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    30.10.2017   EPBP approval: Direct Print Powered by KHS™ certified and fully recyclable    ( Company news )

    Company news -Direct digital PET bottle printing process recertified
    -Sustainable, environmentally-friendly packaging system
    -Long-term cost benefits in materials and storage

    Innovative technology which is fully recyclable: the first digital Direct Print Powered by KHS™ printing process for PET bottles has now again been certified by the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP). This is the second sustainable and environmentally-friendly innovation from KHS and NMP Systems to be approved by the initiative within a very short time indeed.

    Until fairly recently it was impossible to imagine that printed bottles could find their way into the recycling process. However, the research carried out by KHS and its partners on development in this field has since paid off: Direct Print Powered by KHS™ has again been granted interim certification from an official body. The recyclability of the award-winning direct printing process was first certified by the EPBP in 2013 and has now been reconfirmed. This means that an independent organization has clearly attested that PET bottles processed by Direct Print Powered by KHS™ have no negative impact on the rPET and are thus officially approved for bottle-to-bottle PET recycling.

    During development the experts had to overcome one specific challenge before the printed containers could be certified for the recycling process. “The washing water must not be contaminated during the recycling process,” explains Martin Schach, head of the Printing Technology Department at KHS GmbH. “The ink must also not deposit itself on the crushed PET bottles.” KHS has managed to develop a digital printing process with low-migration, LED UV-curing inks for the food-safe decoration of PET bottles where the print reliably flakes off during the recycling process.

    More quality, greater performance
    Current laboratory tests for the Belgian market, where recycled PET bottles were examined for chemical residues in random checks, confirm the safeness of the process. Here, printed PET bottles from Martens Brouwerij had been fed into the recycling chain. In 2015 the Belgian brewery was the first beverage producer to launch PET bottles with Direct Print Powered by KHS™ to market and make use of the technology which has since been constantly further developed for the customer. These further developments include a higher print quality and new forms of decoration, resulting in a level of flexibility which enables the print on each separate bottle to be individualized through the use of different motifs. An additionally developed printed image inspection system is also to ensure the standard of quality at an even higher level of industrial performance.

    In addition to the attractive marketing options this offers the end customer Schach sees a number of other advantages for customers. “Costs for production will fall in the long term as there’s no longer any need for labels and the storage thereof and no more adhesive is needed. Direct Print Powered by KHS™ stands for revolutionary technological advance and is also a step forward when it comes to environmental issues.”

    KHS gives its customers sustainability
    As a global company KHS continues to do justice to its pioneering role regarding sustainability and with its innovations supports the beverage and food industries in the protection of the environment. Besides Direct Print Powered by KHS™ Nature MultiPack™ by KHS and NMP Systems was also recently granted interim approval. In this form of packaging PET bottles no longer require a secondary packing of film as they are joined and held together by dots of adhesive only. This specially developed adhesive has also been certified.
    (KHS GmbH)
    27.10.2017   Lecta launches a new Metalvac sample collection    ( Company news )

    Company news The most detailed information in the three main applications of the extensive Metalvac range.

    The new Metalvac metallized paper sample collection also debuts the slogan "Let it shine", which serves as the backbone for the entire communication campaign and is an invitation to get to know the versatility of the product range on the covers of the three catalogs that make up the collection.

    With a minimalist, elegant design, the new collection contains three catalogs, one for each of Metalvac's main applications:
    - Wet-glue Labels: labels for beer and beverages.
    - Pressure-sensitive Labels: papers designed for self-adhesive.
    - Tobacco & Packaging Range​: inner-liners for cigarette packets, gift-wrap paper, wrappers for chocolate and food products in general.

    The catalogs, available in English, Spanish, Italian and French, contain general information about the range, and technical specifications as well as samples of all the products.
    27.10.2017   Symrise presents Oriental-influenced taste concepts at the Arabian Gulf    ( Company news )

    Company news — Participation in Gulfood Manufacturing – leading trade show for food and beverages in the Arab region
    Symrise travels to Dubai with taste inspirations for the Middle East and North Africa
    — Natural raw materials from the region as a foundation for authentic food and beverage concepts

    Symrise will present taste solutions for the cuisine of the Middle East and North Africa with a focus on natural raw materials from the region at Gulfood Manufacturing. From October 31 through November 2, 2017, the company will be presenting at the trade show in Dubai. The event is the centerpiece of the culinary world in the Middle East and 1,600 companies from food processing and adjacent industries are expected to attend. Symrise will be greeting its visitors at stand S3-B6 in Sheik Saeed Hall 3.

    “The conscious use of regional taste tonalities in foods and beverages is a mark of quality that has a strong influence in the Middle East and North Africa. And just as in Europe, special attention to natural ingredients, specifically those sourced in the Middle East, is growing,” explained Alexander Lichter, Vice President Sales Flavor EAME at Symrise. “With our know-how, we extract the best of nature and create flavor concepts for customers in the Middle East, all the while supporting the growing trend for naturalness.”

    Symrise obtains sustainably produced raw materials – for example vanilla extracts and cinnamon oils from Madagascar – through partnerships with agricultural producer communities around the world. With modern science, the globally operating company from Holzminden in Germany obtains high-quality flavor and functional ingredients from these raw materials. “With our extensive knowledge of the diverse aspects of taste and consumer wishes in various regions of the world, we develop tasty product concepts that are customized for each individual market,” said Lichter. “Our goal is to develop the best for the customer from the best of nature and science.”

    At Gulfood Manufacturing, Symrise will present flavor concepts for cakes, snacks, dairy products and beverages. Among them are organic fruit nectars, reduced-sugar colas, spices for vegetarian burgers and a shisha-inspired chewing gum with citric and malic acids.

    Gulfood Manufacturing will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre in the United Arab Emirates and is the largest event in the region for the food processing industry. Symrise will be presenting at stand S3-B6 in Sheik Saeed Hall 3.
    (Symrise AG)
    26.10.2017   authentig – the MES-solution for the plastic industry    ( Company news )

    Company news Adherence to schedules, cost reduction and resource optimization are requirements that modern manufacturing companies have to face these days, in order to better survive a world of digital upheaval. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) play a key role in the factory of the future.

    Incorporated more than 20 years ago as a specialist for the networking of production machines, T.I.G. – Technische Informationssysteme GmbH today is an industry leader when it comes to quality assurance and production optimization.

    Long-term success is no coincidence, but the result of making the right decisions in product and market development. With the newly developed MES solution “authentig” you will have your production under control and make trend-setting decisions!

    “authentig” is the modular MES-solution for the plastic processing industry. More than 300 customers from the automotive industry, medical technology, electrical and packaging industry rely on the innovative industry solution of T.I.G. with over 8.000 networked injection molding machines, rubber machines or recycling machines.

    Customized industry cockpits deliver productivity, adherence to delivery dates and production quality across the group at the touch of a button. As an optimal link between the ERP system and the machine “authentig” integrates all production-relevant information in one system and thus ensures a measurable increase in productivity, a decrease of substandard goods and well-documented processes.

    As a pioneer and development partner T.I.G. is the first MES-manufacturer to provide the free download of a test and validation software for the new EUROMAPP 77 interface for machine manufacturers.

    “authentig” can be used both “on premise” as well as cloud- and web-based. It meets all industry 4.0 requirements and supports optimal realization of modern production concepts, such as “Big Data”, “Internet of Things” and “Software as a Service“. Thanks to modularity, scalability and short set-up times “authentig” from T.I.G. facilitates a successful entry into the smart factory of the future.
    (T.I.G. - Technische Informationssysteme GmbH)

    Company news ... LINE AND FACTORY CONCEPTS

    Emerging consumption patterns are raising new production challenges for manufacturers of beverage, food, home and personal care products around the world. Product diversity, personalisation and e-commerce all demand increased responsiveness, flexibility and scalability from the production lines. With its breakthrough concept, the Sidel Group is paving the way to a new production model marked by unprecedented agility.

    This agility first involves a significant simplification of the processes, then the ability to process high variability and low volumes in these less predictable times and environments. Answering these new consumption trends and e-commerce requirements, it provides mass customisation at the cost of mass production and is based on the concept of the 'dematerialised layout'.

    An end to unsustainable repacking
    For many manufacturers today, the only way to answer the demand for more customised products and a variety of SKUs (stock keeping units) - such as rainbow packs, promotional packaging or smaller cases - quickly and at the right price is generally by a process of repacking finished products. These are unpacked and then repacked at a later date in another configuration. According to industry experts, this repacking process can sometimes account for 30 - 50% of total production volume and is completely contrary to the principles behind lean manufacturing and lowered carbon footprints. Figures like this clearly show that flexibility has reached its limit and that greater agility is required for markets where unpredictability is an increasing characteristic and where the challenge to produce a wide variety of different product types, often in limited numbers, is very real.

    No similar ‘out-of-the-box’ solution available
    As a consequence, order preparation integrated into production lines seems inevitable. This is the model the Sidel Group is proposing to its customers to help them be more flexible and reactive, as well as less wasteful.
    According to the company’s new “dematerialised layout” concept, packaging lines will likely be remodelled. Individual equipment will continue to be used, but will no longer be linked from one to another. Alongside high-capacity and often single-format lines, there will be the possibility to assemble autonomous smart production islands - ‘cyber physical systems’, as they are known in Industry 4.0 jargon. They will communicate with their surroundings and will be loaded and unloaded via mobile platforms. It will mark the end of crossover conveyors, and inflexibility in layout plans. By doing this, the ultimate goal is to offer total freedom of flows and allow containers and packs to be directed from any point to any other: total flexibility, and so fewer format changeovers on machines and lines. Another consequential benefit is that by sharing machines throughout different lines - i.e. dematerialising the layout and reducing the number of machines required - contributions can be made across multiple production lines, thereby reducing CAPEX (capital expenditure).

    Whilst the above principle can be used for unitary lots, another trend is disrupting production plans: packs containing different flavours (rainbow packs) or promotional packs (gift packs). Order preparation or zone picking stations will require access to all the products they need at any time to produce lots on demand. Given that changing format at the same rate as customised lots is not possible, the factory of the future will feature semi-finished product logistics on its production lines: routing, intermediary storage, availability on demand. This means no more re-packing, with the most variable groupings achieved using containers or product packs ahead of time which are then temporarily placed in reserve. Intra logistics will complete this architecture. This is what is known as the ‘Extended Factory’.

    By adopting this lean approach of handling semi-finished goods and considering intra-logistics, producers in the food, beverage, home and personal care markets will be able to achieve maximum flexibility, improve performance over time and customise mass production. All of which while increasing the types of SKUs they are able to handle, achieving shorter times to market, reducing waste and storage and eliminating repacking needs.

    Ludovic Tanchou, Vice President of Strategy, Products and Innovation, Gebo Cermex, comments: “With no comparable solution available on the market, the Sidel Group’s unique ‘dematerialised layout’ approach revolutionises traditional line and factory concepts for packaging producers by boosting flexibility, individualisation and late customisation opportunities. Using 3D modelling to design and assess customised line layouts and leveraging Gebo Cermex’s extensive expertise in advanced automation and line engineering, this approach to manufacturing makes future product portfolio extensions more easily implemented, with no compromises on equipment utilisation rates, better use of resources and, above all, optimised TCO (total cost of ownership). We had a very positive response at Drinktec 2017, which, as the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, provided an excellent platform for the introduction of this breakthrough concept.”

    The “Extended Factory” represents one of the five pillars on which the Sidel Group’s Agility 4.0™ programme is built. This is an award-winning, proven and pragmatic approach to manufacturing, which complements the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0, while also boosting them. It brings Smart Factories to life, to create a world of greater choice and unique consumer experience driven by packaging mass customisation and product diversity. All of this while optimising initial investments, keeping running costs low and securing agile performance over time.
    (Sidel International AG)
    24.10.2017   SIG to showcase ‘Good to go’ solutions and innovations at the CBST in Shanghai    ( Company news )

    Company news SIG, one of the world's leading solution providers for the food and beverage industry, will be the largest exhibitor at the China International Beverage Exhibition on Science and Technology (CBST 2017) in Shanghai from 22nd to 24th November. At the trade fair booth the company will be presenting innovative solutions along SIG’s three main value-adding thrusts of Product Innovation & Differentiation, Smart Factory and Connected Pack. The guiding theme "Good to go" sets the stage for market-ready innovations that are ideally suited to meet current consumer and industry trends – above all mobility, healthstyle and individualization.

    The CBST is the only professional exhibition in China that is themed at beverage industry technology. It is held by China Beverage Industry Association, an authorized organization in the industry. With rapid development of the 7 exhibitions in the last 14 years, it has received compliment and increased popularity globally.

    Visitors will be able to actually see and feel the decisive differences SIG offers customers with its versatile packaging and product innovations and a broad portfolio of advanced automation, processing, service, smart factory and connected pack solutions.

    Visit SIG at the Shanghai New International Expo Center, Hall N1, booth 1F01.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    23.10.2017   Endress+Hauser at SPS IPC Drives 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news Innovative products and services for the process automation industry

    Endress+Hauser will introduce a new range of instruments for flow measurement as well as a new instrument portfolio for radar level measurement at SPS IPC Drives (28-30 November 2017) in Nuremberg, Germany. The company will present innovative services and solutions on the topics of digitalization and process automation, as well as the first self-calibrating thermometer, iTHERM TrustSens, developed for the food & beverage and life sciences industries.

    Measurement technology: simply clever and fit for the future
    The new Proline 300/500 range of instruments represents industry-optimized flow measurement technology with an expanded field of application and improved performance. The measuring point is set for the future with Wi-Fi and new device and process diagnosis parameters that ensure higher process and product safety. HistoROM data management and Heartbeat Technology also provide a valuable contribution.

    The Micropilot FMR60, FMR62 and FMR67 complete the portfolio of radar measurement devices. Endress+Hauser now has a combined radar competence of 113 GHz, and a device with the right radar frequency for every application, be it 1, 6, 26 or 80 GHz. The new Micropilots are the first 80 GHz radar devices developed in accordance with IEC 61508, therefore complying with the highest safety requirements.

    100% compliance, 0% effort
    Endress+Hauser is introducing its new thermometer with unique self-calibrating sensor technology at SPS IPC Drives. The hygienic iTHERM TrustSens thermometer is designed for users in the food & beverage and life sciences industries who require full compliance with FDA and/or GMP regulations. The thermometer, which will be available shortly, provides high process security and system availability through permanent inline self-calibration, eliminating the risk of inaccuracy during production.

    Discovering what’s behind digitalization and IIoT
    IIoT is more than just hype. Digitalization and the high-grade connection of production units increase system availability and the efficiency of production, guaranteeing the ability to compete in the future. Through comprehensive manufacturing and business processes in combination with intelligent and self-monitoring measurement devices, Endress+Hauser is realizing automation solutions together with its customers that revolutionize and simplify production processes.

    Discover the new products live in Hall 4A, Booth 135 – the People for Process Automation look forward to interesting conversations.
    (Endress+Hauser Messtechnik GmbH+Co. KG)
    20.10.2017   Bremen: ACTEGA DS Investing 18 Million Euros in Site Expansion    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: Looking ahead: the expanded site of ACTEGA DS in Bremen (Germany). Copyright: ©IE Plast

    - Research and development capacities will triple
    - Manufacturing and storage space will be expanded by 8,000 square meters
    - Bremen is an important site for the closure and packaging specialist

    The specialist for closure and packaging technologies, ACTEGA DS, is investing around 18 million euros to expand its research and manufacturing site in Bremen. The site’s production and storage space will increase by 8,000 square meters, the manufacturing capacity will grow by 50 percent, and the research and development capacities will triple. As part of efforts to professionalize and digitize various production processes, ACTEGA DS consistently invests in technological progress. Construction work is slated to begin in the spring of 2018.

    “We are making extensive investments to extend our production, storage, research, and development capacities in order expand our site as an innovation center,” says Wilfried Lassek, CEO of ACTEGA DS. Lassek adds: “As a result, we are pushing ahead the introduction of new, patented technologies in order to continue to develop sophisticated and application-oriented solutions for closures and packaging for the food and beverage industry. In addition, we are enhancing our offer of materials and technologies for products in the medical technology and consumer good sectors. At the same time, this measure underscores the importance of the Bremen site for our company.”

