Krones and innocent build CO2-neutral bottling plant

Following several years of contract-bottling, the smoothie and juice producer, Innocent Drinks, has decided to build its first bottling plant. Krones won the order for four complete PET bottling lines and the corresponding IT landscape. The project was built with sustainability in mind, and is aimed to build an entirely CO2-netural factory.

Sam Woollett, engineering and facilities lead, Innocent Drinks, commented: “We’re also keen to reduce water consumption to a minimum, since we want to treat and reuse as much as of it as possible.”

Each of the four identical PET lines handles up to 32,000 containers an hour. The new plant has been tasked with filling about 400 million bottles of chilled drinks a year. In all, Innocent has invested about US$250 million in this project.

Four PET bottling lines from Krones
The Contipure AseptBloc DA blow-moulder and filler block consists of a Contiform 3 Pro stretch blow-moulding machine and a Modulfill Asept aseptic filler. For the Contipure D preform sterilisation module, Innocent Drinks opted for a particularly sustainable version. This ensures a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO), due to lower consumption of hydroperoxide, steam and energy, plus shorter preparation times. All containers after being filled are fitted with a tamper-evident seal and – depending on the format involved – dressed in a wrap-around or pressure-sensitive label. Furthermore, the modularised Topmodul labeller is block-synchronised directly with the Variopac Pro FS packer.

Syskron digitalises all the factory’s processes
As the group’s digitalisation specialist, the Krones subsidiary Syskron has developed a turnkey MES concept for Innocent Drink that through appropriate interfaces also integrates the ERP system, the process control and warehouse management systems in the new plant. This concept includes various solutions from the SitePilot IT family brand, not least the Planning production planning system, the Line Management order and administration system, and Line Diagnostics for production data acquisition and analysis.

From the category of Share2Act services, Innocent Drink will be using Connect, which enables all information, such as shift schedule, to be made available to all staff in digital form.

Andy Joynson, chief blender for Innocent Drinks, explained that the company is “aiming to build the earth’s favourite little healthy drinks factory, the blender. It’s location in the Port of Rotterdam is no accident: We will minimise the distance between the place where the fruits arrive from overseas and the actual production facility. This enables us to reduce the company’s CO2 footprint by about 10%. We are delighted that we will be able to bottle our healthy drinks in our own plant, but more pleased that we will ensure that the production operation and the buildings comply with our sustainable standards.”