PET bottles help soft drinks still water bottler focus on sustainable production

Mike Edwards   

Features energy efficiency KHS

In the heater the preforms pass the centrally arranged heating units to both the left and right in a double gate. KHS has thus been able to almost halve the number of heater boxes needed.

Everyone in Japan is familiar with the brands produced by Asahi Soft Drinks, such as ‘Wilkinson’. Outside the country, too, the enterprise is also a known entity as a shareholder in or even owner of famous beer brands such as Tsingtao (China), Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic) or Grolsch (the Netherlands).

Asahi beer is a premium product and now exported worldwide. Not so well known outside Japan – but no less important for the holding – is the local soft drinks and water market. In 2018 Asahi achieved a turnover of over 360 billion yen (around €2.96 billion) in this segment.

With over eight production sites Asahi offers a wide selection of products from ciders and teas through milk beverages to still and carbonated mineral waters. The company bottles its ‘Rokko No Mizu’ water at the location of the same name which is not far from the cities of Kobe and Osaka. Rokko was one of the very first mineral waters produced by what is now an international concern, always driven by the high requirements made of the quality of the product. Today, it is filled into PET bottles to also meet consumer demand for a simple, safe and sustainable container.

The KHS InnoPET Blomax is one of the most reliable and efficient machines of its kind. Thanks to its optional new heating concept the Series V consumes up to 40% less energy compared to its predecessor.

When looking for the best-possible combination of bottles manufactured reliably and to a high quality the choice fell on the KHS InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow molder. (See video demonstration below)

Asahi sums up why the company ultimately opted for this particular machine: “We clearly aspire to technological leadership which is why we focus on sustainability, efficiency and state-of-the-art technology.”

The InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molder has always been one of the most reliable and efficient machines of its kind. The Series V saves up to 40% in energy compared to its predecessor through the implementation of a completely new heating concept. The near infrared (or NIR) heater centrally installed in the closed reflector tunnel forms the nucleus of this. In the heater the preforms pass the centrally arranged heating units to both the left and right. This means that every single NIR heater is used twice, so to speak.

In the Series V, KHS has supplemented its patented AirbackPlus air recycling system for an up to 40% saving in compressed air with its new EcoDry air management system. This uses the residual air from the blowing and recycling process to replace a separate air drier in the base mold area and in the blow wheel, again yielding significant savings in energy.

Convinced by the system performance and in order to meet its own requirements and keep up with its rate of growth, Asahi recently announced that plans for a second stretch blow molder from the new series are already underway.

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