Canadian Packaging

Krones Varioline maximizes packaging versatility

By Canadian Packaging staff   

Automation Cartoning Krones MillerCoors Varioline Variopac Pro shrinkwrapper

Packaging combinations from a single source.

The Varioline packaging system from Krones has proved highly successful in establishing itself within the beverage industry. As evidenced by more than 30 machines commissioned within a period of just two years. There are good reasons for this. For the brewing and beverage industries, flexibility in end-of-the-line packaging is an increasingly important consideration.

Often individual containers have to be first placed in multipacks, and these then packed in an appropriate sales or outer package. Since both the multipacks and the end-of-the-line packages are subject to changing consumption trends and will vary for different target groups, consumption occasions or export nations, maximized flexibility is imperative.

By developing the Varioline as a flexible solution, Krones has found the right answer for this job profile. The basic idea involved is that a single machine replaces up to six conventional individual machines linked by conveyors.

With the Varioline combination conjuror, packaging processes involving up to three stages can be handled by just a single machine. The logical consequence is space savings, reduced maintenance work, and fewer operators.

Can be block-synchronized with a shrink-wrapper
The modularized Varioline kit consists of three modules, which can be combined to form a customized packaging system. These three units, the cartoning, feed and basic modules, feature an identical basic construction, to create a modularized design concept that ensures flexibility for the future. The machine can handle up to 52,000 containers per hour.

The Varioline packaging systems can also be block-synchronized with other machines, like a Variopac Pro shrinkwrapper, so that besides carton packaging pure and simple the packs can also be wrapped in film. This option is already up and running at three clients, who have thus created maximized flexibility within a machinery block.

Block comprising a Varioline and a Variopac Pro.

Block comprising a Varioline and a Variopac Pro.

Packaging consultancy
The huge demand from the market has made clear the vital importance of providing supportive consultancy for the clients in regard to possible packaging options and materials.

Krones accordingly works closely together with the major carton packaging manufacturers and cooperates with partners who support the development of pack prototypes.

Like with bottle design, Krones can now assist bottling plants as a consultant by suggesting appropriate packs, and is thus able to offer the users concerned an optimum solution covering both the packaging itself and the concomitantly suitable machinery.

MillerCoors has modernized its packaging capabilities with eight Varioline systems
Most recently, the American brewing conglomerate MillerCoors modernized and streamlined its packaging technology. For this purpose, the group has installed two new Varioline packaging systems in each of the non-returnable glass lines at four of its facilities, in Milwaukee (WI), Trenton (OH), Fort Worth (TX) and Albany (GA).

The Varioline machines, installed for parallel operation, have replaced the old technology, which was based upon a concatenation of individual machines. With erectors for baskets and cartons, an intermittent packer and a carton closer, this multiplicity of units added up to a highly elaborate and personnel-intensive technology. The total output of the machines pairs installed in parallel is up to 104,000 bottles per hour, comfortably covering the line rating concerned of 72,000 bottles per hour. It packs 12-ounce (0.355-liter) non-returnable glass bottles in six- or four-bottle baskets inside outer cartons or in 24-bottle partitioned cartons.

The eight new Variolines offer MillerCoors a whole series of advantages: they are flexible and space-saving, need lower staffing levels, and provide a higher level of efficiency, since now fewer machines are running. What’s more, they prove to be future-compatible too, since in the event of packaging changes tools for new packs can be easily retrofitted.

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Category Captains 2022