New drive system for bottle washers Smart servo controller

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Ensuring user-friendly digitalization in the machinery sector: Krones has laid the cornerstone for that with a new, smart drive system for its Lavatec series of bottle washers. As of early 2021, the system is now standard equipment on all machines of the single-end and double-end series. Krones set the bar high for this development because they wanted to combine our many years of positive experience with innovations to bottlers’ greatest advantage. Successful field tests with several machines in Germany and South Africa prove that they accomplished that.

Easy to understand

A major challenge in developing the drive system for a bottle washer is to deliver robust, simple technology and at the same time provide operators with smart, transparent diagnostic information. That is why Krones focused heavily on making expert knowledge accessible and understandable for users.

A highly intelligent servo controller continuously monitors all drive-related information. Any deviations trigger immediate user notification, which includes recommended actions. Even when things don’t go exactly as planned, clear instructions make it easy for operators to get the system back up and running quickly, any time. The controller serves as the digital base from which relevant information is made available to all users by way of various hierarchies and IT products from Krones’ SitePilot series.

Higher energy efficiency, lower TCO

The built-to-last drive system also has a positive impact on the bottle washer’s energy efficiency and total cost of ownership (TCO): It uses over 20 percent less electrical power than its predecessor while maintenance cycles can be extended by around 20 percent.

An eye to the past and the future

For Krones, it was especially important that they enable operators of older-generation Lavatec bottle washers to also reap the benefits of the new system. Krones specialists are happy to consult on the possibilities.

For example, faced with new motor or gear types, discontinued components, or components coming from a different manufacturer, operators can simply import the parameters via a wizard at the touch panel. The system can then immediately be put back into operation – no need to update the servo controller or the HMI system.

Bottle infeed with servo drive technology

Another important part of this Krones development strategy was a new bottle infeed featuring servo drive technology. It sets new standards for bottle handling, flexibility, and noise emissions. These include:

− Gentle bottle handling: Controlled conveyors at the infeed mean less pressure on the bottles

− Torque monitoring: Infeed curve specifically set to match the bottles’ shape and weight

− User-friendliness: Easy troubleshooting thanks to independent control of the finger shaft and bottle transfer guides

− Noise reduction: Empty bottles are tipped into position before being picked up by the fingers at the infeed