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    26.03.2018   Tetra Pak delivers more than half a billion fully renewable packages    ( Company news )

    Company news World’s first fully renewable package featured in new display at the Museum of Brands

    Tetra Pak has now delivered more than half a billion packs of Tetra Rex® Bio-based, the world’s first beverage carton to be manufactured entirely from renewable materials. The landmark event was announced at the Museum of Brands, in London, where the package, is featured in a new sustainability display.

    Photo: Tetra Rex® carton package with TwistCap OSO34

    Tetra Rex® Bio-based, which was launched in October 2014, is manufactured solely from Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) certified and controlled sources paperboard, together with plastics derived from sugar cane, all traceable to their origins.

    Packages made from renewable materials are essential for preserving the environment for future generations. Renewable resources can be replenished naturally over time and enable a move away from fossil fuel-based materials, reducing the environmental impact as well as improving resource efficiency.

    Christina Chester, Product Director at Tetra Pak said, “We are delighted to see the growing popularity of Tetra Rex Bio-based among customers. Packages made entirely from renewable materials are not only good for the planet, but also good for brands that seek to differentiate themselves with stronger environmental messages. With everything traceable to its plant origin, consumers are assured that the package they hold in their hands is derived entirely from plants.”

    Chris Griffin, CEO, Museum of Brands said: “It is good to hear about the significant progress Tetra Pak is making in terms of delivering fully-renewable packages. They are offering brands more sustainable packaging at a time when environment is top-of-mind among consumers, and people want to make more environmentally sound choices.”

    The Sustainable Packaging display opens today at the Museum of Brands, and will be showing a selection of initiatives that help reduce the burden of packaging on the environment.
    (Tetra Pak Schweiz AG)
    23.03.2018   Preventive maintenance of aseptic machines: KHS offers fixed modules at fixed prices    ( Company news )

    Company news The standards of quality in hygienic filling are high – as is the cost of production downtime.

    -Unplanned downtimes avoided
    -Longer machine service lives and greater production reliability
    -Fixed prices for all maintenance modules

    The standards of quality in hygienic filling are high – as is the cost of production downtime. It is thus important to carry out preventive maintenance on machines in order to detect any possible wear and microbiological risks in good time – and to avoid them. For high standards of quality and safety in the long term KHS provides a proven preventive maintenance system for both the linear and rotary version of its Innosept Asbofill aseptic filler – with fixed modules at fixed prices.

    The established, optimized system is an important component in KHS’ holistic range of services, giving bottlers the safety and reliability they need in the production process. “In this way failure through wear is avoided, risks to product safety are detected well in advance and the availability of the system is ensured,” states Thomas Niehr, head of Aseptic Filling Technology for KHS in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. “Should just one single part of the machine fail, the financial and material loss can be vast if the bottler has a sterile product in the tank which has to be processed quickly, for instance.” For this reason KHS offers special maintenance modules which Niehr describes as being comparable to a service for a car. The intervals are always gauged by certain time cycles and machine operating hours, with KHS providing the material packages and engineers.

    Overall machine state inspected
    During maintenance not only are smaller wear parts replaced; the overall condition of the machine is inspected and settings are corrected where applicable. The customer is given detailed information on all results in a concluding machine status report. The Dortmund systems supplier provides fixed maintenance packages for all of its aseptic machines at a set price which varies depending on the required intensity of maintenance and fulfillment of certain service tasks by KHS. “If KHS takes on the entire management during servicing, this has many benefits for the customer. The replacement of wear parts can’t be avoided. Preventive maintenance, however, ensures smooth production as all processes and machine data are consistently read out and monitored by our engineers,” says Niehr. “We then coordinate the entire maintenance management process together with the customer. This again increases machine and production safety and reliability. A dairy, for instance, can’t afford long downtimes." The more regularly and intensively a system is monitored by KHS, the shorter any downtimes are. The practiced course of events executed between the bottler and KHS’ engineers also cuts down on the amount of administrative effort, thus further reducing costs, claims Niehr.

    This generates a number of calculable advantages for the operator, as fixed costs also enable budgets to be securely planned, with identical installments paid at pre-specified intervals. Niehr emphasizes, “Customers know exactly how much maintenance costs them. It’s also possible to compute costs according to the number of bottles filled, with a fixed allocation of maintenance costs to product giving bottlers planning security.” As an option KHS also supplies additional spare part and emergency packages beside the replacement of wear parts within the scope of its maintenance modules.

