According to Krones, the NitroHotFill System provides PET bottlers with a first-of-kind, attractive alternative to aseptic fill or other conventional hot-fill processes, that can be integrated into virtually any line. The Krones NitroHotFill System does away with higher-cost, heavier weight panel PET bottles, unnecessary energy and materials consumption, while reducing operating costs and increasing efficiency.
NitroHotFill versus conventional hot fill
Many bottlers employ conventional hot fill methods in order to maintain product shelf life and quality. Depending on the product, typical fill temperatures can range from 85 to 95o C. Until now, special bottle designs with vacuum compensation qualities as well as heavier-weight PET were required for the process, which resulted in a more costly bottle.
Compared to conventional processes, Krones NitroHotFill technology provides a less costly, high-performance alternative in which a nitrogen injection is made into each bottle prior to capping in order to create positive pressure. The nitrogen infusion compensates for product volume shrinkage at chilling and prevents bottle distortion. The NitroHotFill process, and Krones new Contiform H (RC) blow molder with its patented petaloid bottle bases, eliminate the need for panel bottles and heavier-weight PET, opening up a wide spectrum of bottle design options. In contrast to traditional hot fill, the Krones nitro process doesn’t require that bottles be shrink labeled, thus enabling less costly label solutions.
The NitroHotFill Bloc – total control, total flexibility
The Krones NitroHotFill bloc can be retrofitted into most Krones hot-fill lines, or it can be set up as an entirely new bloc in tandem with Krones Volumetric VODM or Sensometric VPGL fillers. This bloc concept is central to the NitroHotFill’s success in providing complete control over all process variables from machine technology, to blowing and filling, to bottle design.
PET bottles are blown on the Krones Contiform H series (RC) at speeds of up to 860 bpm. The Contiform’s air recycling feature reduces air consumption and its aluminum molds replace more costly steel ones while ensuring high bottle quality and faster changeovers. And depending upon the customer’s current preform and bottle material, PET weight can be reduced by up to 30 percent for further cost savings. The bloc design eliminates the need for air conveyors or rinsers along with their associated costs and efficiency barriers. Because of its compact design the bloc can be managed by a single operator.
Based on comparative, conventional hot-fill process data, Krones has found that its NitroHotFill System can provide a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), reduced bottle costs, significant increases in efficiency, and more responsible resource utilization.
About the company
Krones Inc. is the United States subsidiary of Krones AG, Neutraubling, Germany. The company is a world leader in the manufacture of fully integrated packaging and bottling line systems as well as integrated brew house systems, IT solutions and warehouse logistics systems. The company has facilities strategically located around the globe. Krones’ products include a comprehensive portfolio of PET bottle stretch blow molders and PET recycling; rinsers and bottle washers, mixers and blenders, fillers, pasteurizers, labelers and sleevers, palletizers and depalletizers; packers and unpackers for PET, glass and cans; inspection systems; and conveying systems for containers, packs and pallets. Krones’ United States headquarters is in Franklin, Wis., a suburb of Milwaukee.