In mid-2019, Vitaqua GmbH put its seventh PET line into operation at its plant in Breuna, Germany – and like all of its predecessors, it’s a turnkey line from Krones. It’s the first to be used as a multipurpose line, as all of the others run just one product in one PET bottle shape and size. Besides the installation of Line 7, the company also needed to restructure all of the plant’s peripherals since everything was configured for the existing six lines. That, too, was handled by Krones.
The family-owned enterprise Altmühltaler Mineralbrunnen originally emerged from a mid-tier brewery by the name of Schäffbräu in Treuchtlingen, Germany. In recent years, however, it has specialised entirely in producing and bottling mineral water and soft drinks in single-use PET bottles for discounters and store brands. The company is now one of Germany’s largest beverage producers, with four production sites, in the country’s south (Altmühltaler Mineralbrunnen GmbH, Treuchtlingen), center (Vitaqua GmbH, Breuna, and Heil- und Mineralquellen Germete GmbH, Warburg), and east (Brandenburger Urstromquelle GmbH, Baruth).
When the Vitaqua plant in Breuna was completed in 2007, it was considered one of Europe’s most state-of-the-art beverage production and logistics facilities. Krones served as general contractor and planned, built, and installed everything (except the building itself) in just under a year’s time. The project included
- the turnkey delivery of the entire process technology,
- a high-bay warehouse with 51,000 pallet slots,
- internal logistics,
- the digital connectivity of the entire plant,
- and four PET bottling lines, each rated at 43,200 containers per hour.
That enabled the newly established plant, which takes its water from the hills around Kassel, Germany, to fill around four million containers per day. But that wasn’t the end of it.