    “Preventative maintenance thus has many benefits,” smiles Niehr. By avoiding unplanned downtime the overall cost of production is lowered in the long term. Unlike an unscheduled system standstill, preventive maintenance can be sensibly integrated into the production plan. “It’s a prudent investment,” concludes Niehr, who also points out that KHS is constantly further developing its system of maintenance. “The aim is to fully equip the machines with sensors in the future so that they’re monitored online by the electronics. With this form of preventive maintenance the amount of downtime will be reduced even further and production will become even more efficient and cost effective.”
    (KHS GmbH)
    23.03.2018   Symrise Demonstrates Taste Solutions for the Regional Market at Nigeria agrofood    ( Company news )

    Company news • The company exhibits at the Nigeria agrofood trade show
    • Products for customers in West Africa

    Symrise is boosting its operations in the West African market. The global supplier of fragrances and flavorings will present its products at agrofood Nigeria with its own booth at the Landmark Centre – Hall 1 1C.1.10. The trade show, which will be held in Lagos from March 27 to 29, 2018, addresses the entire value chain, from farm to table. Additional trade show topics include the food processing and flavor industries.

    At the largest food trade show in West Africa, Symrise will be offering visitors to its booth a wide range of concepts for beverages, sweets and other foods that have been developed to fit the region’s specific preferences. For example, guests will have the opportunity to learn more about palm wine, cherry mints, beef and chicken bouillon cubes, and mango-baobab juice. These products highlight the local expertise of the Holzminden based company, its strong connection to the West African market and its in-depth knowledge of consumer wishes.

    There are plenty of reasons for Symrise to exhibit at agrofood Nigeria. “We’ve been active here for a long time and want to strengthen our local presence,” says Dr. Alexander Lichter, Vice President Sales Flavor Division EAME at Symrise. “We want to demonstrate our expertise to our customers in Nigeria and West Africa: creating natural and authentic flavor experiences for the people who live here using state-of-the-art technology.” With a population of nearly 190 million, Nigeria is one of the most important markets in the region, Lichter explains. The country has shown very promising development, both demographically and economically. Symrise has been active throughout the country for more than 30 years.

    Naturalness and Authenticity for Customers in West Africa
    Symrise has registered rising demand for natural, regional and authentic foods – among its customers as well as consumers. “That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to fulfilling these wishes,” says Dr. Alexander Lichter, Vice President Sales Flavor Division EAME. “Our company does this by perfecting how it processes raw materials, which are sourced in line with high ethical standards and the principle of sustainability. That’s why the Group can deliver products with an extraordinarily authentic flavor that contributes to well-being.”

    In addition to its solutions for authentic flavor experiences, Symrise also offers natural food colorings. This is produced by Symrise’s Diana Food division, a specialist in functional food ingredients.
    (Symrise AG)
    22.03.2018   Caffeinated Stimulants get a WakeUp! Call    ( Company news )

    Company news Plant-based Alertness Formula Receives U.S. Patent

    InnoBev Ltd., has received a U.S. patent for WakeUp!®, its plant-based alertness formula. The patent describes a method for providing an “awakening effect “as well as for compositions of plant extracts that help improve well-being.

    The WakeUp formula is designed to counteract “post-lunch dip,” the time of day when fatigue, drowsiness and foggy thinking can stunt productivity. It can help provide a lift on slow mornings and evenings as well.

    The formula incorporates functional extracts of guarana, ginkgo biloba, and elderberry, and is sweetened by a low-glycaemic fruit extract. The non-caffeinated beverage answers a growing demand among today’s, health-conscious consumers who want to perform at optimal levels throughout the day, without the jitteriness, crash, and other drawbacks of caffeine.

    “This Inno-Bev patent approval comes at a time when energy drinks are under renewed scrutiny due to concerns over negative health effects associated with overconsumption, and when major beverage brands are investing huge sums in healthy, science-based beverages,” says Eli Faraggi, founder and CEO of Inno-Bev. “Our internal clock helps regulate sleep patterns, feeding behavior, hormone release, and blood pressure. WakeUp alertness drink is designed to help consumers balance that internal clock.” WakeUp recently won “Best Functional Drink” awards in Europe and the US.

