Mineral water bottlers Teinach have tasked the KHS Group to modernize their polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle filling line.
In the course of the process the systems supplier greatly improved the level of energy efficiency by optimizing the heater boxes on the PET stretch blow molder in particular.
Non-alcoholic beverages in the Teinacher and Hirschquelle brand portfolio are the chief products for the company from the north of the Black Forest, which belongs to Mineralbrunnen Überkingen-Teinach KGaA.
At its plant in Bad Teinach, Germany, the mineral water bottler achieves an output of about 150 million bottles of water and soda pop per annum, a third of which are made of PET.
Preform heating consumes a lot of energy and contributes to the operating costs incurred during the manufacture of PET bottles.
One of Michael Schanz’s main tasks, head of Engineering at Mineralbrunnen Teinach GmbH, is thus to constantly monitor the energy efficiency of the lines.
KHS analyzed the savings potential of the reliable InnoPET Blomax Series III together with the engineers from the mineral water company.
The stretch blow molder in Teinach has been in operation since 2007.
“Over the last nine years the machine has given us wonderful service,” says Schanz.
“KHS then showed us that with little effort we could improve further on our levels of energy efficiency.”
After a maximum of two days the machine would again be ready for operation, yielding savings of up to 50%.
“After we’d discussed the details, it only took a few weeks before conversion started,” he adds.
This was possible as KHS was able to make use of a tested development from its energy-saving solutions product module.
Optimized heater box geometry with ceramic reflectors
The upgrade primarily consisted of converting the heater box on the Blomax Series III Compact where the PET preforms are heated for the downstream stretch blow molding process.
This means saving over 40% in energy for Teinach by converting the heater box that KHS achieved by adding new reflectors made of modern ceramics to the heater boxes and adjusting the geometry.
With their special design the physical properties of the ceramic elements have a very positive impact on the energy distribution, resulting in less energy being needed to heat the preforms.
The reflectors and infrared emitter are also built so that the sensitive bottle thread area is not unnecessarily heated.
The amount of cooling in this area can then be reduced, thus saving Teinach even more energy.
This higher efficiency often also makes it possible to shorten the heating segment, explains Frank Goebel, head of Service Engineering at KHS.
If fewer heating elements are required in the heater, the infrared emitter consumption also drops as a result.
Through the amount of energy saved, investing in a modernization of the InnoPET Blomax Series III pays off for users after one to three years depending on the line’s capacity utilization and the price of electricity.