    Future-oriented technology: PVC-free sealants
    It is necessary to expand the site to meet customers’ growing demand for special solutions.

    For example, thanks to a new PVC-free sealant thousands of tons of steel can be saved each year in crown cork manufacture. More and more beverage manufacturers are showing interest in the innovative closure technology from Bremen.

    With the first plasticizer-free sealing compound for metal vacuum closures, marketed under the brand name PROVALIN®, the Bremen-based closure expert has introduced a further, and so far unique, technology to the food and beverage market.

    For instance, the company Feinkost Dittmann, well known from supermarket shelves, relies on the PVC- and plasticizer-free sealants for its foods that contain oil, including olives and antipasti. Traditional closures can release plasticizers when they come into contact with products containing oil, which can be detrimental to consumers’ health. Moreover, there is the danger that environmentally harmful dioxins will arise when the packaging is incinerated at incineration plants. This is not the case with closures containing PROVALIN® from ACTEGA DS. The environment is protected and consumers are guaranteed maximum product safety.
    In the meantime, the Bremen-based experts have also developed a PVC-free sealant solution for wine and champagne closures under the brand name VinTellox®.

    Furthermore, ACTEGA DS built and expanded a Medicine, Pharmaceuticals, and Consumer business unit six years ago. Offering tailor-made plastic granulates for applications in medical technology, the nursing and healthcare sector, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and consumer goods, ACTEGA DS has asserted itself successfully in these markets.
    (ACTEGA DS GmbH)
    20.10.2017   ENGEL getting ready for continued growth    ( Company news )

    Company news At the Fakuma trade fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, ENGEL AUSTRIA is presenting itself in a good mood. The injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solution provider based in Schwertberg, Austria, continues to be on course in the current financial year. Production capacities and the number of employees worldwide are being continuously increased.

    "We are very happy with the development of the business", states Dr Stefan Engleder, CEO of the ENGEL Group. "In the current financial year, we are expecting revenues of approximately 1.5 billion euros." This is a significant increase as compared to the previous year's revenue of 1.36 billion euros. The machine manufacturer is optimistic regarding the upcoming months.

    ENGEL has been disproportionately benefiting from the robust, uninterrupted growth of the plastics industry for almost ten years. "We have continued to achieve growth in all regions and all relevant industries", says Engleder. At 55 percent, Europe represents the lion's share of revenue. At this time, ENGEL is achieving 24 percent of its revenue in America and 20 percent in Asia.

    ENGEL in Germany strengthening application technology and inject 4.0 competence
    Germany continues to be one of the highest revenue markets of the ENGEL Group. Over the last five years, ENGEL was able to increase its sales here by 50 percent. As explained by ENGEL's Managing Directors, there are two factors that play a major role in this. "Germany continues to be the most technologically advanced market and the greatest driver of innovation", emphasises Dr Christoph Steger, CSO of the ENGEL Group. "In addition, German companies are continuing to advance their global expansion."

    ENGEL currently employs more than 300 people in Germany, and the trend is rising. The ENGEL Deutschland Technologieforum Stuttgart – the youngest of the four German subsidiaries – has more than doubled its amount of personnel since opening in April of 2013. Most recently, new employees have been added in the areas of service, project management, and application technology. Application technology plays an especially important role in the technology centre in Stuttgart, which is significantly larger than most other technology centres within the ENGEL group. Since September of this year, the location includes a MuCell competence centre. A large foam injection moulding cell is now permanently available in Stuttgart for customer tests, development work and training. In the competence centre, ENGEL in Stuttgart employs an in-house MuCell technology expert.

    In the current financial year, the main focus of investment in Germany is the Hannover location – with 80 employees, it is one of the largest ENGEL sales and service subsidiaries worldwide. The significantly expanded and modernised branch was opened in May. ENGEL has invested about 5 million euros into its northernmost German location. The customers in Hannover are benefiting from the doubling of the usable area, especially because of the significantly larger technology centre and the expanded event and seminar area. The new interactive technology centre also accommodates large machines with clamping forces up to 7000 kN. In addition to varying showpieces, the topics of lightweight construction and inject 4.0 are two permanent main exhibit areas.

    In parallel to Hannover, ENGEL has also opened an inject 4.0 hotspot in its technology and automation centre in Hagen, Germany. The goal is to very clearly communicate the new opportunities of digitalisation and networking, and to offer live demos of all ENGEL inject 4.0 products.

    ENGEL creating new jobs worldwide
    Industry 4.0 is one of the strongest growth drivers worldwide, which is clearly reflected in the presentations at Fakuma 2017. These are not only about changes in production processes, but rather new forms of collaboration, as Stefan Engleder clarifies: "More and more, we are accompanying our customers throughout the entire life cycle of injection moulding machines and production cells. Among other things, this involves even more intense consulting in planning production solutions, new possibilities in after-sales service such as predictive maintenance, continuous process optimisation and the flexible adaptation of production solutions to changing tasks. In order to fulfil these requirements to our customers' complete satisfaction, we will require even more highly qualified and committed employees in future than we do today."

    The direction in which ENGEL's collaboration with its customers is growing explains why in particular the areas of service and application technology are growing in terms of personnel. Furthermore, ENGEL is increasingly employing people in the area of information technology. Specifically, 120 additional positions are advertised for the three Austrian locations, with another 20 advertised for Germany. By the end of the financial year in March 2018, ENGEL expects to employ 6,400 people worldwide.

    Demand for integrated systems solutions continues to increase
    Other technological growth drivers are the advancing material substitution in high-tech applications such as automobile construction or medical technology, as well as lightweight construction in the automotive and teletronics industries.

    The technological trends go hand in hand with a continuously increasing degree of process integration and automation, which in turn leads to an increased demand for integrated solutions from a single source. "The increasing complexity of processes is one of the biggest challenges facing plastics processors. As the complexity increases, It is our job to provide more transparency and clarity and to ensure that even complex processes can be easily managed and controlled", clarifies Christoph Steger. "With its extremely advanced system solutions expertise and its own comprehensive automation, peripheral, technology and Industry 4.0 programme, ENGEL is optimally equipped for this trend. The share of integrated system solutions in the order book is continuing to grow, and this is clearly a worldwide trend." For example, the system solutions business is allowing ENGEL to grow in Asia, while many providers that are focused entirely on machines are seeing a decrease of sales in that region.

    Production capacities being expanded
    To meet the worldwide increase in demand, more than three years ago ENGEL began the most comprehensive investment programme in the history of the company. Altogether, over 375 million euros will be invested into the production facilities alone by 2020. "The first projects with a total volume of close to 120 million euros have been completed", says Engleder. "We are working at full speed to rapidly drive the expansion forward, and are continuously readjusting plans and priorities to the actual conditions."

    The largest ongoing construction project is the expansion of the large machine plant in St. Valentin, Austria. In the summer of this year, a milestone was achieved and an additional production hall was put into operation. This expands the production area by more than 4,000 square metres and also provides additional office space. In the next step, a new administrative building and a new customer technology centre will be built at the site, starting in spring 2018. In the source of this expansion step, the centre for lightweight composite technologies located in St. Valentin will also be expanded.

    In the ranking of the biggest construction projects in the ENGEL Group, the company headquarters are right behind St. Valentin. Since the summer, there has been a large construction site next to the main entrance. By autumn of 2018, the northern production hall there, which was constructed in 2013, will be expanded by 11,500 square metres. In addition a new, significantly larger customer technology centre is being built. ENGEL just completed the expansion of the technology centre at the southern end of the plant premises in the spring of this year. An additional area of 10,000 square metres for office space, the apprentice workshop and a daycare centre was added there. The in-house daycare centre for small children is a new offering by ENGEL, which has been met with such a huge positive response by employees that by now, a second daycare group has been started. In June, the editorial staff of Woman magazine named ENGEL as one of the most family-friendly companies in Austria.

    In parallel to the large machine factory in St. Valentin, capacities were also expanded in Shanghai. In time for the 10-year anniversary of the plant, this September ENGEL was able to open the new building complex with a grand festive ceremony. In Shanghai, the existing office building was lengthened to add another 1,000 square metres of usable space. In addition, a new production hall was constructed, expanding large machine production by 1,600 square metres. The apprentice workshop is also being newly constructed. It is considerably larger than the previous one, because since beginning the ENGEL apprenticeship programme in China four years ago, the amount of trainees has increased significantly. Currently in Shanghai, 45 young people are being trained in three technical professions.

    New round of Sales Trainee programme starting in 2018
    With in-house training and continuous investments into its apprentice workshops, ENGEL is securing its long-term demand for trained workers. At all locations, the hiring rate is over 98 percent. Besides Austria and China, ENGEL has training programmes for technical professions in Germany and the Czech Republic.

    Finding qualified and committed employees and binding them to the company does not only pose a challenge for production. "We also need to break new ground in sales", emphasises Christoph Steger. To that end, ENGEL started an international sales trainee programme in September 2016. Seven young men and one woman from the US, China, Korea and Austria, respectively, are the pioneers on this training track. By now, they have successfully completed the introductory phase and their first assignments abroad. By the end of the two year training, they will have become familiar with ENGEL plants and subsidiaries on three continents. "Especially in sales, our employees operate in internationally networked teams", says Steger. "A basic skill that this requires is thinking beyond the limits of one's own language and culture. That is exactly what we intend to train." ENGEL plans to offer new sales trainee positions for the coming year.
    (Engel Austria GmbH)

    Company news Achieving and maintaining optimum performance over the lifetime of their assets is key for successful beverage producers. At Drinktec 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, the Sidel Group showcased how its Services portfolio can help to reach this objective.

    Bottling complete lines as well as stand-alone equipment are critical asset investments for successful production. Optimising their performance is crucial for improved ROI (return on investment) and ROA (return on assets). While optimum performance is not static over time, it is essential at each stage of the production lifecycle: from the initial design phase, through the ramp-up of the equipment, throughout the production cycle and continuously.

    Central to maintaining optimum performance is effective maintenance and Sidel and Gebo Cermex – part of the Sidel Group - launched at Drinktec new modular maintenance agreements: ‘Time & Material’ - for tailored preventive maintenance and ‘Fixed Price’ - for condition-based maintenance at a fixed cost. These new additions are specifically designed to strengthen the Group’s Services portfolio through a holistic approach to preventive maintenance, which helps customers to maintain performance at optimum level throughout their production.

    Pavel Shevchuk, Sidel Executive Vice President of Services, comments – “Our solid expertise, based on over 400 pieces of equipment currently under maintenance agreements worldwide, allows us to propose to our customers advanced maintenance solutions. With the introduction of the new ‘Time & Material’ and ‘Fixed Price’ agreements, customers have even more flexibility in securing the right performance for their equipment. By choosing the agreement best suited to their needs, they can achieve control of maintenance costs over time and predictability in production output, for increased equipment availability, resulting in reduced TCO (total cost of ownership).”

    With training being a key contributor to continuously building operators’ performance, at Drinktec the Sidel Group also launched a new Skills matrix assessment, which identifies exact competence levels and provides a detailed overview of existing versus required skills, tailored to customers’ equipment and targets.

    Jean-François Tourrenc, Gebo Cermex Vice President Services, comments – “Production requirements and environment are growing more and more complex, with producers striving to protect their competitiveness. At Sidel Group we master the drivers to optimise productivity, such as line and machine design, operators’ competencies (training and assessment), raw material and consumables (bottle and packaging design), production organization and processes (tpm, lean manufacturing, line audits). All of this delivered by a full solution partner.”

    To continuously add value and stay competitive in a fast evolving market, among its Line Improvements & Audits solutions for improving line performance, the Sidel Group ialso showcased at Drinktec its 360°, Focus and ECO Audits. They feature a thorough line and equipment diagnosis, to identify both quick wins and longer term comprehensive actions to improve productivity. An extensive Options and Upgrades portfolio helps to implement new functionalities and to keep pace with the latest technologies.

    Spare parts, technical and field support are also central to customers’ maintenance requirements. Advanced technical skills and top quality original parts provide certainty in terms of continuous uptime. These parts are also available via a user-friendly e-shop – Sidel Services Online – to give producers fast and easy access to their installed base for orders and offers, with local support from dedicated parts administrators.
    (Sidel International AG)
    18.10.2017   3rd European Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging Summit    ( Company news )

    Company news Circular Economy and Latest Technologies Leading the Industry

    Following two successful editions of ACI’s European Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging Summit, This 3rd edition will take place on the 14th & 15th March 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The event will bring together brand owners, retailers, leading sustainability experts, packaging converters and manufacturers, plastic collectors and reclaimers, policy makers and major global organisations involved in the Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging sector. This edition will create partnerships and cover the major concerns by debating with senior representative of the industry.

    This year, the conference focus will look at the best strategies for sustainable packaging including recycling and packaging performance, with a stronger focus on the brands and retailers, who will share their thoughts and information on consumer experience and demands for next generation of packaging.

    Furthermore, the conference will also explore the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, and its impact in the entire supply chain dynamics. The event will look into the use of Bioplastics & Biodegradable & Compostable Plastics, as well as the latest innovations in the market for printing and labelling.
    (ACI London, UK, The Whitmore Group)
    17.10.2017   New customer portal e-connect goes live at Fakuma    ( Company news )

    Company news e-connect, the new customer portal of ENGEL, is due to be launched at Fakuma 2017. The portal will simplify and speed up communication between processors and ENGEL while providing an overview of the machinery, the processing status of service and support orders and the prices and availability of spare parts – any time, anywhere. The new version of the customer portal will also meet the current and future requirements of Industry 4.0.

    Picture: The fastest link to the world of ENGEL: the new version of the e-connect customer portal is even clearer. The platform supports all service products in ENGEL's inject 4.0 programme.

    e-connect provides fast access to the world of ENGEL. Between 17th and 21st October in Friedrichshafen, Germany, the injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solutions provider will demonstrate the new possibilities at its stand in hall A5. “In developing the new software, the aim was to provide customers with more specific information, establish contact with them even faster and provide the best possible support to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0,” points out Verena Paradeis, product manager for e-connect. “The customer portal will be the lynchpin for our partnerships with customers.”

    From the first order onwards, all machines and system solutions supplied by ENGEL are stored in the system, with the current status also shown. For the best possible overview, users can reproduce the structure of their individual machinery in the system and even assign production lines to different halls or departments online.

    No time to waste in support and service cases
    Making support and service enquiries online is not only convenient for users, but also speeds up order processing significantly. As soon as a customer makes a request, it is automatically forwarded to the service team so that they can start looking for the cause immediately. Since customers and service technicians use the same database, they have the same level of knowledge at all times. In many cases, the system history this contains makes it easier to find a solution. This is also why all new service orders are fully documented in e-connect. With sites on three continents, ENGEL ensures qualified service technicians from its regular workforce are available around the clock.

    Condition-based, predictive maintenance included
    In addition to online support and remote maintenance, the new version of e-connect supports predictive, condition-based maintenance. Under the name e-connect.monitor, ENGEL offers solutions for monitoring the condition of plasticising screws and spindles. The aim is to utilise the full lifespan of machine components while avoiding unscheduled system downtimes. To ensure this, sensors monitor the condition of components and residual life is calculated on the basis of mathematical models. While the condition of plasticising screws is determined in the course of regular servicing, spindles are subject to automatic online monitoring; in both cases, the results of the evaluation are stored in e-connect; they can be called up and processed by the customer at any time. In the long term, continual condition monitoring serves to optimise the moulding process while making it easier to identify causes of wear.

    e-connect.monitor is part of the inject 4.0 programme, which ENGEL uses to help clients meet the challenges of Industry 4.0 head-on. ENGEL will also integrate future service products for the smart factory into the customer portal. “We have structured the platform so that we can quickly implement further demands of advancing digitalisation,” says Paradeis.