    Four clinical research studies conducted with third-party partners indicated that WakeUp can help counteract fatigue and balance the body’s circadian rhythm. “In randomized controlled trials, WakeUp was shown to overcome the post-lunch dip/morning inertia, and improve vigilance, focus, and work performance with no tolerance effect or the side effects, such as those associated with caffeinated beverages and other stimulants,” explains science and regulatory specialist Risa Schulman, PhD, following an expert scientific review of Inno-Bev’s formulations. “In addition, when consumed consistently over a 30-day period, it could help improve brain function.”

    Faraggi notes that InnoBev originally sought only a solution to the post-lunch dip phenomenon. “Following the first clinical study, we quickly understood that we had developed an effective, safe, and clinically supported way to improve wakefulness throughout the day,” he explains.

    The company now has two formulas: WakeUp, for dietary supplements, and Rhythm™, for beverages. Analysis of new product launches, tracked by Innova Market Insights from 2013-2017, sees “green” energy drinks that feature natural energy sources, as having a major impact on the energy drink/alertness/stimulation category moving forward.

    Additional clinical research is being conducted on WakeUp by Giora Pillar, PhD, head of sleep laboratory at Israel’s leading science institute, the Technion Faculty of Medicine, Haifa. The studies are scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2018.

    “The timing for launching WakeUp in the U.S. and elsewhere is based on the important milestones already achieved, new research in the pipeline, and InnoBev’s long-term commitment to innovative science-based food and beverage development,” says Faraggi. The WakeUp formula can be integrated into cereals and dairy yogurts for a comprehensive range of “BioWaker” solutions.

    Inno-Bev currently is seeking partnerships with leading U.S. beverage and supplement companies. “We believe our scientifically supported and ready-to-market approach will disrupt the energy category,” Faraggi states. “Our business model includes joint-ventures and licensing of the Inno-Bev IP, either by application or by market segment. WakeUp also can be readily integrated into existing consumer brands.”
    (Inno-Bev Ltd)
    21.03.2018   Beviale Family – SIBA's BeerX: Here's to a great partnership!    ( Company news )

    Company news -BeerX becomes part of the Beviale Family network
    -Marketing collaboration now in place

    SIBA’s BeerX, Britain’s largest trade fair for all aspects of beer and brewing, is now an official partner of the Beviale Family. After five successful events in Sheffield, BeerX took place in Liverpool for the first time on 14 and 15 March 2018. The aim of the new partnership is to network existing successful events with one another and to work together to develop the respective target markets. This marketing collaboration enables the Beviale Family to expand its worldwide network in beverage production, so that it is now represented in the UK as well as in Russia, China, Italy, India and Brazil.

    Photo: Andrea Kalrait, NürnbergMesse, and Nick Stafford, SIBA, are looking foraward to a good collaboration. // © Barclayimaging

    The United Kingdom is the second-largest beer producer in Europe, where only Germany brews more beer. Moreover, according to market research company Statista (2016), the UK has 2,250 breweries, the largest number in Europe, followed by Germany with 1,408. SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) represents the interests of the growing number of independent brewers in Britain and is therefore the ideal partner. “We have been working successfully with SIBA for some time now in conjunction with BrauBeviale,” explains Andrea Kalrait, Exhibition Director BrauBeviale and international product manager for the Beviale Family. “This is why we are very pleased that we managed to get SIBA on board as a partner for the Beviale Family. The independent brewers of Britain are a perfect match for us. We work together as equals and are looking forward to a successful partnership on this basis!”

    “SIBA are delighted to be partnering with Beviale Family and becoming part of their global network of industry-leading beer and brewing trade events. British independent craft beer continues to be in huge demand and brewers are increasingly looking to international export to grow their business – our partnership with Beviale Family helps open opportunities for our British brewing members thinking on a global scale,” adds Nick Stafford, Operations Director SIBA.

