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Krones | Volcanic Spring

Dirk Kohls

Product Manager Torque Limiters KTR Germany

The Romanian commune of Sâncrăieni is richly endowed. More than 80 wells and springs are fed from the depths of the picturesque Harghita Mountains of Transylvania. The area benefits from a real treasure which is freshly bottled everyday in the town of Sâncrăieni. Its mineral water, which is naturally vitalized by volcanic rock, has been filled into bottles and sold since 1952. For bottling, the Perla Harghitei company relies on the very latest filling technology from the German company Krones.

Mineral water from the depth

Hardly anything around Sâncrăieni can impair the quality of the water. The municipality is surrounded by two nature reserves and far away from the emissions produced by large urban centres. The water that gushes out of the earth has come a long way through the volcanic Harghita Mountains towering up to 1,800 metres.

Its minerals provide the waters of the Perla Harghitei brands with unmistakable vitality. A company of the same name fills still, lightly and fully carbonated mineral water into half-litre, one and two litre PET bottles. This has been possible thanks to a close cooperation in production technology with Krones since 2002. The company which is the world market leader in filling and packaging technology also delivered Perla Harghitei’s most recent investment – a complete bottling line for half-litre PET bottles with a capacity of up to 18,400 bottles an hour.

The idea of sustainability was part of the development of the Contiform.

Inflate then bottle

A special feature of this new arrival is its so-called Contiform Bloc which consists of a compact and highly efficient unit comprising a blow moulder and a counter-pressure filler. This is coupled with a control system from the Krones' product portfolio, together with machines for labelling, packaging and palletising. 

The Contiform 3 Pro blow moulder converts a preformed shape into a finished bottle every 1.6 seconds by heating and inflating it. Efficiency is not compromised by the speed of this process, following a series of optimisations in an oven, a stretching station and an air recycling system. This new generation is regarded as Krones’ most economical stretch blow moulder machine of all time.

Keeping torques under control

When it comes to operational safety, Krones relies on KTR SYNTEX-NC series safety couplings in the Contiform 3 Pro control systems. Their task is to absorb torque fluctuations that sporadically occur in the bottling line, thus protecting the blow moulder from overload. As a result, the coupling adapted for this application ensures machine safety. In practice, the torque limiters primarily protect the control shafts and main levers in such a way as to prevent damage resulting in costly and time-consuming repairs.

Perla Harghitei SA cannot afford unplanned downtime, particularly as it competes with large multinational companies. Ongoing investment in filling technology pays off, especially in view of the need to save both energy and water.

Each form has a revolution of less than two seconds. With such a high machine speed, we need components operating reliably over the long term.

Due to its mode of operation SYNTEX-NC ensures a high production reliability and less downtimes.

Blowing, filling, recycling, blowing, filling

Evolving from a machine manufacturer to a plant manufacturer for the beverage industry, it was obvious for Krones to make PET recycling an integral part of their bottling and canning solutions. Here, the Upper Palatinate region counts on the so-called "bottle-to-bottle" process in which the used PET bottles are washed, decontaminated, shredded, reprocessed and returned to the filling cycle - not just once, but several times.