    More clarity, simpler navigation
    In addition to new functions, e-connect now offers greater clarity and transparency and even simpler navigation. It provides users with a wealth of information, from product descriptions and event news to latest reports from the world of ENGEL and the details of contact persons. A calendar contains the dates of trade fairs and booked seminars, while ENGEL’s e-learning platform is just one click away via e-connect.

    The new e-connect version will be available for all customers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom from Fakuma 2017 onwards; it will be then extended to other countries in Europe and the USA.

    ENGEL at Fakuma 2017: hall A5, stand 5204
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    16.10.2017   A retrofit solution for holistic system life-cycle management    ( Company news )

    Company news Valve specialist GEMÜ is expanding its CONEXO range to include a retrofit solution for existing systems, as well as a cloud connection.

    GEMÜ CONEXO is an innovative and holistic solution for life-cycle management of all types of systems. The system currently consists of valves that are equipped with RFID chips and a corresponding IT infrastructure.

    Thanks to serialization, every relevant valve component, such as the body, actuator or diaphragm, can be clearly traced and read at any time using the RFID reader – the CONEXO pen. The CONEXO app, which can be installed on mobile devices, not only facilitates and improves the "installation qualification" process, but also makes the maintenance process much more transparent and easier to document. The app actively guides the maintenance technician through the maintenance schedule and directly provides him with all the information assigned to the valve, such as test reports, testing documentation and maintenance histories. The CONEXO portal acts as a central element, helping to collect, manage and process data.

    Now the range is being expanded to include a retrofit solution. With CONEXO Retrofit, it is possible to retrofit GEMÜ valves in existing systems and to retrofit products from third-party providers with GEMÜ CONEXO, and to integrate these into the intended software environment. To identify the plant components, various options are available, depending on the requirements: Plastic shield with cable tie, adhesive labels for plastic components, and captive stainless steel seal.

    The product range is also supplemented by a cloud solution. This does not require local installation of the CONEXO portal. This type of connection facilitates network-independent access to data stored in the cloud from anywhere in the world.
    (GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)
    16.10.2017   ENGEL automation on show at Fakuma 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news At Fakuma 2017, which takes place in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from October 17th to 21st, ENGEL will showcase its expertise in automation at a special Expert Corner. On show, among others, will be the small e-pic B and e-pic Z robots – integrated and with expanded software functions –, the new viper 20 speed for high-speed medical and packaging applications and the new 10” hand-held touch terminal, which makes its exclusive world premiere at the Fakuma event.

    Picture: 30 percent faster than the conventional viper: the new viper 20 speed offers removal times of well under 1 second.

    Integrated e-pic robots
    At Fakuma 2017, ENGEL will present the integrated version of its e-pic robots for the first time, clearly illustrating how efficiency potential can be maximised by combining injection moulding machines and robots. Within the integrated solutions, the CC300 control unit for ENGEL injection moulding machines becomes the main operating panel of the whole manufacturing cell; this means uniform parts data and alarm management as well as a unified look and feel. Consistent operating logic significantly simplifies activation and programming as well as control of robots and the manufacturing cell as a whole.

    Integration is a key feature of ENGEL solutions. Since ENGEL supplies injection moulding machines and robots from a single source, the individual components of the manufacturing cell are seamless from a process control and mechanical viewpoint. Injection moulding machines, robots and other peripherals, such as conveyor belts, sprue chutes and protective covers, are coordinated in the design and arranged to be as space-saving as possible. Integrated manufacturing cells also ensure maximum security. A CE certificate will be obtained for the overall solution.

    Of course, all ENGEL robots can be integrated subsequently to injection moulding machines via the EUROMAP 67 interface, regardless of the machine brand. No modifications to the injection moulding machine are required to connect the e-pic robots.

    Efficiency control reduces energy consumption and wear
    e-pic robots, the latest products in ENGEL’s automation range, are offered in two versions: as linear pick-and-place robots (e-pic Z) and servo sprue pickers (e-pic B). The main feature of the e-pic series is the robots’ lightweight swivel arm in place of a conventional x-axis. This completely new kind of kinematic system – a USP of ENGEL – significantly increases the dynamism and energy efficiency, reduces maintenance effort and enables a highly space-saving installation on the injection moulding machine. The swivel arm requires less space than a linear axis when moving towards both the injection and clamping sides; it also works around obstacles, such as core pulls or slides, quickly and easily. Operating the e-pic robot is therefore no more complicated than operating a linear robot. The control unit converts rotary movements into linear movements.

    In a new development for Fakuma 2017, ENGEL will be equipping its e-pic robots with efficiency control. The robots use the software to adapt the speed of their movements to the injection moulding process, thereby reducing energy consumption and raising the lifespan of mechanical components. Efficiency control has been an established feature of viper linear robots for years.

    viper 20: now even faster
    There will also be a premiere for viper linear robots at Fakuma. The new viper 20 speed offers removal times of well under 1 second. The enhanced servo-electric drive technology and the reduced weight of the robot’s axes are responsible for the step up in performance. Developed for applications with total cycle times of around 4 seconds, the viper 20 speed is mainly used in the medical and packaging sectors, areas in which top-entry robots tend to offer very high flexibility.

    The new ENGEL viper 20 speed will demonstrate its impressive performance by handling cups at the Fakuma event. It will work in tandem with an ENGEL easix multi-axis robot that will take the cups from a moving conveyor belt and stack them.

    In this application, both robots – the viper linear and the easix multi-axis robot – are integrated into a CC300 control unit. It makes no difference whether the CC300 is controlling linear or rotary axes. The additional movement instructions for the multi-axis robot integrate seamlessly with the graphical interface, which simplifies operation significantly. To allow for simple and fast parameterisation despite the complexity of the overall system, the control unit provides different user levels, from a simple view to a fully object-oriented visualisation of the sequence.

    10” for easier operation
    Another highlight of ENGEL’s Automation Expert Corner will be the new 10” hand-held terminal C10 for robots in the ENGEL series; this will replace the 7” units in the C70 series in the year ahead. Visitors to Fakuma 2017 can look forward to an exclusive preview. The new hand-held terminal will provide a much clearer layout, simplifying operation considerably.

    ENGEL automation still growing strongly
    Injection moulding production is facing increasingly complex challenges owing to the pace of market development. Around the world, ENGEL is offering customers solutions that address the required degree of automation precisely, from standardised robot cells to made-to-measure system solutions. A consistent robot portfolio and the automation expertise of ENGEL specialists supply the basis for the high degree of flexibility. “In an ongoing project, we are integrating nine robots of different types,” says Walter Aumayr, head of the Automation and Peripherals division at ENGEL AUSTRIA. “Demand is rising for very complex automation cells to be used in highly integrated production processes.”

    To meet the individual requirements of processors and address the particular characteristics of its various national markets, ENGEL has its own automation centres in Austria and Germany as well as China, Korea and the USA. Of the 6,000 ENGEL employees around the world, more than 500 are devoted to automation technology – a number that will continue to rise. “We are hiring a lot of new employees for automation,” confirms Aumayr.

    Over the past five years ENGEL has doubled its turnover from automation projects; the area of special automation was developing especially strongly with growth rates of 30 percent on average. “The trend shows no sign of slowing down,” says Aumayr. “ENGEL automation will continue to achieve strong, double-digit growth rates.”
    ENGEL at Fakuma 2017: hall A5, stand 5204
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    13.10.2017   Change perceptions at Labelexpo Europe: Saying luxury in more ways than ever    ( Company news )

    Company news The face value of a label is just one part of a consumer’s impression of a bottle or package. Communicating brand values effectively means going further – how does a label feel? What sound does it emit when touched? Does it give off a scent? Packaging that stimulates multiple senses has a bigger impact on consumers’ perceptions – and helps determine their purchasing decisions.

    Photo: The Avery Dennison Sensorial Collection gives designers a broad toolset to create soft, textured or patterned papers that can give a premium, vintage or artisanal feel.
    (Photo: Avery Dennison, PR367)

    “At the past Labelexpo, we premiered exclusive labelling materials that help brands to stand out on the shelf, creating unique customer experiences, and changing consumer perceptions,” says Ralph Olthoff, segment director wine & spirits.

    Building on its show theme of “Pioneering Change,” Avery Dennison leveraged this platform for showcasing several exciting advances, including:
    • Clear Hotmelt adhesive for chilled food packaging
    • Sensorial Collection for wine, spirits and craft beer
    • Black Collection for wine, spirits and craft beer
    • Label’Glass technology for wine, spirits, premium food and cosmetics
    Avery Dennison’s patented Clear Hotmelt adhesive offers a new alternative for chilled food applications.

    As demand increases in Europe for healthy and convenient chilled foods, so does the need for attractive, transparent and informative packaging. Chilled food applications in the temperature range 0-8 °C require the tack of a hotmelt adhesive, but traditional hotmelt adhesives tend to yellow and UV-hotmelt adhesives carry a price premium. Avery Dennison’s S 2045C Clear Hotmelt adhesive now enables clear labelling for chilled food applications without yellowing. The excellent ink anchorage at increased printing speeds now unlocks a high-quality, cost-effective solution that creates exciting design possibilities for chilled food applications.

    The Avery Dennison Sensorial Collection gives designers a broad toolset to create soft, textured or patterned papers that can give a premium, vintage or artisanal feel. These diverse label surfaces can give consumers subtle messages about a bottle’s contents while contributing to an outstanding visual impact. This product portfolio offers various effects, from wood to velvet – allowing brands to create unique label designs that engage multiple consumer senses.

    New, exclusive Label’Glass technology allows brands and bottle producers to simulate a glass embossing effect with a label. Decorating the bottle with an embossed label that looks like glass and feels like glass, helps to create a distinctive and premium brand image, while differentiating the bottle to stand out on the shelf among hundreds of other wine, spirits, luxury food or cosmetic bottles. This technology offers a perfect alternative to glass embossing, particularly for small production batches, thanks to low order quantities, fast shipping, cost efficiency and lead times.

    The Avery Dennison Black Collection offers unique ways to create truly distinctive label designs for wine, spirits and craft beer brands. The materials provide excellent shelf appeal with black labels without white edges, ranging from smooth to textured in different shades. These products also deliver improved operational efficiency to converters, by saving on both ink and press time, as there is no need to dual pass printing.
    (Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials Europe)
    13.10.2017   Why has there been an increase in Craft Beer consumption across the UK?     ( Company news )

    Company news This article will look at the increase in craft beers over the last few years and the reasons why consumers are preferring craft beers over standard beers. Craft beers are produced by small, independent and traditional breweries. More than a third of craft beer consumers are millennials which show’s how important the 18-35-year-old market is to the industry.

    Over the last few years, there has been a large increase in the opening of UK breweries. Breweries opened within the UK have risen by 8% to around 1,700 breweries. This is due to the popularity of craft beers. In addition to this, the craft beer industry has grown into roughly 6,000 outlets since 2016.

    Craft beer manufacturers have seen a large increase in the consumption of craft beer drinkers. The reasons why there has been an increase in craft beers are as follow:
    ·Beer drinkers are experimenting by trying out different flavoured craft beers. This is because consumers are getting bored of the same old beer taste.

    ·Retailers are also getting more craft beers on the shelves. In the last couple of years, craft beer has grown into 6,000 outlets. Manufacturers are also placing their craft beer products into cans and bottles to be sold within the store.

    ·Craft beers are becoming portable - Lots of craft beer manufacturers are putting their beers into cans and bottles allowing consumers to enjoy their favourite craft beer while on the go.

    It has been reported by an accountancy group that craft beer breweries are becoming increasingly profitable. Craft beer is the leading way in the surging popularity of artisan products and has pushed aside other brands in the high street bars and pubs.

    Join us at this years, Alcohol Innovation Congress conference in London where we will explore ingredients, how to effectively tap into emerging social trends through innovation and how to mitigate decreasing consumer spending, yet still will a few sessions on packaging due to changing needs and social movements. Register today to learn more.
    (Arena International Events Group)
    12.10.2017   Vanilla: Symrise Is Leading in Authenticity Verification    ( Company news )

    Company news - Isotope ratio mass spectrometry and magnetic resonance spectrometer utilized
    - Proof of authenticity: Customer requirements are being fulfilled

    Vanilla is the best-known and most popular flavor in the world and the second most expensive spice after saffron. The prices for real vanilla are currently at an all-time high. Customers pay 550 to 600 US dollars for one kilogram of black vanilla beans. That makes the spice even more valuable than silver.

    Vanilla extracts and isolated vanillin are also used as important flavor components in addition to the pods of the vanilla orchid themselves. Therefore, comprehensive quality controls are needed for products made from this plant. By employing these controls Symrise not only meets the increasing demand of customers for certification of authenticity but moreover it complies with national regulations in
    individual countries.

    Depending on the product and its position in the supply and value chain, different methods are used for quality control and to provide proof of authenticity. If plant material is being examined, for example, this can be done by DNA analysis. On the other hand, commercially used vanillin can be differentiated in terms of its origin and production method using isotope ratio mass spectrometry and magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

    Complying With Customer Needs
    Symrise has been using isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) already for many years to verify authenticity. Recently an extended IRMS-method was established to further enhance the process of differentiating quality levels of vanillin. Details on the complete approach have been published by Symrise in the Flavour and Fragrance Journal:

    After integration of all available spectroscopic data using a statistical approach the results enable a significantly improved differentiation of the vanillin based on critical provenances. This allows vanillin that was produced naturally from eugenol to be differentiated from synthetic vanillin derived from lignin or curcumin, for example. This approach highly improves the quality and authenticity verification for vanilla products and sets new standards, through which the needs of Symrise customers can be met in this discerning market segment both now and in the future.

    Symrise is focusing on sustainability with its vanilla production in Madagascar. The company works with roughly 7,000 small-scale farmers in the fertile SAVA region, sourcing the spice directly from these farmers. The result is a sustainable and fully integrated supply chain. Beyond that, the fragrance and flavoring manufacturer helps the farmers improve their cultivation methods and thereby also improve their living conditions.
    (Symrise AG)
    11.10.2017   Unique removable self-adhesive labels digitally produced by Label'Or on Xeikon presses for...     ( Company news )

    Company news ... Belgian abbey brewery Val-Dieu

    After thorough research and development, Belgian label specialist Label’Or, now digitally produces the high quality, wash off labels for all Val-Dieu beer bottles, a unique solution in the beer industry.

    Alain Pinckaers, Director of Val-Dieu Brewery, explains: “To keep up with the growing demand for our beers, we needed to change our production process. As part of this, we decided to change the labels on our bottles. Where before we used wet-glue labels, we now switched to self-adhesive labels. As the bottles are washed and re-used, it was vital that the labels are easily removed. We worked closed with Label’Or who helped us find a solution and choose a suitable machine removable label.”

    Jean-Marie Peters, owner of Label‘Or, continues: “For the improvement of the production process, we looked at enhancing the brand image and presentation of the bottles. It was also very important to have washable labels, because of the switch to self-adhesive labels. We did a lot of research and testing, also working closely with paper suppliers, and finally found the solution. The rest just comes down to proximity, service, availability and short-runs.”

    Next to the traditional production process, Label’Or also produces labels digitally on Xeikon presses. “After the necessary preparations, the files are sent to the Xeikon front-end, and then produced on the Xeikon CX3 which prints most of the Val-Dieu labels. Not only do we print four or five different colours, we also add a coating. Afterwards the large reels, which sometimes carry 2.000 metres of paper, are sent to the roll slitting and rewinding machine, where the labels are cut and wound on reels for the labelling machine,” Peters explains. “Xeikon’s digital presses allow us to respond adequately to market needs for several reasons. First, because of the outstanding printing quality and secondly because of the dry toner that allows for direct or indirect contact with food. With the short turn-around time and maximum use of the press in one shift, we can react swiftly and offer the client a fast service. And that is what’s expected today: quality and fast delivery.”