    Beviale Family: International expertise in the beverage industry
    The NürnbergMesse Group demonstrates its expertise in the beverage industry on an international stage. Its “parent event” is BrauBeviale, the international capital goods exhibition for the beverage industry in Nuremberg. This is where, for over 40 years, the sector has been showcasing all aspects of the production process chain for beverages, such as raw materials, technologies, logistics and marketing. Other members of the product family operate in important growth markets worldwide. Beviale Moscow, for example, is the first and only trade fair for the entire beverage industry in Eastern Europe. CRAFT BEER CHINA in Shanghai is becoming established as the gathering place for the Chinese craft beer community, while CRAFT BEER ITALY in Milan is the B2B platform for the Italian sector. The Beviale product family is also represented in Brazil, as the Feira Brasileira da Cerveja in Blumenau is “supported by BrauBeviale”. The latest edition to the family is CRAFT DRINKS INDIA in Bangalore.
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    21.03.2018   Frutarom Now in the Top 5 Suppliers of Natural Colors     ( Company news )

    Company news Frutarom opens €5 million formulation center to answer growing demand for natural colors

    Frutarom has become one of the top five suppliers of natural colors worldwide following its acquisition of several natural colors companies, and major investments in building fully integrated, safe, and controlled supply chains. The company has experienced double-digit growth annually in the natural colorants segment.

    “Frutarom has taken full control of the supply chain through reverse integration in order to ensure safe, natural colorants, with complete traceability,” says Ori Yehudai, President and CEO of Frutarom. “Placing the customer at the focal point of our business allowed us to effect true change in how the company engages with partners and farmers, while maintaining complete transparency.”

    Frutarom initiated dozens of agriculture collaborations with local farmers in multiple locations and countries to ensure the supply of continuous and sustainable natural sourcing of pigments and food colorings. In addition, the company has increased the technical competencies for its already expansive extract capabilities. Frutarom-owned facilities located near the farms. This is how the company ensures transparency and traceability from the farm to the final product, as well reducing environmental impacts and ensuring responsible sourcing to customers. The company can assure secure supply, meet volume demands, safeguard product quality, and provide seamless service at every juncture.

    “This strategic move to become a major player in natural colors globally took only three years but we put immense efforts and investments to do it right, and beneficial to the local farmers and our employees,” adds Yehudai.

    Frutarom recently opened a natural color formulations center at its Etol plant in Celje, Slovenia, to provide its European customers full, customized service. The center will help clients with natural colors application, creating natural flavor combinations, and utilization of its advanced beverage compound technologies for creating innovative, sustainable food and beverage products with an eye on the competitive edge. Frutarom invested €5 million in advanced equipment and technology for the new facility.

    The new formulation hub will serve 15,000 Frutarom’s customers in Europe—about 50% of the company’s global customers. The Etol facility provides extensive expertise in flavors and formulation development. The 90-year-old company was acquired by Frutarom in 2012.

    “Etol has a solid reputation of successful cooperation with food and beverage customers in creating new flavor solutions,” says Yehudai. “Frutarom Etol is expanding its offerings to include a full range of natural colors manufactured with advanced technologies. Natural colors are much more challenging than synthetic colors in terms of their sensitivity, and if not incorporated correctly can be less stable in food and beverage applications.”

    “Frutarom makes it possible to bridge the gap between consumers who want natural, sustainable products in which they can understand and identify each ingredient with food manufacturer’s need to create a new, functional, tasty product with natural coloring,” explains Yehudai.
    (Frutarom Industries Ltd)
    20.03.2018   Crown's Thermochromic 'Reveal' Ink Technology Makes Commercial Debut With Coca-Cola    ( Company news )

    Company news As competition for consumer attention and loyalty intensifies, brands are increasingly turning to packaging to achieve differentiation on retail shelves and enhance engagement. To deliver an interactive experience to consumers before, during and after consumption, Coca-Cola has rolled out cans of Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta and Sprite in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia featuring Reveal temperature sensitive inks.

    The result of collaboration between Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East and Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI), Reveal inks allow graphics to change to ‘reveal’ specific imagery and messaging during consumption. Two thermochromic inks appear at the same time when the can is cold, but as the cold product is consumed, one ink disappears. This technology provides one ambient ‘original’ image, one ‘cold’ image and as the consumer drinks the contents of the can, a third image appears, offering the perfect vehicle to hide a message.

    Coca-Cola featured four specific messages - one per brand – to engage with its customers in a fun, unique manner. Cans are decorated to include either a person or cartoon-style animal, from which a speech bubble emanates to hold the thermochromic messaging which appears when the can is chilled. An interactive quick response (QR) code beneath the image links to exclusive video content, driving traffic to the brand’s website.

    The application represents the first commercial use of Reveal inks.
    (Crown Holdings Inc.)
    19.03.2018   Australia: AB InBev's Carlton and United Breweries to invest heavily in its Cascade brewery    ( )

    Australia’s Carlton and United Breweries, part of AB InBev, has announced a A$10.3 mln (US$8 mln) capital investment in Cascade to create a ‘craft brewing hub’ for the Asia Pacific region, reported on February 27.

