In late 2018, Krones presented an update of the Modulfill HES beer filler, which included a revamp of the existing crowner’s concept. This focused on the aspects of operator-convenience and hygiene, which were translated into engineered reality by means of numerous innovative design features, such as strict separation between the filling and closing zone. As it did before, the Modulcrown handles not only crowns but also twist-off and ring-pull closures.
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- The crown sorting system will in future be mounted on an overhead shelf as a standard feature. This topographical separation from the crowning zone benefits the hygiene conditions achieved. What’s more, this also means that it is now easier to access the rotating crown feeder, something that not only facilitates any adjustment work, but also significantly improves occupational safety.
- Another new feature incorporated in the sorting system is an extractor unit, which can be fitted directly to the rotating crown feeder as an optional extra. This unit consists of several channels affixed to the agitating disk and the infeed leading to the crown chute, which remove any dust and dirt particles thoroughly and effectively. This function can also be retrofitted in existing crowners.
The agitating disk of the crown chute features a pneumatically controlled discharge system that in future ensures automatic discharge and direct removal of any surplus crowns occurring at a format or product change-over.
- The crown chute’s layout has likewise been modified, so as to suit the new position of the rotating crown feeder on its overhead shelf. As of now, the crown chute features an integrated slide, which means it automatically matches the new bottle height at a format change-over and no longer has to be replaced manually, as was the case with the previous overhead-shelf solution.
- Moreover, the chute will in future no longer be closed but open at one side, thus eliminating any potential spots where dirt can accumulate, so the chute will be easier to clean.
- Improved running rollers, plus a hardened lifting cam, are two more design enhancements that both extend lubrication intervals and minimise the amount of grease needed. For example, a Perma injector has been integrated, which is now used to automatically lubricate the lifting cam at need, instead of lubricating it manually once a week as previously.
- Furthermore, some innovative features at the crowner’s turret provide enhanced hygiene, since the gear-unit section has been screened off and separated from the crowning zone, thus preventing any lubricating media from penetrating into the crowning zone.
Lifting units and bottle plates
Another innovative feature of the Modulcrown is an open guard around the lifting units, which provides an option for the lifting units to be included in the rinsing operation, enabling the crowner’s standard of hygiene to be enhanced still further. A rinsable bottle plate will likewise be available as an option in the future. Clients operating predecessor models can retrofit this hygienic improvement in their existing crowners.
Product quality is enhanced still further by a redesign of the ceramic crowning throat: Krones has developed an optional variant in which the gaps normally found are completely sealed. These now offer no potential collecting point for dirt particles or dust; what’s more, the crowning throat can be rinsed in its entirety.