    Family-owned Label’Or started working with Xeikon in 2008 when the Xeikon 3300 5-color digital press was installed. The company quickly understood the potential offers by combining the efficiency of their traditional production with the flexibility of digital. Using the new technology, it could effectively meet the demand for small runs and variable output. The quick return-on-investment made it possible to invest in a second Xeikon 3300, followed by a third, the Xeikon CX3.
    (Xeikon Manufacturing and R&D Center)

    Company news To enable producers in today’s packaging industry to meet the needs of consumers and to cope with the challenges posed by value chains, equipment performance is critical. Successfully launched at Drinktec 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, the OptiFeed® crown feeder and the EvoFilm™ shrink-wrapping system are two new solutions from Gebo Cermex that boost reliable and flexible production, at improved speeds, while reducing environmental footprint and lowering total cost of ownership (TCO).

    The first new solution is the durable OptiFeed crown feeder, delivering reliable, high-speed performance in a compact space. Developed for the glass market and building on the global success of Gebo Cermex cap-feeder solutions - currently totalling 1,400 installations worldwide – this new crown feeder platform ensures quality and compliance of crowns. Even at speeds as high as 81,000 crowns per hour, its integrated vision device allows unsuitable crowns to be spotted and seamlessly ejected, without stopping the flow.

    Throughout the development of the OptiFeed solution, sustainability was high on the agenda of the design team. As a result, the solution removes the need for air and thereby eliminates the risk of contamination that can sometimes occur when it is used. Instead, mechanical discharge moves the crowns, keeping electrical power consumption to under 1kW. This creates a smooth handling process as well as improving hygiene and reducing the environmental impact of the process.

    The OptiFeed crown feeder features a smart design with the option of right or left discharge at variable heights from 2.0 up to 6.2 metres to give manufacturers full flexibility. The solution’s small footprint and modular design allow for fast and easy integration, with optimum ergonomics ensured by a user-friendly Human Machine Interface (HMI) and full accessibility from ground level. In addition, to help meet health and safety at work requirements, the noise level is lower than the 80dB threshold at which hearing protection is required.

    Another world premiere at Drinktec 2017 is the Gebo Cermex EvoFilm, a robust, flexible, highly compact and energy-efficient shrink-wrapping system. Drawing on the company’s 50 years of experience with secondary packaging and end-of-line solutions, it delivers quality packs while meeting today’s challenges of customisation and sustainability. Developed for the very demanding high-speed production segment, this solution integrates a gentle product infeed and optimised transfer zones, key features when reaching impressive production speeds of up to 150 cycles per minute in three lanes. Its extensive primary and secondary packaging capability, precise film-handling process and fully automatic changeovers that only take five minutes, make it possible to produce multiple configurations of SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) while reducing downtime. Yet, high performance and flexibility are not achieved by sacrificing ease of use. For instance, in order to ensure fast access for cleaning and maintenance, the film vacuum table is fully extractible while the greasing system and the lubrication of chains are both automatic. To make them easy to replace without the need for reprogramming, all motion components are ‘plug & play’.

    To help producers minimise their environmental footprint, the compact EvoFilm is equipped with a new, lightweight version of the shrink-tunnel belt. Via its tunnel energy mode and infeed/outfeed tunnel flaps, it can significantly reduce energy consumption in cases of longer stoppages (a 15-minute stoppage can result in energy savings of up to 40%). In addition, because energy costs vary throughout the world, manufacturers from certain regions can enjoy further cost benefits when the shrink tunnel is powered by gas. This highly reliable and safe technology has a far shorter warm-up time than its electrical counterpart and the savings possible can be estimated in advance using the Gebo Cermex energy consumption simulation tool.

    EvoFilm offers a number of new technologies and smart tools to enable connectivity, data management and analysis. Via tutorials and interactive content, its brand-new, user-friendly and intuitive HMI makes trouble-shooting easy. For rapid and reliable recovery, it also features remote video access with augmented reality and, to optimise equipment performance over time, an Equipment Smart Monitoring (ESM) programme. This all results in better machine operability, minimal downtime and high levels of profitability.
    (Gebo Cermex)
    10.10.2017   Romania: Beer market up more than 2% in January-July this year    ( )

    The Romanian Beer Association reported a growth by over 2 percent in volume of the beer market in the first seven months of the year, compared with the same period of 2016, the Business Review reported on September 27.

    “The beer evolution during January-July was a positive one, but moderate,” said Julia Leferman, general director of the Romanian Beer Association.

    The beer sector has an important role in the development of the Romanian economy, with locally produced beer accounting for more than 97 percent of the total volume of beer consumed in the country, and the usage of ingredients from the local agriculture accounting for 70 percent.

    Leferman added: “To buy a litre of beer, a Romanian has to work 22 minutes, while a German needs to work only 8 minutes and a Dutch 9 minutes. The intervention of an unpredictable economic factor can increase this gap anytime, with negative consequences on the entire chain connected to the beer production: agriculture, HoReCa, retail, transports, packaging industry.”

    The beer sector creates 85,000 direct and indirect jobs in Romania, it is reported.
    09.10.2017   Elopak has launched a new robotic system for its aseptic filling platform E-PS120A    ( Company news )

    Company news Enhanced productivity and competitiveness

    Thanks to a fully autonomous robotic system, depalletization and opening of the outer packaging as well as transport into the filling machine are now all automatic. These operations until now had to be carried out manually, mostly by the machine operators.

    Just like the filling machine, the so called Blank Loader has been developed and manufactured in Elopak’s own manufacturing plant in Mönchengladbach. The robot unit’s design is highly flexible: on a maximum pallet size of 1,250 x 1,250mm, any palletizing scheme and various packing materials that can be processed by the filling machine can be handled.

    With a footprint of only 3,3 x 3,2 m, the space requirements are minimal. With this development, Elopak has followed its philosophy of compact and modular design utilized for the aseptic filling machine E-PS120A.

    “Based on our requirements, we decided in favour of robotic technology. With this technology, we have reached the highest level of flexibility so that we can offer suitable solutions for future requirements,” explains Wolfgang Buchkremer, Head of Research & Engineering at Elopak EQS GmbH.

    Quality optimization and automation of repetitive manual activities
    The packaging material is carried out by a robotic gripping device with vacuum technology. Every box is scanned via a barcode reader. By comparing the EAN number of the box to the programming, the correct assignment of pack material and fill content is ensured. Simultaneously, the minimum shelf-life of the pack material is verified. Damaged or incorrect boxes are automatically rejected and are therefore not forwarded to the filling process, enabling the number of defective fillings and waste to be minimized.

    Besides precision and automatic verification processes, the innovative opening mechanism contributes as well to quality optimization: instead of cutting the box open, as it is usually the case, it is opened by glue reactivation. Therefore, dust and fibers, which could easily end up in the filling machine and might negatively impact quality, are avoided.

    The pre-folded and side-sealed carton blanks are automatically extracted from the box, transported to the machine and inserted into the blank feeder.

    Pallet changes are due only every 90 minutes, which enables the operator to be available for other tasks within the up or downstream processes.

    Better use of existing employee potential
    The modern automation replaces several working steps which until now the operating staff had to carry out manually: removing the box from the pallet, opening with box cutter, loading of the filling machine as well as disposing of the emptied boxes.

    “The operator does not have to be present, and is released from routine work. Depending on local conditions, up to 2-3 machines can be simultaneously managed by one operator,” explains Buchkremer. “It also has a hygienic advantage as all human contact is avoided; from the depalletization of the packaging materials through to the loading of the pallets with filled packages.“

    Pallet changes are indicated by an adjustable countdown timer, accompanied by an acoustic signal. The countdown timer can be adjusted individually on the HMI operator screen of the filling machine.

    The disposal of empty boxes is also carried out fully automatically. Boxes are folded flat for compact storage and are stored in the waste bin until dispatched. Similar to the pallet change, the request to empty the waste bin is also indicated on the monitor. The capacity of the waste bin, which can be conveniently transported on castors, comprises 2 pallets: therefore, the waste bin needs emptying every 3 hours only.

    The first prototype of the Blank Loader has been successfully tested at the Arla dairy at their site in Pronsfeld. After the first E-PS120A, Arla is already planning further installations of the robot unit for their aseptic filling lines from Elopak.

    Fitted to production conditions – customized parameterization
    The module and filling machine are connected to each other but operate independently. Therefore, in the event of malfunctioning or breakdown, the filling machine does not have to be stopped and can be manually loaded and operated, independently from the robot unit and without any efficiency loss.

    The advantages at a glance:
    -Maximized flexibility
    -Applicable for any palletizing scheme
    -Reduced blanks loading time
    -Pallet change every 90 minutes
    -Less manpower – more convenience
    -Reduced manual work for the machine operator
    -Improved quality and hygiene
    -Automatic inspection by 2D barcode reader
    -Innovative opening mechanism: less fibers, no dust
    -No physical contact between human and packaging material
    (Elopak GmbH)
    09.10.2017   Japan: Asahi Breweries raising beer prices for the first time since 2008    ( )

    Asahi Breweries Ltd. will raise the price of beer delivered mainly to bars and restaurants by about 10 percent in March 2018, the company’s first price hike since 2008, Asahi Shimbun reported on October 4.

    The increase will apply to bottles and barrels of the flagship Asahi Super Dry and other labels sold to wholesalers. The price for beer in cans will remain unchanged.

    Changes to the liquor tax law that took effect on June 1 more strictly control sales of beer and other alcoholic beverages at prices below the cost involved in retailing them, unless there is a good reason for doing so.

    Asahi decided to raise the price of beer because of higher distribution costs caused by a labor shortage, company officials said.

    According to the officials, the commercial beer market has been struggling in recent years because of the shrinking population and younger Japanese shifting to other alcoholic beverages.

    In 2016, sales of bottled beer decreased by about 40 percent over the figure in 2008. Sales of beer barrels to commercial establishments also declined by 8 percent over the same period.
    09.10.2017   The Czech Republic: Brewers seeking to reclaim pub drinkers    ( )

    Czech beer has an international worldwide reputation but there are worries that on the home market at least it could be losing its appeal, especially in local pubs and among its most fervent fans. That’s one of the reasons for nationwide action being staged by brewers, pubs, and restaurants, Radio Prague reported on September 27.

    A five day celebration of Czech beer – hopefully without too much of a hangover – was launched across the country on September 27 with dozens of breweries and hundreds of pubs and restaurants taking part. It’s framed around St. Wenceslas’ day – the patron of Czech beer and malt as well as the patron saint of the nation – which is marked on the following day.

    But the Czech beer industry currently has its worries and could do with help from the saintly patron. For all their success in conquering foreign markets, big brewers and small are concerned that they might be becoming increasingly disconnected from their domestic drinkers, especially those in traditional pubs.

    The latest figures suggest that only around four out of 10 beers are now consumed in Czech pubs with the increasing trend now for beer to be bought in shops and supermarkets and downed somewhere else, often at home.

    Martina Ferencová is the operational director of the Association of Breweries and Maltsters which is behind the fifth annual celebration known as Czech Beer Days. She explained why the drop in pub drinkers should be of concern.

    "It’s clear that Czechs’ life styles have changed and that they have less time to go down the pub or restaurant. Instead they are buying beer and taking it home. From this point of view, it’s not good because we believe that the Czech pub is part of our national identity. It is part of our cultural heritage and belongs to us, like Czech beer.ʺ

    Some of the events being put as part of the celebrations include specially brewed Saint Wenceslas beers, special food offers and recipes, and brewery tours by both multinational brewers and small micro producers.

    But Ferencová is nevertheless still pessimistic about the overall state of the Czech beer sector in spite of the fact that export sales are still strong and holding up well. She says it appears the sector has been hit hard by the smoking ban which came into effect across the country from the end of May and covered pubs, cafes, and restaurants.

    Already in July, beer sales in restaurants were down by 9.0 percent compared with the same month a year earlier and the same disappointing trend held good for August as well. These summer months are traditionally strong for beer sales. And she doesn’t expect any turnaround in the figures soon.

    ʺWe fear that there will be a drop in production and sales for this year. The ban on smoking has really removed the true beer drinkers. Pubs already look empty now and the weather is still good."
    09.10.2017   UK: Kingfisher eyeing launch of an Indian pale ale in the UK    ( )

    The European boss of Kingfisher beer is eyeing the launch of an Indian pale ale to complement the growing range of global brews it sells in a bid to appeal to a younger audience, The Telegraph reported on September 25.

    Damon Swarbrick said the company’s big challenge had been the decline of popularity of curry - a dish its beer famously accompanies - as the millennial generation turned its back on the 1990s/early 2000s favourite in favour of other global cuisine, including Asian dishes from Vietnam.

    The company has responded to this by signing deals to distribute drinks made by other companies such as Indonesian lager Bintang in the UK, as well as China’s Pearl River beer, brewed by Guangzhou Zhujiang Brewery. It will also begin distributing Sri Lanka’s biggest beer brand Lion here next month.

    But Mr Swarbrick said his company was aiming to enter the craft market next year.

    “Nobody should be able to do an Indian pale ale better than us,” he said. “We are getting our final strategy together and I would have thought by January next year we will have an IPA in the market to complement Kingfisher and our other brands.”

    Mr Swarbrick’s comments come as the company managed a 1.8pc rise in volumes in 2016 helping sales stay broadly flat at £13.35 mln. But pre-tax profits jumped by more than half to £390,855 in 2016 thanks to a major investment the prior year in replacing glassware at outlets which sell its drinks not being repeated.

    The chief executive said the company was also exporting more beer which it expected to help sales in the coming years.

    Kingfisher is run by United Breweries, which in turn is owned by Mendocino Brewing Company in California. But United Breweries founder Vijay Mallya now owns roughly 75pc of the Mendocino stock having initially bought a stake in 1997.

    Mendocino’s beers include Red Tail Ale, Blue Heron Pale Ale, Eye of the Hawk Select Ale, and Black Hawk Stout.
    09.10.2017   USA: Boston Beer affirms it ‘has no plans to be part of larger beer company anytime soon’    ( )

    Despite speculation that financial headwinds could cause the country’s largest craft brand to look to be acquired, Boston Beer Co. Inc. executives say the company is proud to be an independent craft brewer, the Boston Business Journal reported on September 28.

    The stock price for Boston Beer rallied 4 percent on September 25 after one analyst speculated that Boston Beer could be acquired if financial problems persist.

    Credit Suisse analyst Laurent Grandet said in a report that he was more bullish on Boston Beer than in the past, given the recent success of hard-seltzer brand Truly. But he also said there was still a lot of uncertainty, given how the company’s chief marketing officer, Jonathan Potter, would change the brand and when the search for a new CEO — already six months running — would conclude.

    Though the company's second quarter had been positive, the long-term direction of the brand was up in the air, given increased competition from other craft brewers.

    “We remain cautious on the trajectory of the business in 2018 and beyond. Samuel Adams brand is declining in both retail and on-premise and we don't think this could improve before mid-2018,” Grandet said.

    If a financial turnaround doesn't occur within the next year, Grandet predicted a takeover would be more likely.

    “We think the likelihood of a takeout goes higher as the Samuel Adams brand struggles to regain its footing in the highly competitive craft segment," Grandet said. "Founder Jim Koch has been publicly vocal about his aversion to selling the company to a larger beer brewer, but we think eventually he could soften his stance on this if the relaunch (of the brand's marketing) is eventually unsuccessful."

    Grandet initially speculated in mid-September that Boston Beer could also be acquired by a Japanese beer company, or even be taken private in a leveraged buyout. According to the report on September 25, Molson Coors would be “the most agreeable candidate for Koch to consider buying his company.”

    Boston Beer said it wouldn’t comment on market speculation, however affirmed that it has no plans to be part of a larger beer company anytime soon.

    “As our founder and brewer Jim Koch has publicly shared, we’re proud to be an independent American company,” said Jessica Pear, a spokeswoman for Boston Beer. “As a matter of fact, we’re so proud of that, we’ve adopted the Brewers Association’s independent craft seal and are incorporating it onto every bottle and can of beer that we brew.”

    Sonia Vora, with Morning Star, said it was unlikely Boston Beer would be acquired.

    "The Chairman of the firm’s board, C. James Koch, is the company’s founder and controls 100% of its Class B (voting) shares, allowing him to maintain significant influence over its long-term strategy," Vora said. "We also think that the firm prides itself on its history and independence, as one of the first craft brands, and as such don’t view a sale as likely."