    The investment will significantly increase Cascade’s brewing capability at its Tasmania base and ‘launch Cascade as one of Australia’s leading craft breweries’, according to the company. Production will increase by 65%.

    “Cascade will expand its craft brewing options, including brewing experimental beers for our Australian and Asia Pacific region operations,” says Carlton and United Breweries.

    “It will also brew a number of beers from some of the world’s leading craft brands.”

    Established in 1824, Cascade Brewery Co is Australia’s oldest brewery, and uses Tasmanian water from Mount Wellington and Tasmanian grown hops and barley.

    Carlton and United Breweries says the investment demonstrates its long-term commitment to the brand and to Tasmania, with the expansion securing existing jobs and creating five full-time positions.

    The Tasmanian Government made a A$1 mln contribution to the upgrade.

    Beers brewed at Cascade will be distributed across Australia, as well as being exported to Asia Pacific.

    Anita Holdsworth has been appointed as Cascade’s brewery manager: the first female to hold the position.
    19.03.2018   Belgium & Netherlands: Belgian Trappist monks upset by Dutch supermarket re-selling their beers...    ( )

    ... without permission

    The monks of a Trappist monastery in Belgium are reportedly very upset that a Dutch supermarket is re-selling its beers without permission and for a huge mark-up, The Drinks Business reported on March 9.

    The abbey of Saint-Sixtus in is one of the Low Countries’ renowned Trappist brewing communities and its beer is not only highly sought-after but also tricky to get hold of.

    The beer is only sold at the abbey’s shop and a local café and all orders from the shop must be reserved in advance and then picked up in person. The monks even take note of the registration number of the car that will be used to pick up the beer and once a reservation has been made then the same telephone and registration number cannot be used again to place an order for 60 days.

    In addition, all beer purchased must be for personal consumption and consumers must agree not to sell the beer on to third parties. In 2011, at a time when it needed funds to renovate its buildings, the abbey did grant permission to a retailer to sell its beer commercially, Belgian wholesaler Colruyt, and then in 2012 Dutch wholesaler Sligro, for the price of €27.50 for six bottles.

    However, customers in the Netherlands have recently noticed that supermarket chain Jan Linders had 300 crates of the abbey’s beer and was selling it for €9.95 a bottle, with only two bottles allowed per customer.

    The beer is sold by the abbey in cases of 24 making a case at Jan Linders €238.80; nearly five times the price the abbey sells its most-expensive beer for.

    The abbey produces three beers; a blond, a dark 8% beer and dark 10% beer, priced respectively at €35, €40 and €45 per case of 24.

    Each case then has an additional deposit of €15 which is redeemable by customers at any time upon return of the case and empty bottles.

    The news has caused interest among beer drinkers in the Low Countries because seeing Westvleteren beer in shops is so rare but quite how the chain acquired the bottles in question is not clear because the monks are saying it didn’t come from them.

    A spokesman for the abbey brewery told the drinks business that the community was disappointed to see their beer being sold for profit in this way and that it went against the “ethics of the abbey”.

    They added that Jan Linders’ commercial activity was entirely without the consent of the monks and they wished for the supermarket to desist.

    Gineke Wilms, a spokeswoman for the supermarket told Dutch newspaper De Limburger that the beer had been acquired “thanks to our partners” but did not specify who said partners were. “We see it as a reward for the fact that we have been voted the best specialty beer supermarket in the Netherlands for several years,” she continued.

    Jan Linders was not immediately available for comment.
    19.03.2018   corvaglia group announces U.S. expansion in Georgia    ( Company news )

    Company news Switzerland based corvaglia group announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Newnan, Georgia. The company provides plastic cap and closure technology solutions to the beverage industry around the world. The new U.S. production facility will compliment corvaglia’s existing advanced manufacturing operations in Eschlikon, Switzerland and Ixtlahuaca, Mexico.

    corvaglia’s business begins and ends with closure design and as a vertically integrated supplier of caps and closures for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) containers, they deliver expertise all along the value chain. Founded in 1991, corvaglia continues to focus on one-piece closure technologies deployed from the design concept all the way through to the consumer. This end-to-end market approach is embodied in their slogan ‘Think, Shape, Make, Apply’ caps.

