked on a suitable design together,” he says. Thanks to its holistic Bottles & Shapes™ consultancy program the systems supplier was able to contribute to the share project experience drawn from over 4,000 designed bottles. “KHS developed the bottle very quickly for us which was enormously helpful,” says Braun. Eysel states that there were no unusual hurdles or challenges to be overcome through the use of 100 % recyclate. “Manufacture is actually simpler as the material’s darker color makes the preforms easier to heat than PET bottles made of virgin material.” Besides providing advice on the bottle design KHS also helps with production. share’s still and carbonated water is bottled at the Allgäuer Alpenwasser bottling plant in Oberstaufen using KHS technology. The bottles are blown on an InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molder, with no special adaptations to the system necessary, according to Eysel.
Following the market launch of the recyclate bottle, interest is now also growing among other beverage producers, emphasize Braun and Eysel. “A number of bottlers wishing to increase the amount of recycled PET they use have now contacted us,” claims Eysel. “The protection of the environment also plays an important role at KHS. We support this by providing resource-saving plant engineering and also by developing sustainable PET bottles.” share hopes that it has provided the right incentives for more sustainability, states Braun. “In the end it’s the consumer who decides.”
Further award for Nature MultiPack™: at this year’s FachPack trade show in Nuremberg, Germany, the KHS Group was presented with the Green Star Packaging Award for its innovative packaging system. Nature MultiPack™, which holds cans together with dots of adhesive, won in the Product category. The Green Star Packaging Award honors environmentally-friendly packaging and recycling and improvements in operational packaging-related processes. Winners of the prize are entitled to participate in the WorldStar Award.
Sustainability and innovation as goals
The pioneering style of packaging combines innovation and sustainability. The Nature MultiPack™ marketed by NMP Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KHS GmbH, groups beverage containers into a stable, easily ‘openable’ or separable pack using dots of adhesive rather than shrink film. In addition to the recent award-winning version for cans, which can be formed into multipacks of 1 x 3, 1 x 4, 2 x 2, 2 x 3 and 2 x 4, PET bottles can also be grouped in this way into packs of 2 x 2 and 2 x 3. A convenient carrying handle, which helps to keep the pack stable, and the individual alignment of the respective containers communicate effective marketing messages. The new packaging has also been designed to withstand transportation and marketing logistics while allowing the consumer to easily remove the individual containers from the multipack.
Materials and energy saved by the Nature MultiPack™
Compared to containers classically packed in film the Nature MultiPack™ not only saves on packaging materials but also on energy; the KHS packaging system requires up to 85 % less material than the conventional multipack and reduces energy consumption during production by a maximum of 67 %.
The KHS GmbH Supervisory Board has appointed Dipl.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. Kai Acker as the new Executive Management Board Chairman, effective October 15, 2018. He will be responsible for the technology, development/production, and human resources areas.
Mr. Acker, born in 1968, is currently managing director at LEONI Special Cables GmbH, Friesoythe and director of the “Enterprise & Industrial Projects” segment. After training as a power electronics technician, he studied electrical engineering at RWTH Aachen University and completed MBA postgraduate courses at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).
With regard to this personnel decision, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann, Salzgitter AG Executive Board Chairman, stated, “We are pleased to have acquired in Mr. Acker a competent executive with a broad range of industrial experience for this demanding position. I am sure that Mr. Acker will have a decisive impact on the growth-oriented development of the KHS Group. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my executive board colleague Burkhard Becker for laying the foundation for promising structures and the associated improved profits as the interim KHS CEO.”
As an internationally-operating manufacturer of filling and packaging systems for the beverage, food and non-food industry, KHS GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of the Salzgitter Group, plays a leading role in this sector. It is an essential member of the Salzgitter AG technology division.
KHS in Dortmund, Germany, international manufacturer of lines and machines for applications in the beverage filling and packaging industry with over 5,000 employees, belongs to the Salzgitter Group’s high-growth technology business unit. As part of its Strategy 2021 program Salzgitter AG plans to further expand its technology business unit.
In order to follow KHS’ own growth strategy while simultaneously strengthening its inner performance KHS is implementing its company-wide KHS Future action plan. As part of the KHS realignment process Prof. E.h. Dr.-Ing. Johann Grabenweger, responsible for Sales and Service, is leaving the company by mutual consent. The Supervisory Board would like to thank Prof. Grabenweger for his 13 years of successful work in Production, Research and Development and, most recently, Sales and Service which has grown by about a third in the last few years.
Until a final decision has been reached regarding the appointment of a successor, Management Board responsibility for the Sales and Service Division shall be assumed by chairman of the KHS Executive Management Board Burkhard Becker.
Flexibility, precision, ease of operation and hygienic safety: with its Innopouch Bartelt® K series KHS presents a pouching machine with a full range of servo equipment. With an ever increasing variety of products to be processed this system offers the beverage and food market many advantages with its short setup times and high level of productivity. It can also be combined with the KHS Innopack Bartelt® CMC cartoner for a pouch packaging line from a single source.
Consumers appreciate their low weight and easy handling, producers above all their low cost, as less material is needed for production: the pouch is definitely up to the minute. To date its growth in popularity was most discernible in the USA, yet demand for the practical pack is now also on the increase in Europe and parts of Asia. The best examples are smoothies or candies which are hitting supermarket shelves in this type of packaging with increasing frequency.
KHS offers customers its Innopouch K series poucher in two versions: an FS (fill and seal) machine for pouch filling and an FFS (form, fill and seal) variant for pouch production and filling. “The production stage can be flexibly retrofitted from the FS to the FFS version at a later stage as the machine is modular,” says Thomas Brooker, senior product manager at KHS USA.
Large variety of pouches
The horizontal, cyclic packaging system makes stand-up, flat and bottom gusset pouches from film laminate. It can run in both simplex (one pouch per machine cycle) and duplex (two pouches per machine cycle) operation. The Innopouch K-400 changes formats at the press of a button using linear servotechnology. “This takes less than 15 minutes,” explains Brooker. “We’ve simplified and automated the time-consuming simplex and duplex conversions common to mechanical machines.” For example, the grippers in the filler area can be adjusted to new pouch widths as quickly as they can be switched between simplex and duplex operation.
The machine produces up to 150 pouches per minute in duplex operation measuring between 100 and 380 millimeters in height and 100 and 400 millimeters in width. The maximum weight is 2.5 kilograms. “We thus give our customers the best possible flexibility during production,” states Brooker. With the Innopouch K series not only can large pouches be produced, such as for pet food, but also small bags for salty snacks or dried fruit. “Especially pouches which can be reclosed with a zipper are becoming more and more popular with consumers,” Brooker informs us. “Anything can be packaged – from ground coffee to mini salami roals.”
The standard version of the machine has four filling stations connected in series which can be added to as required. The dosing systems are selected according to the product to be filled, with volumetric systems, such as auger fillers, table feeders and sliding gate fillers, and gravimetric systems like multihead weighers all possible.
Extremely hygienic design
One special area of focus on the K series is its hygienic design. Thanks to the open construction there are no mechanical components beneath the grippers which require elaborate cleaning. In the machine housing spacers are used in place of the usual rubber seals. The film dispenser is also fully enclosed. These benefits considerably shorten the cleaning process.
The concept of the pouching line can also be further developed in combination with the KHS Innopack Bartelt® CMC cartoner. “This enables turnkey pouching lines to be provided from a single source,” smiles Brooker. The machine, configured as a horizontal cartoning system with continuous operation, has a servodrive controller for increased operational reliability and faster format changeovers.
KHS not only provides on-site service for the Innopouch K series but also remote maintenance by specialized engineers.