    Other analysts weren't available to comment on a potential acquisition, but said they are skeptical that Boston Beer will be able to overcome longer-term struggles in the beer category.

    In a report from July, Cowen analysts said they expect that once summer is over, sales of Truly Spiked & Sparkling would begin to abate. Truly has helped increase sales for Boston Beer in the company’s second quarter, along with alcoholic iced tea brand Twisted Tea.

    Cowen also said the brand’s beer business will still face difficulty in the near term, especially as Boston Lager “remains under pressure.”
    09.10.2017   USA: Constellation Brands to debut new Corona Premier beer in February    ( )

    The Corona family is growing.

    Riding a surge of interest in Mexican beer, Constellation Brands will debut Corona Premier nationwide in February. It will also release Corona Familiar in all major Hispanic markets, a key demographic for the brand, CNBC reported on October 5.

    Constellation conducted a "successful" test of Premier before deciding to make it available nationwide. The company said the brew is aimed at a mature, sophisticated consumer looking to trade up from light beer.

    Premier contains 90 calories. In comparison, Extra contains 149 calories and Light contains 99.

    "Corona Premier capitalizes on industry and consumer trends including declines of domestic light beers, growth of high end and interest in new light beers that are premium and have badge value," a spokeswoman said in an email.

    Corona and Modelo's popularity has helped Constellation's sales surge. In the second quarter, which includes the all-important summer months, Constellation's beer sales grew nearly 13 percent from the same time last year.

    The company beat Wall Street's profit expectations for the ninth straight quarter, thanks to higher margins. On October 5, it also boosted its full-year earnings forecast to between $8.25 and $8.40 per share from $7.90 and $8.10 per share.

    Constellation's stock has skyrocketed about 36 percent this year. It gained 4 percent on October 5.

    Constellation's growth comes as some big brewers' sales have struggled thanks to consumers' thirst turning toward craft beer. On a call with investors, CEO Rob Sands credited Constellation for driving growth in U.S. beer imports.

    "So it's a little bit of a misnomer to think that the growth in the beer category, to the extent that there is any, is coming from [total] imports. It is not. It is coming from Constellation's portfolio of Mexican beers. And then there is also growth coming from the craft segment, and that's about it," Sands said.

    During the quarter, Constellation boosted TV and digital advertising for Corona Extra, Sands said. Corona Extra was the official beer sponsor for the much-hyped Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight.

    Constellation also launched a limited-edition can packaging, which the CEO said helped grow Corona's can format more than 20 percent.

    Sands said the company's beer portfolio is well-positioned for the second half of the year. Aside from Corona, Constellation's beers include brands such as Modelo, Pacifico and Funky Buddha, a craft beer it acquired last month.

    The holidays present a big opportunity for the alcohol industry. Constellation's portfolio includes wine and spirits brands such as Black Box, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and Robert Mondavi Private Selection wines, and SVEDKA.
    (Constellation Brands Inc.)
    09.10.2017   USA: Craft beer contribution to the US economy up more than 20% last year    ( )

    Craft beer’s economic contribution to the United States economy has grown by more than 20% in two years, according to numbers released by the Brewers Association (BA) on September 26.

    In announcing the results of its biennial economic impact study, the BA says small and independent American breweries added $67.8 billion to the economy in 2016, a 21.7% increase over 2014. This, despite growth of craft sales and production slowing dramatically over that same period.

    “As consumers continue to demand a wide range of high quality, full-flavored beers, small and independent craft brewers are meeting this growing demand with innovative offerings, creating high levels of economic value in the process,” BA Chief Economist Bart Watson said in a statement.

    The study covers the total impact of craft-brewed beer as it works its way through the three-tier distribution system, plus food and merchandise sold at brewpubs and brewery taprooms. This production and sales process created more than 456,000 full-time equivalent jobs – a 7.5% increase from 2014 - with breweries and brewpubs directly accounting for more than 128,000 of those jobs.

    With $7.3 billion worth of annual output, California leads the nation in economic impact, followed by Pennsylvania ($5.8 billion), Texas ($4.5 billion), New York ($3.4 billion) and Florida ($3.1 billion), which is believed to be the fastest-growing craft beer state in the country.

    The per-capita picture for 21+ adults looks quite different, with Colorado ($764 per person), Vermont ($667), Oregon ($659), Pennsylvania ($616) and Montana ($550), with its 1 million residents and 68 craft breweries, comprising the top five.

    The U.S. supported 5,301 craft breweries at the end of 2016, compared with 3,780 two years earlier. However, approximately a dozen larger craft breweries sold to global brewery conglomerates in that period, losing them the “craft brewery” designation and removing them from the BA’s statistics.


    Company news Successfully launched at Drinktec 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, the Super Combi is designed and engineered as a single smart solution. It makes life easier for producers of water and CSD beverages, via integrated data-driven intelligence, making optimum performance easily and continuously achievable across the entire production process.

    Sidel Super Combi is the next generation solution integrating five process steps: preform feeder, blower, labeller, filler/capper and cap feeder into an all-in-one smart system. To deliver this self-optimising performance and increased long-term value, it combines intelligent automation with innovative technologies of connected machines and data-analytics management, leading to optimised production and maintenance services.

    A smarter solution for today’s demands
    Consumer preferences are broadening and overall demand is increasing due to unprecedented population growth, increased consumer spending power and growing demand for personalisation of products in terms of design and taste. The ability of production solutions to satisfy output requirements for new products efficiently, while implementing technologies that improve long-term viability, has become vital to manufacturers’ success.

    Beverage producers simply want a solution that does the thinking for them and acts on their behalf. This is where Sidel Super Combi, with its data-driven intelligence and advanced automation, provides the answers. For instance, autonomous regulation is achieved via Sidel Intelli-adjust™ controlling the system’s performance and automatically applying adjustments wherever they are needed. Long-term enhancement without compromising on simplified operation, reduced maintenance time and minimal downtime are all also possible thanks to intuitive interfaces such as augmented reality guidance and GPS localisation.

    For instance, for improved reactivity of the operator, it has an automated alert system to provide advanced timely reports through the EIT™ (Efficiency Improvement Tool) audio and smart portables, on events such as changeovers, label or cap shortages and possible faults. Improved Root Cause Analysis (RCA) software enables intuitive intervention, making it easier for operators to solve problems quickly. Additionally, guided trouble-shooting reduces operator skill requirements and offers increased repeatability of changeover and maintenance procedures. By ‘learning from experience’, the Sidel InUse platform is able to predict potential failures and optimise maintenance plans. Accessible via smartphone or tablet with a dedicated mobile app - developed for both Android and iOS - the platform enables producers to share and interpret the data of connected equipment. This helps to speed up problem solving and offers the chance of timely detection of possible issues, as well as guidance for their successful resolution. The Super Combi also provides real-time access to the Sidel Big Data repository - where customer data is safely held under conditions of total cyber security - for refining its own prediction algorithms. This makes it possible to maintain, control and even improve the performance of main components and modules.

    The lowest production cost per square metre
    To ensure an even more sustainable production, the Super Combi has been entirely designed to minimise the use of resources. For example, the Super Combi blower - based on the Sidel Matrix™ platform - operates at high oven efficiency and minimal environmental footprint; yet pushing the boundaries of ultra-lightweight bottle production and handling, thanks to the labelling process now integrated in the solution. Consumption of electrical power is reduced by up to 45%, preform-heating time is lowered by up to 15% and, with the option of AirEco2 double air-recovery, a 35% reduction in the use of compressed air is also achieved. To further reduce the environmental footprint, the entire system is based on brushless motors. In addition, the new melter and glue control distribution on the labeller minimises the consumption. The OptiFeed® cap feeder system from Gebo Cermex, part of the Sidel Group, combines storage, elevation, orientation and high-speed feeding with energy savings, as its individual cap-elevating technology eliminates the need for compressed air and electronic fan systems during extraction.

    Ergonomic, compact and easy to operate
    The solution is designed for ease of operation, with its intuitive interfaces, ergonomic design and clear guidance on operations and maintenance activities for ongoing high levels of performance and uptime. Super Combi has been engineered to ensure operator access is immediate and safe, examples being the location of the preform feeder at ground level, or the labeller and cap feeder which are both designed for easier access. With the new ergonomic, compact design - up to 30% smaller when compared to standalone equipment - and increased visibility of all blocks, the Sidel Super Combi makes single-operator control possible.

    Safer and more hygienic
    With a strict focus on hygiene, packaging quality and beverage integrity, Sidel Super Combi ensures maximum food safety, a critical requirement for producers. Gentle handling of the preforms by the preform feeder ensure their original quality is retained. Similarly, positive handling of the bottles by the neck throughout the whole system and across a safe environment - from blowing to capping - guarantees optimal care. This enables higher bottle quality overall and maximises lightweighting opportunities. The integrated vision/rejection systems from preform to caps always ensure the best product quality, saving both raw materials and resources consumption.

    Ultimate flexibility for improved uptime
    The integration of innovative new technologies minimises changeovers on the Sidel Super Combi, which can be guided for improved speed and efficiency to keep the line running smoothly with minimal downtime. The simplified settings of the preform feeder, the quick release blowing moulds and a reliable high-speed reel auto-splicer, along with the sector based vacuum drum of the labeller, are just some of the ways that Sidel Super Combi makes changeovers easier and faster than ever.

    Innovative labelling flexibility to minimise downtime
    High-output production of beverages at high and very high speeds requires equipment that overcomes traditional obstacles to ensure continuous uptime. The Sidel Super Combi is the result of extensive innovation and improvements to the company’s existing labelling technology. With different machine configurations possible based on the output required, the new labelling process is highly efficient and provides unmatched process flexibility, the integrated labeller being able to carry out different labelling processes, including the application of PSL (pressure sensitive labels) and roll-fed labels.

    The labelling process can be optimised to work with up to three stations running simultaneously or with a ‘master/slave’ setup, in which the one or two stations run while the designated ‘slave’ station remains idle - still achieving the nominal output. When a reel-change is required, the roles automatically switch. This creates a labelling process that delivers uncompromising continuous high-speed production with no product loss or reduction in speed of production resulting from reel-changes.

    By utilising integrated equipment intelligence and innovative technologies from Sidel, the new Super Combi enables continuous production-optimisation and enhanced performance for producers of PET bottled water and CSD. This makes it the ideal way to maximise production and increase line efficiency while reducing TCO. It is yet another smart solution from Sidel. The next generation of water and CSD production is available now.
    (Sidel International AG)
    05.10.2017   Feldmuehle is restructuring product portfolio as part of its long-term strategic orientation    ( Company news )

    Company news The new Managing Director Kayser is focusing on the expansion of customer proximity and product innovations

    Feldmuehle Uetersen GmbH is restructuring its product portfolio and sales organisation: the company's six product segments are now bundled into the business areas of Labelling Applications, Packaging Solutions and Graphical Options. From the restructuring under the new Managing Director Heiner Kayser, customer proximity shall benefit. The aim is to strengthen the market position of Feldmuehle in the three areas.

    With clear focus on high-quality label papers, packaging papers, graphic papers and cardboard, Feldmuehle is firmly dedicated to meet the requirements of the market. At the same time, the special expertise and experience of the employees as well as the flexible possibilities of the machine fleet are to be used even better according to the customer requirements. "We are concentrating on our greatest strengths," says Heiner Kayser, who is the Managing Director of Feldmuehle Uetersen GmbH since May this year. "Our aim is to be particularly close to the customer, to find innovative solutions for specific requirements and to constantly set standards in terms of quality and customer service." The objectives of Feldmuehle are clearly defined: the company's market shares are to be expanded in the three business areas and the position as supplier of high-quality white coated papers for the label, packaging and printing industries is to be strengthened.

    High service quality through customer-oriented sales
    As a result of the reorganisation of the product portfolio, the entire sales structure will be more stringently oriented to the customer. The sales support and field sales employees will specialise in one of the three business areas and be able to advise customers with in-depth product knowledge. "The name Feldmuehle stands for a particularly high service level", says Eckhard Kallies, Director Sales and Marketing. "The new structure allows us to address the requirements and needs even more intensively and to act as a true partner of our customers."

    Strengthening of the graphical area
    Within its graphic product range, the company is increasingly focusing on products with particularly high whiteness and premium character. Besides graphic papers, the high white cardboard VivaCard will be integrated. With another product in the pipeline, this business area is gaining additional importance. The objective is to be able to offer a broader graphic portfolio to the customers.

    Ambitions in the well-established labelling area
    With a long tradition and a high expertise in the production of label papers, Feldmuehle is one of the leading suppliers in this field. As a trendsetter, the company will expand its extensive and high-quality portfolio with innovative products and further expand its market position.

    Potentials in packaging
    In the area of flexible packaging papers and liners, the growth potential of the young, high-quality products will be fully utilised. Feldmuehle aims to further develop this business area through new product solutions, e.g. in the segment of barrier papers, and by offering innovative specialities to the customers.
    (Feldmuehle Uetersen GmbH)
    05.10.2017   MuCell proficiency strengthened in the southwest    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: The ENGEL Technology Centre in Stuttgart is one of the largest in the company. The new duo 350 injection moulding machine with MuCell technology package is permanently available for ENGEL customers

    Structural foam moulding is one of the most important lightweight technologies available today and continues strong growth worldwide. The injection moulding machine manufacturer and provider of system solutions ENGEL, headquartered in Schwertberg, Austria, is responding to this trend by strengthening its application technology globally. One area of focus is Germany. In September, ENGEL Deutschland Technologieforum Stuttgart opened a MuCell Competence Centre.

    “As a Competence Centre, we are even better able to support our customers to more fully exploit the potential offered by the physical foaming process,” says Claus Wilde, Managing Director at ENGEL Deutschland in Stuttgart. “We already have a number of major customers here in southwestern Germany who use the MuCell process in their factories worldwide.”

    Therefore, a large manufacturing cell has been installed in the ENGEL Technology Centre in Stuttgart for customer trials, development work, application-specific consulting, training and small-lot production – for example, for initial sampling. Equipped with an ENGEL duo 350 injection moulding machine with a clamping force of 3500 kN, an integrated ENGEL easix multi-axis robot and a T-200 MuCell unit from the company’s technology partner Trexel, the cell covers a broad spectrum of applications.

    Long before the Competence Centre was opened, ENGEL had appointed a MuCell Technology Expert for the site. Over the past months, Lukas Neunzig has successfully completed numerous MuCell projects with customers from around the world at ENGEL’s headquarters in Schwertberg and at the large-scale machine plant in St. Valentin, and he is bringing this experience to Stuttgart.

    To celebrate the inauguration of the Competence Centre, ENGEL hosted a MuCell technology event in mid-September, which was fully booked several weeks in advance with over 120 participants. “The great success of our event confirms the huge potential and strong demand here in the southwest,” Wilde emphasises. The technology event underlined a further trend: MuCell is not just for car manufacturers. “We are receiving a growing number of inquiries from other industries as well, such as technical injection moulding and medical technology,” says Wilde.

    Less weight, better component properties
    There are two main factors that are key to the great success of MuCell technology. First is the general lightweight trend and, second, the high quality of the components produced in the structural foam moulding process.

    Physical foaming involves the injection and homogeneous distribution of a blowing agent into the plastic melt during plastification. After injection into the mould, the gas separates from the melt and creates a fine-cell foam structure. In this way, significantly less material is needed to fill the cavities compared to standard injection moulding and the component weight decreases. At the same time, components produced by MuCell have proven to have high dimensional stability. Since foaming enhances the flow properties of the melt, even challenging geometries with undercuts are completely filled.

    MuCell is a brand owned by the company Trexel, located in Wilmington, MA, USA. As a system supplier, ENGEL imports the MuCell systems for its customers and manages the integration of the controls and safety aspects into the injection moulding machine, making it very easy to implement the technology.

    Apart from Stuttgart, ENGEL also offers customers its MuCell know-how and machine capabilities in Austria, the USA and China.
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    04.10.2017   Johnnie Walker introduces latest limited edition Blenders' Batch Whiskies    ( Company news )

    Company news Johnnie Walker launches three new experimental whiskies from its Blenders’ Batch range for both whisky aficionados and cocktail lovers

    The three new blends in the collection are Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend, Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish and Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast. Each blend is designed to form the foundation of exceptional Scotch cocktails and yet, like all the brand’s classic whiskies, they can also be enjoyed straight up over ice.

    Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch whiskies are the result of bold experiments that push the boundaries in flavour. Like Johnnie Walker Black Label, which was first borne out of flavour experiments more than a century ago and has since gone on to become a true icon of Scotch, these new whiskies are crafted by a small team of 12 passionate and skilled blenders, under the expert guidance of two-time Master Blender of the Year Jim Beveridge.

    Johnnie Walker blender Aimée Gibson led the development of Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend. She believes the parallels between crafting great whisky and creating extraordinary cocktails make the World Class Final in Mexico City the perfect environment for the introduction of these new whiskies.

    Aimée commented: “An unforgettable drinks experience is always the end goal. It is what elite mixologists strive to achieve when perfecting cocktails and it is what we, as whisky makers, have at the forefront of our thinking when experimenting and creating exciting new blends”.

    Master Blender Jim Beveridge said: “At Johnnie Walker, we know how to make exceptional Scotch. That was true when we first created Johnnie Walker Black Label over a hundred years ago and it is still true today. Our philosophy and our commitment to creating exceptional Scotch Whiskies is central to everything we do.

    “Our blenders are given free rein to take inspiration from anything and everything around them when making whisky: experiences they’ve had, personal passions, sounds, and flavours. Their passion drives them to challenge the whisky-making status quo and to tap into other flavour cultures to create the best possible flavour combinations for all of our blends, every day.”
    (Diageo plc)
    02.10.2017   SWA welcomes EU-Canada trade deal    ( Company news )

    Company news The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is welcoming the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which came into force on 21 September.

    Canada is Scotch Whisky's fifteenth largest market by value, with exports worth more than £73 million a year. CETA delivers a range of market access improvements, paving the way for export growth to Canada, according to the SWA. And Scotch Whisky accounts for almost a fifth of all Scottish exports to Canada.

    Benefits of CETA for Scotch Whisky include:
    -Fewer internal trading restrictions;
    -A level playing field for intellectual property rights for EU products in Canada;
    -Removal of the market-distorting effects of the Canadian liquor boards.

    Another major breakthrough is the removal of the current requirement in Canada to blend local spirit with bulk imports of spirit drinks with a geographical indication (GI), such as Scotch Whisky. Under this requirement, a minimum of 1% Canadian content had to be added to imports if the product was bottled by anyone other than the Canadian liquor boards. This requirement had a negative impact on Scotch Whisky bottled in Canada, after being made and matured in Scotland, as it could not benefit from its GI status.

    Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "Open markets matter to Scotch Whisky and CETA delivers benefits that will help to promote fair competition and grow our exports to Canada. With the Scotch Whisky industry supporting 40,000 jobs and adding value of £5 billion annually, the boost to trade from CETA will be good for the entire UK economy and export success.

    "As we move towards Brexit, we are calling for the UK to pursue an ambitious global trade policy. A first priority will be to ensure the benefits of existing trade deals, such as CETA, will continue to be enjoyed by UK businesses. And we are calling on the UK Government then to pursue a series of new trade deals with markets around the world."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    29.09.2017   SIGNATURE PACK wins the Beverage Innovation Award 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news Innovation from SIG convinces the jury – added value for consumer, the beverage
    industry and the environment

    Picture: The SIGNATURE PACK from SIG convinced the jury: The world's first aseptic carton pack, which is 100% linked to plant-based renewable material, has won the Beverage Innovation Award 2017. Photo: SIG Combibloc

    The SIGNATURE PACK from SIG convinced the jury: The world's first aseptic carton pack, which is 100% linked to plant-based renewable material, has won the Beverage Innovation Award 2017 in the category ‘Best carton or pouch’.

    The Beverage Innovation Award has been presented by every year since 2002. This year, the jury received 227 applications from manufacturers and suppliers of the beverage industry from 33 countries. The Beverage Innovation Award recognizes outstanding innovations in areas such as beverages, packaging, marketing and sustainability.

    This year, the Beverage Innovation Award in the category "Best carton or pouch" goes to SIG and the SIGNATURE PACK. The jury's verdict states: "The SIGNATURE PACK is a commendable environmental step forward”.

    Udo Felten, Manager Product Related Global Environmental Sustainability & Affairs at SIG, accepted the award for the SIGNATURE PACK at the drinktec trade fair: "We are very proud to have received the Beverage Innovation Award. The positive assessment of the international jury of experts confirms that our SIGNATURE PACK offers undeniable added value for the beverage industry and consumers. By choosing the SIGNATURE PACK, beverage manufacturers are helping to reduce the use of fossil raw materials, and to replace them with plant-based, natural raw materials instead. This is a clear advantage for the environment and the feedback from our customers is very positive. For us, the market launch of the SIGNATURE PACK is an important milestone on our Way Beyond Good. This is how we signify our way to becoming "net-positive", i.e. to do more for the society and the environment than we take out".
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    28.09.2017   Beviale Moscow: No. 1 platform for the beverage industry in Russia and neighbouring countries     ( Company news )

    Company news •Further growth apparent for third round
    •Premiere: Pavilion for Wine Production & Manufacturing
    •PETarena powered by PETnology

    From 27 February to 1 March 2018, Beviale Moscow will open its doors to professionals from the Russian beverage industry for the third time. Following its successful debut in 2015 and the significant growth in the number of exhibitors, exhibition area and visitors in 2017, Beviale Moscow has therefore become established as the No. 1 platform for the beverage industry in Russia and surrounding countries. Substantial growth is also expected for the third round of
    the event at the Crocus Expo International Exhibition Center. The trade fair for the Russian beverage industry covers the entire process chain, underscoring its holistic approach. Based on trends and developments in the Russian market, eviale Moscow will once again explore overarching issues for the industry and in this context can announce a few new features. One such example is the Pavilion for
    Wine Production & Manufacturing, which will make its debut at Beviale Moscow 2018. The much discussed topic of PET will also be covered again in the “PETarena powered by PETnology”.

    The holistic approach of Beviale Moscow will continue in 2018. For visitors, the focus will be on beverage producers that present the entire beverage production process chain at the event: from suitable raw materials through custom technologies to efficient packaging, logistics and creative marketing ideas. Beviale Moscow is not limited to specific kinds of drinks but offers solutions for all segments: from alcoholic drinks like beer, wine and spirits to alcohol-free and soft drinks, juices and mineral water and liquid dairy products.

    Premiere for Pavilion for Wine Production & Manufacturing
    Wine production and processing is one of most dynamic segments in the Russian beverage industry. “We are delighted that the topic of wine is celebrating its premiere at the Beviale Moscow 2018 as part of the Pavilion for Wine Production & Manufacturing”, Thimo Holst, Project Manager Beviale Moscow, announces proudly. “Thanks to our concept we were able to persuade the largest Russian wine producers’ association, the Union of Winegrowers and Winemakers of Russia, to become our sponsor, which yet again underlines the importance of this segment”,
    continues Holst. This creates a targeted platform for decision-makers from wine cellars and for beverage specialists from Russia and the CIS states. Naturally, wine is also represented in other areas of the trade fair programme: A young winemaker competition is planned in collaboration with WorldSkills ( and the supporting programme also features keynotes on this topic. “We are inviting the biggest and most important local wine producers to the trade fair. This will ensure that suppliers to the wine industry will meet the right target group at Beviale Moscow”, says Holst. “Because Russia has a government funding programme for wine production but lacks its own technologies, we see also see great opportunities here for international suppliers”, he continues.

    PETarena powered by PETnology
    Following its successful premiere in 2017, the “PETarena powered by PETnology” will be back at Beviale Moscow in 2018 to showcase attractive solutions for the entire PET supply chain. “PET is a much discussed topic in Russia and a major trend for all possible types of drinks, so it is an integral part of the key platform for the Russian beverages industry”, explains Holst.
    The subject is covered in numerous presentations by leading companies in
    the PET packaging sector, which address SMEs and global players alike.

    Other programme highlights
    The supporting programme targets decision-makers from the drinks industry. As well as a wide-ranging programme which will prompt a discussion with policymakers in attendance on laws and guidelines for beverage manufacturing, the issue of professional development will again be under the spotlight at Beviale Moscow. The two-day VLB Seminar for Microbrewers, organised by the Berlin-based Research and Teaching Institute for Brewing, will explore the technological and qualitative aspects of brewing. Knowledge transfer, networking and professional exchanges on
    the topic of craft beer will top the agenda. The Russian beer prize ROSGLAVPIVO, which was initiated at Beviale Moscow 2017 by the Barley, Malt, Hops, and Beer Union (BMBU) in collaboration with Private Brauereien Deutschland e.V., will be presented at the trade fair again in 2018. The CRAFT DRINKS CORNER, in cooperation with the Partner Association of Beer and Beverage Market, will showcase the diversity of hand-crafted beverages. Six months ahead of the fair, all preparations are therefore in full swing.
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    28.09.2017   SIPA and EREMA hold Open House - Live production on world's first ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... PET Inline Preform system

    A very special Open House was held from 4 to 6 September at the SIPA headquarters in Vittorio Veneto, Italy, where the unique direct processing of washed PET flakes to make food contact grade preforms was demonstrated live on the world's first PET Inline Preform system. The system will be in industrial operation next year.

    Numerous representatives from the beverage industry and well-known brands attended the three-day Open House held by SIPA and EREMA and saw a compelling live production performance of the world's first PET Inline Preform system. SIPA, the leading manufacturer of PET packaging solutions from Italy, and EREMA, specialists in the manufacturing of plastic recycling systems, have together developed a unique, flexible, direct processing solution to make food contact compliant inline preforms from PET flakes in a single step. The pivotal product from EREMA in the collaboration is VACUREMA technology, which is combined with SIPA's XTREME preform production system. The pioneering system offers PET processors economic and ecological benefits: energy savings, lower logistics and process costs and higher profitability thanks to the direct link of the two systems eliminating all the waste of the complete process. Another unique selling proposition over conventional injection moulding is that lightweighting up to 8% is possible with the patented XTREME preform design.

    "We previewed this technology at the Discovery Day 2016 and it is now ready for production. The PET Inline Preform system catches the spirit of the age and even goes one step further. There is increasing demand among customers for flexible and energy-saving processing possibilities. With this system we support them in remaining an innovative part of the ever developing plastics industry," says Christoph Wöss, Business Development Manager for Bottle Applications at the EREMA Group. Trials carried out previously on the PET Inline Preform system showed that the weight consistency, viscosity and colour values of the preforms – depending on flake quality – are on a par with those of virgin material. "We were keen to show the first PET Inline Preform System to interested Open House guests. This innovative technology makes real the dream of a circular sustainable economy with results exceeding our most optimistic expectations at the beginning of the project. The rPET preforms have quality properties and performances comparable to the injection moulded preforms made in virgin resin. We are delighted about the strong interest and so many enthusiastic participants," says Enrico Gribaudo, General Manager of SIPA.
    (EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen Ges.m.b.H.)
    27.09.2017   Premiere: Krones’ first block solution for cans - Modulfill Bloc FS-C    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: For the first time, Krones’ portfolio includes a filler-seamer block for cans

    This is definitely something new: for the first time, beverage producers can buy from Krones an all-in-one solution for filling and seaming cans. This block is, of course, packed full of Krones’ know-how coupled with state-of-the-art technology.

    For the filling function, Krones has opted for field-proven technology: the volumetric Modulfill VFS-C can filler is suitable for both the small and large output ranges, and (depending on the container size and format involved) handles between 18,000 and 135,000 cans an hour. Maximised filling accuracy is assured by an inductive flow meter, which reliably measures the inflowing liquid until the specified fill volume has been reached. The filling valve used scores highly in terms of a hygienically sophisticated solution, from product routing to the pressing-on unit. Additional pluses in terms of hygiene include the no-front-table machine concept, in which Monotec starwheel columns with sloping surfaces are used throughout, for example, plus the grease-free main bearing, which is operated by means of automatic oil-circulating lubrication.

    The Modulseam can seamer is an absolute innovation on the market, incorporating empirical feedback from Krones’ long years of experience in the fields of filling and closing technology.

    The highlight: both modules are precisely matched to each other – which means they work hand in hand. At the Modulseam, too, hygiene is a paramount consideration: a seamer zone separated from the surrounding work environment, plus the roof table, where all cables and media piping are located outside the process zone, ensure a dependable seaming process.

    With the Modulfill Bloc FS-C, Krones is expanding its corporate competence in terms of can handling, since in this harmonised system both Krones machines are perfectly coordinated – which makes the operator’s daily work, in particular, a whole lot easier: a standardised operator control concept and a shared touch-screen ensure that product and format change-overs can be performed without double manipulations and legwork. Quick-change handling parts at the filler and seamer, moreover, mean short times for changing over to different can sizes.
    (Krones AG)
    26.09.2017   Engel at Plastimagen 2017: For higher productivity and quality     ( Company news )

    Company news inject 4.0 – this is ENGEL's answer to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. At Plastimagen 2017, from November 7 to 10 in Mexico City, ENGEL will demonstrate how these new opportunities – tailored to the requirements of the respective country and industry – can be optimally utilised. In addition, the exhibition booth of the Austrian-based injection moulding machine manufacturer and systems solution provider will be presenting MuCell foam injection moulding for the automotive industry, as well as the extremely precise and very economical processing of liquid silicone.

    Photo: At Plastimagen, ENGEL will produce coasters on a tie-bar-less victory machine using liquid silicone.

    "We invite fair visitors to get to know our smart factory products at our booth and to see for themselves what a huge impact even smaller individual solutions can have", announces Walter Jungwirth, Managing Director of ENGEL de Mexico in Querétaro. By networking production systems, the systematic use of machine, process and production data, and the use of intelligent assistance systems, the manufacturing processes in a smart factory can continuously optimise themselves. As a result, the productivity and quality of production increase, and at the same time processors can react with great flexibility to rapidly changing requirements.

    ENGEL committed to this trend early on, and today, under the name inject 4.0, offers numerous sophisticated products and services for all areas of the smart factory – smart machine, smart service and smart production. All of the products provide a tremendous benefit, individually as well as in the context of a high-level digitalisation strategy. With this modular approach, ENGEL is making the entry into digitalisation and networking especially easy.

    Self-optimising machine
    With production cells becoming more and more complex due to increasing process integration and automation, steering and controlling them must become that much more simple and intuitive. Self-adapting assistance systems play a decisive role in this. They increase process consistency and quality without requiring the machine operator to acquire special expertise.

    To clearly demonstrate the functionality of these solutions, during the four days of the exhibition ENGEL will produce inject 4.0 logos on an e-motion 80 TL injection moulding machine at its booth. The CC300 machine control is capable of simulating process fluctuations; the automatic readjustments by the intelligent assistance systems can then be tracked live on the display of the machine. While iQ weight control maintains consistent injected melt volume throughout the entire injection moulding process, iQ clamp control monitors the mould breathing in order to calculate and automatically adjust the optimal clamping force. Fluctuations from the target values are automatically detected and compensated for within the same shot, thus preventing rejects.

    iQ flow control, the third assistance system presented at the Plastimagen, will connect the injection moulding machine, which is equipped with an e-flomo electronic temperature control water distributor, to the temperature control unit, enabling the pump speed to automatically adjust to the actual requirement. This results in higher energy efficiency. Together with its partner HB-Therm, ENGEL has developed its own line of temperature control units called e-temp.

    Capping costly energy peaks
    In several Expert Corners, visitors can dive even deeper into the subject of inject 4.0. Some of the topics included will be the online-support and remote maintenance tool e-connect.24 and the MES authentig. This manufacturing execution system was developed for the specific requirements of the injection moulding industry and therefore achieves an especially greater depth of vertical data integration, down to the level of individual cavities. authentig creates transparency, for example to optimise the utilisation of a machine pool's total capacity, or to correlate key productivity indicators with economic objectives.