    The new U.S. facility will be operational by year-end and utilize corvaglia’s in-house proprietary moulds to manufacture lightweight one-piece caps and closures for the North American beverage market. Additionally, corvaglia will bring high-speed digital printing to the new U.S. facility that will provide valuable branding opportunities with virtually no limitations to artwork or graphics.
    (Corvaglia Closures Eschlikon AG)
    19.03.2018   South Korea: Hite Jinro decides not to sell brewery, produce soju there instead    ( )

    Hite Jinro Co., South Korea's second-largest beer maker by sales, said on March 7 that it will produce the local distilled liquor soju at one of its beer factories as it abandons a plan to sell off the plant, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

    The brewer said part of the production line is being retrofitted to make soju at its beer factory in Masan, an industrial city located some 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

    The company aims to produce soju at its beer plant by the end of this year.

    "We made the decision to meet growing demand for soju and to resolve the local community's concerns about possible job cuts," company spokeswoman Nho Eun-jung said.

    Soju, a rice-based liquor, is popular among South Koreans.

    The beer factory in Masan employs about 200 people, according to the company.

    Hite Jinro sells 150 million bottles of soju per month, making it the largest soju maker in South Korea. The company has three soju plants and three separate beer factories in South Korea.
    19.03.2018   UK: Carlsberg launches re-creation of original 19th century dark lager in the on-trade until June    ( )

    A re-creation of Carlsberg’s original dark lager from the late 19th century has been launched exclusively in the UK on-trade until June, the Bar Magazine reported on March 13.

    Carlsberg 1883 uses the brewer’s original 134-year old yeast, Saccharomyces Carlsbergensis, which was first isolated and identified by Dr Emil Christian Hansen at the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen.

    The strain is still used in fermentation in brewing all around the world but the new beer was developed through the Carlsberg Rebrew project using pure yeast found in a bottle from 1883.

    Celebrating this innovation, the new Danish-style dark lager is full-bodied and rich in malt and caramel, with ABV of 4.6%. Brewed in Denmark, it has a fresh aroma of malt and caramel and a sweet-biscuit body followed by a well-balance aftertaste.

    Liam Newton, vice president of marketing for Carlsberg UK, said: “We’re proud of the role Carlsberg has played in the history of brewing. Carlsberg 1883 celebrates the discovery of the purified yeast strain that was shared with brewers worldwide to secure the consistent qualities of beer as we know it today.

    “The beer market has changed dramatically in the past few years, let alone since 1883, so it is important that brewers like ourselves demonstrate the quality of our beers and the dedication of our brewers and ultimately help create reasons for beer drinkers to visit the pub.”
    19.03.2018   USA: Beer production drops by the highest rate in 14 years last year    ( )

    Statistics released by the U.S. Treasury bureau that regulates sales of alcohol indicate that, in 2017, beer production in the U.S. dropped by its highest rate in 14 years — 2.75 percent — to its lowest overall volume in at least three decades.

    The statistics, published March 1st by the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, compile numbers reported directly by all licensed breweries in the U.S. The bureau’s statistics show brewers reported producing just over 185 million barrels in the 2017 calendar year, a nearly 5 million barrel drop from the roughly 190 million barrels produced in 2016.

    According to archival bureau reports, annual U.S. beer production has not stood below 190 million barrels per year since prior to 1986, its earliest annual records currently published online. While annual production surpassed 200 million barrels several times in the 1990s, it's reached that number just once this century — in 2002 — before correcting with a 2.8 percent drop the following year, to 195 million barrels.

    The numbers have fluctuated since, but trended down, including a 2.1 percent drop in 2013. They have been relatively stagnant since 2014.

    These figures reflect all beer produced in the U.S., including both legacy macro-beer producers such as Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, and the independent craft breweries that have proliferated locally. Leading up to 2017, the downward trend could be attributed to a modest decline in production by macro breweries that still control over 85 percent of the $106.7 billion beer market.

    It's too soon to say whether last year's decline in overall production predicts a decline in craft beer as well. While statistics maintained by the Brewers Association indicate that craft brewers have steadily increased both in overall production volume and market share over the past decade, that trend slowed in 2016, even as the number of craft breweries rose to over 6000.

    Corporate acquisitions of high-profile, high-volume craft breweries in the past several years have held craft growth in check. According to Brewers Association statistics released last spring, the 24.6 million barrels produced by craft breweries in 2016 resulted in barely more than a 1 percent rise, following a decade averaging double-digit increases.

    Updated craft industry figures will likely be released by next month.

    Meanwhile, corresponding monthly reports prepared by the Beer Institute, sourcing data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, show where some of that beer consumption has gone. While U.S. production has dropped 7.7 million barrels over the past three years, beer imports overall have increased by 5 million barrels in that time span. Leading the way by far is Mexico, which has added 4.6 million barrels during that time, importing 23 million barrels to the U.S. in 2017.
    19.03.2018   USA: Bland beer is still the king despite quick rise of popularity of craft beers    ( )

    Although craft beer has experienced explosive market growth over the past 25 years, the vast majority of Americans still don't drink it.

    Only about 1 in 8 beers sold in America is a craft beer. For the first time, the three best-selling beers in America are light beers: Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite. Bud Light alone has a greater market share than all craft beers combined, MENAFN.COM reported on March 13.

    So while the selection has broadened dramatically, most people's tastes have not. Even craft beer companies are adjusting to this reality: A recent Chicago Tribune article noted that craft breweries are releasing beers that are 'less hoppy and in-your-face' in order to appeal to the majority of Americans who prefer 'big corporate lagers.'

    In other words, they're brewing blander beers.

    How did Americans come to prefer such bland beer? The unique history of the U.S. temperance movement might bear some responsibility for country's exceptionally bland beer.

    Unlike European countries with beer preferences and styles that have evolved over centuries, America lacks a homegrown brewing tradition.

    The classic American beer is an 'adjunct pilsner,' which means that some of the malted barley is replaced with corn or rice. The effect is a beer that's lighter, clearer and less hoppy than its counterparts in countries like England, Germany and Belgium.

    In colonial America, English-style beers and ales predominated, but rum and then whiskey were the drink of choice. Cider, easier to make at home, overtook beer by the early 19th century.

    However, the American beer market grew during the great mid-19th century wave of German immigration. German lagers were an immediate hit, partially because the German brewing method of bottom fermentation – which involves a relatively long fermentation period and cold storage – made for a more consistent, storable product than top-fermented ales. The lagers were also mellower, though they were dark and hearty compared to what would become popular later.

    But the 'lager bier craze' dovetailed with another big trend: the temperance movement, which at various times sought to reduce problem drinking, reduce drinking more generally and eradicate alcohol consumption completely. From 1830 to 1845, the temperance movement gained momentum as more and more Americans were taking voluntary ' temperance pledges ' and giving up spirits and cider.

    German brewers always maintained that beer was a 'temperance beverage,' unlike ardent spirits such as whiskey. And indeed, European temperance movements did tend to regard beer as relatively harmless.

    But activists in the American temperance movement – which by then had become more about abstinence and intertwined with evangelical Protestantism – didn't buy the argument. The 1850s saw the first big push for state-level prohibition laws, which ended up being passed in a handful of states. Those laws didn't last for a variety of reasons (including the Civil War), but they did serve notice to the brewers that they needed to work harder to convince the public that beer was a temperance beverage.

    In the 1870s, American beer would become mellower still with the advent of a new type of lager: the Bohemian pilsner. Clearer, lighter and blander than the Bavarian lagers that had previously dominated the market, pilsners looked cleaner, healthier, more stable and less intoxicating.

    As an 1878 issue of the trade publication Western Brewer noted, Americans 'want a clear beer of light color, mild and not too bitter taste.'

    Brewers and drinkers who wanted to avert the temperance movement's gaze naturally chose light pilsners over dark lagers. But lighter beer also was a good fit for the long hours of American factory workers, many of whom ate at saloons between shifts. Coming back to work drunk could get you fired, so if you wanted a beer or two with the salty saloon fare, the weakest beers were the best bet.

    Pragmatism and personal taste soon became intertwined. Anheuser-Busch introduced Budweiser in 1876 – whose rice adjuncts produced an even milder beer – to great success. Pabst Blue Ribbon, with its corn adjuncts, became a national sensation as well.

    In 1916, Gustave Pabst, the son of Pabst Blue Ribbon's founder Frederick Pabst, told the United States Brewers Association that 'the discrimination in favor of light beers (is strongest) in those countries where the anti-alcohol sentiment is strongest.'

    Nonetheless, the drumbeat of the temperance movement started getting louder.