    The MES has a modular structure and can be precisely adapted to the individual requirements of the processor. "Energy" is the most recent of the authentig modules. Not only does it make the energy consumption of individual consumers in the injection moulding operation transparent, but it also reliably caps peaks in the power demand. This is made possible by defining situational consumption limits for each individual consumer, and then dynamically allocating the pre-defined power amounts to the consumers. This intelligent hall management can help to significantly reduce the energy costs for the machine pool.

    Less weight, better component properties
    MuCell injection foam moulding will be the main focus of the automotive exhibition area at the ENGEL booth. "MuCell offers the opportunity of combining resource-efficient lightweight design with a high degree of cost efficiency and excellent component properties," emphasises Jungwirth. "This combination means that the process is continuing to rapidly gain significance." During the trade fair, ENGEL will produce passenger car cooling radiator components on an ENGEL duo 2460/500 injection moulding machine using the MuCell process.

    During physical foaming, nitrogen is injected into the plastic melt as a propellant and homogeneously distributed. Following the injection into the form, the gas separates from the melt again, forming a fine-cell foam structure. In comparison to the standard injection moulding process, this method reduces the raw material consumption and the weight of the component. At the same time, MuCell-produced components do not display any distortion or shrinkage.

    MuCell is a brand of the Trexel company, based in Wilmington, MA, USA. As a systems provider, ENGEL imports MuCell systems for its customers, also managing the integration of the controls and safety measures into the injection moulding machine, making it particularly easy to implement the technology.

    Tie-bar-less for consistently high quality
    Burr-free, zero-waste, rework-free, and fully automated – these are the key elements in the economic injection moulding manufacturing of sophisticated components from liquid silicone. At the Plastimagen, ENGEL will demonstrate how this can be put into practice by manufacturing coasters in a 4-cavity mould on a hydraulic victory 200/120 injection moulding machine. Due to its tie-bar-less clamping unit, the victory provides advantages for many liquid silicone applications. For example, the patented Force-Divider allows the moving mould mounting platen to follow the mould precisely while clamping force is building up, and ensures that the clamping force is evenly distributed across the platen face. This allows both the outer and inner cavities to be kept closed with exactly the same force, ensuring consistent compression of the mould and a consistently high product quality.

    Further advantages of the barrier-free clamping unit are fast changes to the mould set-up, optimal automation concepts and particularly compact production cells. Without any tie-bars in the way, the mould mounting platens can be utilised fully, right up to the edge of the platen, so that even large and bulky moulds can be fitted on comparatively small injection moulding machines. This reduces the system footprint, for example, in the case of multi-component applications or multi-cavity moulds.

    ENGEL at Plastimagen 2017: Hall D, Booth 514
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    26.09.2017   New BrauBeviale information platform is online    ( BrauBeviale 2018 )

    BrauBeviale 2018 Preparations are in full swing for the next BrauBeviale triple event a good year before it opens its doors. The capital goods exhibition for the beverage industry is launching a new information platform geared towards the trade community at large. Both exhibitors and interested companies, trade visitors and media representatives will find the latest information about the exhibition in a clearly designed and structured platform in the Newsroom.

    The News tab ( on the BrauBeviale website now combines press releases, photos and videos on BrauBeviale with short reports about the Beviale Family. The trade community at large can also discover news about the exhibition and the beverage industry. Andrea Kalrait, Director of Exhibitions at BrauBeviale and Product Manager for the Beviale Family, is excited: “Concentrating all relevant information about BrauBeviale in a central location and the overview that the Newsroom offers of the Beviale Family is not only beneficial for our communications. I also think that the lively design with lots of pictures is very successful.”

    Information in a compact and attractive form
    The BrauBeviale Newsroom is especially impressive with its multimedia combination of text, pictures and video materials as well as maximum user friendliness. Regular short reports, for example detailing important deadlines and services, are coupled with images and videos of the last event and an overview of the latest press releases. The different groups of topics are structured into modules in a compact and clear way.

    All exclusive services for media representatives, such as press events, inclusion in the press distribution list, on-site press support and accreditation guidelines, can be found under the For Journalists tab (

    BrauBeviale 2018: Preparations in progress
    The capital goods exhibition for the beverage industry is taking its regular break in 2017. The next triple will begin in November 2018. Preparations are in full swing for the next event a good year before it opens its doors.

    Save the dates:
    13-15 November 2018
    12-14 November 2019
    10-12 November 2020
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    25.09.2017   Australia: AB InBev acquiring New South Wales-based craft brewer 4 Pines    ( )

    The world’s biggest brewer AB InBev is acquiring Manly, New South Wales-based craft brewer 4 Pines for an undisclosed amount, The Australian reported on September 22.

    Belgium-headquartered AB InBev already owns the Melbourne-based Carlton & United Breweries.

    4 Pines said the deal would enable its operations to expand while retaining its people, culture and identity. 4 Pines will continue to operate its Brookvale and Manly breweries.

    “Will keep doing what we’ve always done, except now we are able to realise our long-term goals even sooner and immediately roll out some plans that are seriously epic,” said 4-Pines co-founder Jaron Mitchell.

    Originally from Western Australia, Mr Mitchell moved to Manly on Sydney’s northern beaches, chasing a career in the accounting and finance sector

    AB InBev’s Asia-Pacific south zone president Jan Craps said he was excited to be partnering with 4 Pines. “We will support their ambitious plans for the future, using our expertise and capability to help them get their exceptional beer to more people in Australia and globally,” he said.

    The 4 Pines team would be unchanged and management would remain in place to help grow the business, AB InBev said.

    AB InBev took charge of CUB last year.
    25.09.2017   Australia: Heineken 3 captures almost a third of Australia’s premium mid-strength beer market    ( )

    The 3.3%-abv Heineken 3 has captured almost a third of the Australian premium mid-strength beer market since its launch last year, Heineken has said.

    The beer, which is the focus of a new marketing campaign in Australia, accounted for 31% of July sales in the premium mid-strength category, according to scanner data cited by Heineken on September 20. The brand also has a 21% awareness level with 18-65-year-old consumers and a 79% repurchase rate.

    Heineken said the performance "exceeded our expectations", adding that the awareness levels were "great for a product that has only been in the Australian market for 12 months".

    Heineken 3 was launched exclusively in Australia in August last year and is a low-carb and calorie beer that aims to recruit female drinkers with a more health-conscious message. According to Heineken, the international premium mid-strength segment grew by 60% in Australia in 2016.
    25.09.2017   Big time saving during format conversions: KHS enables fast conveying mandrel changeovers    ( Company news )

    Company news In developing a new fast changeover concept KHS has greatly reduced changeover times on its InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molders.

    -Changeover time reduced by more than half
    -All Blomax systems retrofittable
    -Already successfully established on the market

    In developing a new fast changeover concept KHS has greatly reduced changeover times on its InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molders. The optimized active mandrel now enables format changeover times to be reduced by more than half for all standard neck designs. This new option is of interest to all beverage producers who bottle products with different types of neck.

    During a format changeover operators not only switch over the blow molds but other components as well. The conveying mandrel in particular is of especial significance in this process as a full changeover of these format parts was extremely time consuming to date. “Depending on its size a high-performance Blomax stretch blow molder can have around 280 conveying mandrels,” explains Marco Böhnke, product manager for stretch blow molding technology at KHS. When a product is changed over during beverage production and requires a change in the type of bottle neck, to date each individual mandrel had to be exchanged in its entirety.

    As part of KHS’ constant striving to improve its lines and machines the systems supplier has now developed a variant which is much quicker to replace, making changeovers ergonomic and tool free without any great force being required. Besides the conveying mandrels the shields, grippers and other parts can now also be easily switched over using quick-change mechanisms; in some cases these can be adjusted without any installation work being required by simply rotating the part. Thanks to the above measures formats can be changed over in less than half of the time operators used to need.

    In its new development KHS has retained its tried-and-tested active mandrel design. “The optimized changeover process is distinguished by the fact that only the actual format part, i.e. the mandrel head itself, is replaced, with the entire mandrel mechanism left untouched. This enables customers to save money and gain valuable production time,” states Böhnke, as a mandrel can now be replaced in about five seconds.
    Uncomplicated retrofits

    The new procedure can be easily retrofitted on any InnoPET Blomax Series IV stretch blow molder as following one-time adjustment of the conveying mandrels no further mechanical or electrical conversion of the machine is required. One KHS customer has already subjected the quick-change process to successful long-term testing. The system is also to be installed at a company on the German market in the near future.
    (KHS GmbH)
    25.09.2017   EU & Japan: Asahi Group to ramp up sales of its Super Dry beer in Europe    ( )

    Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. will ramp up sales of its top-selling Super Dry beer in Europe with local production aided by faster integration of last year’s $11 billion purchase of brands from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, Bloomberg reported on September 21.

    Japan’s largest brewer will produce Super Dry in Padua, Italy, starting this month and sell the premium brand in Italy and the U.K. by January, President Akiyoshi Koji said in an interview on September 21. Koji had previously expected sales to begin in 2019.

    Asahi sees overseas sales of Super Dry in Europe and other markets outside of China, Hong Kong and the U.S. almost doubling to 11 million cases within five years on distribution efficiencies. Koji said the brewer is also hoping to use its Super Dry brand to build a stronger presence in the U.S. as it seeks ways of expanding its sales channels there.

    Asahi is reaping benefits after strengthening its foothold in the European beer market with last year’s purchase of brands that catapulted it to be among the four biggest brewers on the continent. The Japanese company has been stepping up expansion overseas as demand at home wanes and local competition with rivals like Kirin Holdings Co. intensifies.

    The Padua factory that is producing Super Dry is part of the European assets acquired last year.

    “I tried the beer there before production began, and the taste was the same as in Japan,” Koji, 65, said at the brewer’s headquarters in Tokyo.

    The company is targeting 35 percent to 36 percent of its total operating profit to come from overseas within five to six years, up from a forecast of 31 percent for 2017. In August, Asahi raised its full-year profit forecast by 15 percent based on contributions from its European acquisitions as well as better-than-expected performance in its soft drinks and food businesses.

    Asahi’s goals for Europe are ambitious and the U.K. presents the biggest opportunity for Super Dry, said Euan McLeish, a Bernstein & Co. analyst in Hong Kong. “Asahi has set some extremely bold growth targets for the European business,” he said. “Producing Super Dry in Italy is a small step in the right direction.”

    Buying into Europe is part of Asahi’s plan to become a global premium beer company alongside Heineken NV and Anheuser-Busch InBev. Asahi in March completed the purchase of the beer business previously owned by SABMiller, including the popular Czech beer Pilsner Urquell. Last year, Asahi closed on a deal to buy Peroni Nastro Azzurro and other beer brands from Anheuser-Busch InBev, which took over SABMiller.

    Koji said Asahi would start selling Pilsner Urquell and Peroni in Japan next year.

    Asahi’s Super Dry, Japan’s first dry draft beer, was unveiled in 1987 and sold 200,000 cases in the first two weeks. In 1997, the brew was introduced in 12 European countries via imports.

    Although Asahi has little presence in the U.S., Koji said he would like to find new outlets to sell Super Dry in the world’s largest economy besides Japanese restaurants, where the beer is most commonly proffered. Koji said he wants to focus on Asahi’s own premium brand rather than craft beer in the U.S. He added he believes there is room in the global market for the taste of Japanese beer.

    “Growing Super Dry has the highest priority in North America for us,” Koji said.

    Meanwhile, its rivals have been busy making deals in craft brews. Sapporo Holdings Ltd. agreed earlier this year to acquire Anchor Brewing Co., a century-old San Francisco brewer that helped pioneer the craft-beer movement. Kirin, Japan’s second-biggest brewer, acquired about 25 percent of closely held Brooklyn Brewery for an undisclosed sum last year.

    Asahi has been shedding some assets to pay for its acquisitions. In June, the Japanese company said it’s selling its remaining stake in a joint venture with Tianjin-based Tingyi Cayman Islands Holding Corp. Asahi also hired Morgan Stanley to advise on the potential sale of its 20 percent holding in Tsingtao Brewery Co. Koji reiterated the company will decide what to do about the stake by the end of this year.
    25.09.2017   GEA impresses at drinktec 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news GEA presented an array of product innovations to numerous industry experts at drinktec 2017, the “World's Leading Trade Fair for Beverage and Liquid Food Technology”. Held every four years in Munich, the 2017 fair broke all records in attracting a total of 76,000 visitors from more than 170 countries and cementing its reputation as the world’s most important platform for innovations in the sector.

    This year, GEA’s innovations and product enhancements were presented under the slogan “Inspiring Beverage Solutions”. An increasingly international public at the booth witnessed how both project-specific one-off and standardized GEA solutions can help customers remain viable in the future, regardless of whether they are producing fruit juice, milk, wine or beer. The key customer requirements are quality results and the absolute reliability and safety of manufacturing processes, not to mention optimum productivity, constantly diminishing operating costs and top-notch ecological ratings.

    A particular highlight at this year’s trade fair was the market launch of the GEA Ariete Homogenizer 5400. In presenting a system which is not only currently the world’s most powerful high-pressure homogenizer, but which also raises the bar in terms of reliability, product safety and operating costs, GEA has opened a brand-new chapter in the history of high-pressure homogenization. With regard to beer manufacture, the company looked to the future and introduced its novel “Brewery 4.0” concept. Essentially a vision where brewing and fermenting take place in a continuous process, the concept is set to place exacting requirements on tomorrow’s technology and IT infrastructure. The pioneering element here is the merging of beer production with just-in-time production technology and the option of evaluating digital data flexibly. Digitalizing the various process stages will require huge volumes of data to be processed, but this will allow medium and long-term analyses of trends to be carried out with the aim of enhancing plant availability. GEA is also taking sustainability aspects into account, which affect both the efficiency and the energy and space requirements of plant and equipment.

    Besides the usual keen interest in GEA’s products and solutions, increasing demand for services was noted. Live demonstrations of GEA PerformancePlus and GEA Remote Eye Wear were focal points of interest, with beverage manufacturers appreciating that concepts like these will help to optimize the life-cycle costs of their plant. With GEA PerformancePlus, experts from GEA analyze online condition monitoring data to derive recommendations for optimizing plant operation. GEA Remote Eye Wear allows experts to provide machinery operators and service technicians with virtual support in real time.
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    25.09.2017   India: Newly appointed Mahou India CEO believes in huge growth potential of India’s beer market    ( )

    Fernando Bustamente, the newly appointed CEO of Mahou India, a subsidiary of Mahou San Miguel, spoke with BW Hotelier about his plans for the company in India. Bustamente takes over from Erik d’Auchamp, who moves on as International Managing Director.

    Speaking about his journey so far, Bustamante said, “I feel extremely proud to be a part of Mahou San Miguel, a 126 year old Spanish brewing major and market leader in Spain. 26 years of experience, off and on trade business in Spain will hold me in very good stead, in my role to lead the company’s operations in India.”

    Bustamante believes that the Indian market, by virtue of being culturally and geographically diverse, offers a great learning experience and has got a huge growth potential.

    The Indian beer market is growing rapidly. In the data shared by Bustamante, it says during 2010-2015 period, the compound annual growth rate in terms of volume was 8.2 per cent, reaching 25 million hl in sales. The projections show a target of 33 million hl by 2020.

    Relating to the data shared by him, Bustamante stated, “There is definitely space for new players, and as a new player, we will find our space in the market by doing things differently. We want to create a beer-loving culture here in India where people enjoy beer but in a responsible way.”

    “Our India entry is a key strategic pillar for the growth of our business. It is the first country in which we have a fully owned subsidiary. India also is the only market outside of Spain where we own a brewery. With an investment of over 18 million euros, we are present in 14 markets in India,” Bustamante said.

    Engaging with the philosophy of launch, learn and scale Mahou India is currently in the initial phase and is constantly evolving and adapting to the way the Indian market functions.

    “Since our launch in India we have witnessed an evident transition in the tastes and preferences of our consumers and their inclination towards full flavoured beers like ours. We believe Spanish culture, in the form of 'Cañas y Tapas' is making inroads in India,” he stated.

    Being the official sponsors of football clubs, Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid, Mahou India is continuing this passion for the game in India and is very keen on initiatives to promote football in the country.
    25.09.2017   UK: AB InBev introducing alcohol-free version of Budweiser in the UK    ( )

    AB InBev has announced it is to introduce the alcohol-free version of Budweiser in the UK as part of the group’s expansion of its range of low-alcohol and no-alcohol beers, Bar Magazine reported on September 15.

    Budweiser Prohibition is brewed to the same recipe, with the same ageing process with beechwood and quality standards as the core beer, just without the alcohol.

    AB InBev said it would be introduced “later this year” in both the on-trade and retail. During the launch period, Budweiser Prohibition will be available in 330ml cans, with additional formats planned for next year.

    The name is inspired by the first batches of Budweiser being produced during US Prohibition in the 1920s.

    The announcement was made on September 15 as AB InBev celebrates its eighth annual Global Be(er) Responsible Day, which promotes smart drinking among the brewer’s staff and their consumers.

    In the UK, AB InBev’s portfolio already includes the market-leading alcohol-free beer Beck’s Blue and the lower-alcohol Bud Light, which arrived in the UK in March this year, brewed to 3.5% ABV.

    The expansion of this portfolio is part of AB InBev’s Global Smart Drinking Goals, where the brewer has pledged that 20% of all its beer volumes produced globally by 2025 will be low to no alcohol.

    As part of these goals, AB InBev also works closely with partners such as Drinkaware, the alcohol education charity, to promote responsible drinking.

    Low- and no-alcohol beer has become a major drinking trend in recent years, with figures released by research group Nielsen last month revealing that Britons consumed a record 18.2 million litres of low- and no-alcohol beer in the past year. Sales in the past 12 months across the category are up by 20% in value and 17% in volume.

    Jason Warner, president of AB InBev North Europe, said: “The no-alcohol beer category has been waiting for a major player to come in with something new and innovative and what better day to announce we’re bringing the King of Beers’ brother, Budweiser Prohibition, to the party than Global Be(er) Responsible Day?

    “As well as a great-tasting beer and iconic brand, it is a clear signal of our commitment to smart drinking. As part of our Global Smart Drinking Goals, we’re bringing great products to market so consumers can have more choice.”

    Rowan Chidgey, marketing manager at Budweiser UK, said: “Budweiser Prohibition is for those who love beer, who will never sacrifice on quality or taste and want to enjoy freely. After all, beer isn’t about alcohol; it’s about using the best, natural ingredients and brewing with passion. We can’t wait for the UK to try it later this year.”
    25.09.2017   UK: Beer giants marked as ‘threat to beer choice’ by CAMRA    ( )

    Brewing behemoths such as AB InBev have been marked as a threat to beer choice by the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide, the Morning Advertiser reported on September 14.

    Despite the number of UK breweries rising to more than 1,700, the persistent push by big brands to enter new and emerging segments of the market, such as craft, stifled choice, said the 2018 edition of the guide.

    Such a trend was cited by Sierra Nevada ambassador Steve Grossman at the recent Beavertown Extravaganza beer festival in London.

    He said: “In the past 20 years this industry has gone nuts. The big breweries have taken notice of this as the sales of their flagship beers started going down.

    “They didn't want to get into craft because the beer is expensive to make, but they had to try it, so they started making craft beer styles themselves, but the consumer didn't buy it.”

    However, Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz, who recently announced he is to retire from the position, criticised AB InBev in particular for becoming too dominant in the marketplace.

    In a press release marking the launch of the 45 edition of the guide, Protz said: “While many consumers will not be aware that their favourite local beer has changed from looking at the bottle, the taste will invariably differ

    “Brewing changes under new ownership - whether this is due to long-term contracts with suppliers leading to grain or hop substitutions or because production methods are changed to maximise profits at the expense of taste.”

    AB InBev’s recent acquisitions of SAB Miller for £71 bln effectively gave the brewer 30% ownership of global beer production and sales, he said.

    Meanwhile, its acquisition of Camden Town Brewery for £85 mln, along with the unveiling of the brand’s giant new brewery in Enfield, could see what was a small craft brewery become London’s largest brewery.

    Protz added: “First Big Beer buys up a swathe of independent breweries. Now it’s attempting to control the natural ingredients used to make beer. The power of these global behemoths is frightening and has to be vigorously resisted.

    “CAMRA was first founded to challenge the handful of national brewers that had phased out good cask beer in order to promote fizzy keg beer, the quality of which would be laughed to scorn today.

    “I believe we are seeing a real threat to a return to those days – on a global scale. Big Beer is on the march, and we risk losing our wealth of choice to merely the illusion of it.”

    He continued: “Not only are consumers being misled, but these global brewers are changing the very character of the beers they buy and driving genuine independents out of business. It is most certainly the biggest single threat to consumer choice.”

    The editor warned the brewing and pub trade that the giants can afford to buy malt and hops supplies 40% cheaper than even big and medium-sized brewers can.

    As a result, small and medium-sized brewers face an increasing risk of being squeezed from the market, he warned.

    Low production costs, deep pockets for advertising and marketing and the ability to sell beer at cut-throat prices would help the giants further dominate the beer landscape.

    Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) chief executive Mike Benner said: “The global brewers are seeking to capitalise on the growing consumer interest for flavoursome, independent craft beer, by buying out previously independent breweries or launching their own beers marketed as 'craft'.

    “However it is vitally important that beer drinkers are not misled, and are able to easily differentiate between beers produced by the Global brewers and those that are crafted by truly independent British breweries, in order to choose how and where they spend their money.”

    He added: “SIBA's 'Assured Independent British Craft Brewer' campaign was launched to do exactly this, with a specially designed logo for bottles, cans or pump clips making it crystal clear the beer was brewed by a genuine British independent craft brewery.”
    25.09.2017   United Arab Emirates: Craft beer being increasingly offered at Dubai’s bars and restaurants    ( )

    At Dubai’s Black Tap restaurant, the Americana doesn’t stop at the hamburgers cooking on the grill or hip hop pumping from the speakers. It’s also being poured out, one pint at a time, The West Australian reported on September 19.

    The new restaurant stocks Dubai’s most-extensive selection of American craft beer, part of a major $US23.5 billion ($30 billion) market for customers wanting a different style of ale.

    It represents a new scene for Dubai, long known as the Manhattan of the Mid East, with chic skyscraper bars serving the fanciest of cocktails while the typical tap offers only the standard lagers.

    That’s starting to change, with establishments like Black Tap and Dubai’s two main distributors increasingly stocking American craft beer, breaking new ground among Gulf Arab nations, several of which ban alcohol sales entirely.

    “In such an eclectic city, we should have such an eclectic range of beers to accommodate instead of just the same beers that you can get all around the world,” said Eric Ballard, the group beverage manager for Sunset Hospitality, which runs Black Tap.

    For wine aficionados, teetotallers or those otherwise unaware, a craft brewery is a small, independent beer producer. After World War II, American beer production largely came from major companies. But by the end of the last century, more craft brewers began operations in the US.

    Craft beers account for about 15 per cent of sales in Australia. Despite the relatively small share, it is the only segment of the Australian beer market enjoying continuous growth.

    The sector grew an annualised 11.7 per cent over the five years to 2016-17, to total A$454 million, and is tipped to jump 6.5 per cent annually until 2022.

    It’s a similar story in the US. In 2016, craft beer sales represented about 12.3 per cent of all beer sales in America, according to the Brewers Association, a Colorado-based trade group. The beers come in a variety of styles from light to dark, though higher-alcohol content styles like hoppy India pale ales are a popular choice.

    “Your cans of High Life, your cans of PBR, while that’s cool during college, you want something that tastes a little better afterward,” said Ballard, referring to two mass-market American lagers.

    “You become a bit more discerning and your palate becomes a bit more defined.”

    That movement didn’t immediately take hold, however, in the United Arab Emirates, home to nearly 1500 bars and pubs, according the most recent count by research firm Euromonitor International. That may not seem like a large number of bars, until you consider Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran ban the purchase of liquor and beer. Even neighbouring Sharjah, another of the UAE’s seven sheikhdoms, bans it.

    Liquor and beer sales help drive tourism to the UAE and particularly to Dubai, the home of the long-haul carrier Emirates, the world’s tallest building, an indoor ski slope and a number of architectural marvels. Dubai also takes in a 30 per cent tax on every drink sold.

    Even so, Dubai primarily has been known as a mass-market suds and cocktail town up to this point.

    “An increasing number of professional mixologists are relocating to Dubai due to its developing cocktail landscape,” Euromonitor recently said.

    “Consumers patronising restaurants and bars are increasingly aware of this and are willing to learn how to pair their food.”

    Dubai is home to several successful bars focusing on Belgian beers, a big hit among its European expatriate community.

    However, Heineken lager still dominates beer sales in the UAE. The Dutch brewer holds a 20 per cent market share of alcohol sales by volume overall, according to Euromonitor. But it too may be concerned about the rise of craft. It recently introduced a specialty beer called H41 in Dubai after putting it in select markets in Europe.

    Shipping the specialty brews can be a challenge. Among the newest beers on tap at Black Tap are two from Rogue Ales, a Newport, Oregon-based craft brewer some 12,250km away from Dubai, the only location it sells to in the Mid East. It ships its kegs of Dead Guy Ale and American Amber Ale by refrigerated containers and keeps them cold in warehouses on arrival to ensure their quality.

    “2017 was the right time to launch the brand in the area,” Rogue’s President Brett Joyce said in a statement. “We’re excited to be in the Dubai market.”

    But discussing alcohol even in Dubai remains tricky in part over concerns about Islamic propriety. Dubai’s two main alcohol importers, the Emirates Group’s Maritime and Mercantile International and Rogue partner African & Eastern, did not respond to repeated requests. Both now sell American craft beer.

    Radio announcers refer to bottles of “bubbly” or “grape” being on hand for the extravagant Friday brunches at luxury hotels for which Dubai is known. Lifestyle magazines routinely feature lifeless, empty pictures of new nightclubs with liquor bottles carefully hidden from view.

    At Black Tap, however, Emiratis in traditional robes regularly enjoy meals or massive milkshakes, mixing into the late-night crowds of beer drinkers. Sunset Hospitality has hopes to expand Black Tap into other countries in the Gulf, including those where it would only be a restaurant due to alcohol restrictions, Ballard said.

    “We want to create this movement of American craft that’s happening all over the world and then bring it to such a multicultural city, such as Dubai,” said Ballard, who considers his hometown to be Granby, Colorado.

    “People are looking for flavours, they are looking for something different.”
    22.09.2017   Vetropack: Record sales in the first half of 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news At 2.58 billion units of glass packaging (2016: 2.51 billion units), Vetropack Group once again achieved record sales in the first half of the year under review. In nominal terms, net sales remained stable. After adjusting for currency effects, however, they rose by 1.2% to CHF 314.5 million.

    Consolidated net sales from goods and services remained virtually unchanged at CHF 310.2 million (2016: CHF 310.8 million), while net sales in local currencies climbed 1.2% to CHF 314.5 million. Glass packaging sales reached a record high of 2.58 billion units (2016: 2.51 billion units).

    Consolidated EBIT stood at CHF 30.3 million (2016: CHF 30.7 million). The drop in energy and raw material costs was offset by rising personnel expenses and depreciation. The EBIT margin amounted to 9.8% (2016: 9.9%).

    The consolidated semi-annual profit of CHF 24.7 million (2016: CHF 24.4 million) was up 1.2% on the previous year’s figure. Lower finance costs and exchange rate gains pushed the financial result up by CHF 1.2 million year on year, boosting the consolidated semi-annual profit.

    Cash flow rose to CHF 61.3 million (2016: CHF 57.3 million). The cash flow margin increased to 19.8% (2016: 18.4%).

    Outlook for the second half of 2017
    For the second half of 2017 Vetropack Group expects the market environment to remain favourable. There are increasing signs that the Ukrainian economy is stabilising but this is unlikely to filter down to the market yet in 2017. The furnace at Vetropack’s Ukrainian glassworks in Gostomel is scheduled for repairs in the second half of the year in addition to upgrades at other plants. These measures will require production downtime, which will have a slight impact on performance. Compared to the second half of 2016, when two furnaces were repaired, the forecast indicates a better performance.

    The Group is anticipating therefore a slight improvement in net sales and performance for the whole of the 2017 reporting year in comparison to 2016.
    (Vetropack AG)
    21.09.2017   Symrise Again Certified as a “Green Company”    ( Company news )

    Company news - Symrise fulfills all requirements for “Green Company” seal
    - Effective management to reduce environmental risks recognized in particular
    - Environmental performance up since first certification in 2013

    DQS CFS GmbH, the German Association for Sustainability, has again certified Symrise as a “Green Company.” In explaining its decision, the association stated that the fragrance and flavoring manufacturer satisfied the international requirements of the Global Conformance Program to the utmost. Symrise is therefore allowed to use the “Green Company” label over the next three years.

    DQS recognizes companies that actively and demonstrably minimize the negative effects of their economic activities on the environment as “Green Companies.” The audit focuses on the companies’ management systems, which are used to promote greater environmental friendliness in individual business units and reduce potential environmental risks. At Symrise, the audit involved the research and
    development unit as well as production and distribution of all of the company’s ingredients.

    Environmental Protection Along the Value Chain
    Symrise has been focusing its business strategy on sustainability for several years and has set itself high environmental standards. “We are delighted that the independent auditors at DQS have once again recognized this commitment,” said Hans Holger Gliewe, CSO of Symrise. The company is constantly pursuing environmental protection and resource conservation along the entire value chain to reduce negative environmental impacts. Cost reduction and increasing efficiency are closely linked to environmental management at Symrise, noted Gliewe. “The acknowledgment of our improved environmental performance since the last audit is additional encouragement to continue on the path we have taken.”

    Greater Consumer Safety with the Seal of Quality
    DQS awarded the “Green Company” label to Symrise for the first time in 2013 as it already met the international requirements of the Global Conformance Program back then. DQS CFS GmbH now handles all certification services related to sustainability and consumer safety within the international DQS Group. This year, it assumed certification duties. The comprehensive assessment spectrum, which
    involves around 50 standards and legal requirements, covers all the essential sustainability and safety requirements that are currently applied along the entire value chain.
    (Symrise AG)
    20.09.2017   European customers to benefit from American Glass Research's new Testing Laboratory in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Delft, Netherlands

    Agr International has announced plans to establish a new testing laboratory in Delft, Netherlands. This lab will be part of Agr’s American Glass Research division. The laboratory is slated to open and be fully operational in October, 2017.

    The creation of this facility is part of Agr International’s global expansion and commitment to its customers, and particularly intended to provide European glass manufacturers and fillers with better access to American Glass Research services. The new location will offer flexibility and reduced turnaround times on projects, lower shipping cost with relation to samples and the availability of American Glass Research expertise within the local time zones.

    The new lab will provide many of the same services currently offered by American Glass Research in their Butler, PA, USA facility that are geared toward solving breakage issues, evaluating container designs and improving both the manufacturing and filling processes. Some of the services to be available initially at the Delft site include:
    -Performance testing of glass packaging
    -Proof-of-design testing
    -Fracture diagnosis
    -Dimensional evaluation
    -Analysis of label, decoration and closure issues
    -Evaluation of coating performance and analysis of coating issues
    -Audit of glass plant operations
    -Filling line audits
    -Glass technical consultancy

    In addition to providing European glass manufacturers and fillers with a range of testing and evaluation services, the new office will also offer a complete schedule of training seminars taught by the American Glass Research staff.

    The new Delft facility will encompass 5500 square feet of laboratory and office space. Nearly 70% of the facility will be dedicated to the fracture analysis, measurement and testing laboratory. The lab will house new, modern testing equipment, microscopes and measurement equipment.

    The Delft testing laboratory will be headed by Peter de Haan, AGR Senior Scientist, and a Dutch national, who is returning to the Netherlands following several years at the American Glass Research Butler, PA, USA facility. De Haan and his team of technicians have well over 40 years of experience in the glass industry, and they will have full access to American Glass Research resources worldwide.
    (AGR International Inc.)

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