    By the late 19th and early 20th century, the temperance movement had returned in force. Efficient organizing campaigns by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League led to a new wave of state and local prohibitions and, finally, a push for national prohibition.

    National constitutional prohibition, as decreed by the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act, was devastating to the beer industry in the short term. But in the long term, it further laid the groundwork for a nation of bland beer drinkers.

    Careful estimates by economist Clark Warburton found that alcohol consumption during Prohibition may have actually risen for wine and spirits but fell by two-thirds for beer, which was harder to conceal. Although Prohibition may have introduced a generation of young people to cocktails, they had hardly any exposure to beer – and certainly hadn't acquired the taste for hearty beer.

    In March 1933, eight months before the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition, Congress modified the Volstead Act to allow the production of 'non-intoxicating,' low-alcohol beer and wine, with a maximum of 4 percent alcohol by volume.

    The new, watered-down beer was a huge hit with the public, which hadn't tasted a full-strength legal beer since 1917. Dark beers and ales had accounted for some 15 percent of the market before World War I. But in 1936 their share was just 2 to 3 percent. In 1947, researchers at Schwarz Laboratories analyzed the alcohol, hop and malt content of American beers in the 1930s and 1940s and remarked that many of these early post-repeal beers were 'too hoppy,' 'too heavy and too filling' for consumers' tastes. The report noted 'a corrective trend' in which brewers sharply reduced their hop and malt content.

    More adventurous brewers and drinkers were also stymied by post-Prohibition laws. State and federal policies effectively banned homebrewing, and most states required a 'three-tier' system of brewers, distributors and retailers that made it more difficult to make and market specialty beers.

    The blandification of American beer continued for another 70 years. During World War II, American troops got 4 percent alcohol beer in their rations, exposing yet another generation to the joys of weak beer. The hop and malt content of beer fell sharply and steadily over this period. Hop content fell by half from 1948 to 1969, and the rise of 'lite' beer in the 1970s accelerated the trend. Hop content fell 35 percent from 1970 to 2004.

    Despite the phenomenal rise of craft beer, light beers are still dominant. The craft beer explosion is a remarkable story, but perhaps we should stop calling it a revolution.

    For now, bland beers are still king.
    19.03.2018   USA: MillerCoors splits millennial generation with the purpose of selling more beer    ( )

    MillerCoors has invented a generation that’s younger than millennials but old enough to legally imbibe, the Toronto Star reported on March 14.

    The purpose is to sell more beer, which has been losing business to wine and hard liquor for a decade. MillerCoors, the U.S. division of Molson Coors Brewing Co., is gearing its marketing to 21- to 24-year-olds, a slice of the population the company characterizes as “curious,” “pragmatic” and still virginal when it comes to drinking beer.

    Demographers would say this cohort is part of the millennial generation, which outnumbers the baby boomers and is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as people born between 1982 and 2000. But MillerCoors says there are important differences between millennials and the new generation the beer maker created but hasn’t named.

    “There’s just this more openness versus what we’ve seen with millennials,” said Sofia Colucci, senior director of innovation at MillerCoors. “They’re curious and while they’re pragmatic, they still have this genuine openness to discovering and trying new things.”

    These attributes apparently haven’t extended, even on a hot summer evening, to some of them ever sipping an icy cold mug of suds, Colucci said.

    “Once they’re of a legal drinking age, they might never even have had beer, which is different than what we’ve seen in the past,” Colucci said.

    Baby boomers are defined as having been born from 1946 to 1964. They’re followed by so-called Generation X, whose birthdays run from 1965 to 1981. Then came the millennials, comprised of 83 million people, or about one-quarter of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census. Those that MillerCoors categorizes separately from millennials would have entered the world from 1993 to 1997, roughly President Bill Clinton’s first term, a time when internet use was spreading, Hootie & the Blowfish ruled the pop-music charts and big beer brands were still hip.

    The product MillerCoors is pushing is called Two Hats, a light beer imbued with fruit flavours. The company said the tag line — “Good, cheap beer. Wait what?” — was taken directly from responses of drinkers in this newly distinct age group.

    Allen Adamson, co-founder of the product consultant Metaforce, defended splitting up the millennial generation. He said 21-year-olds are probably not making major decisions on items such as cars or homes, which are the focus of older millennials. Instead, the younger people are likely showing off their individual preferences with purchases such as beverages and clothing.

    “The whole lens of a 21-year-old is different in how you connect with them than a 28-year-old,” Adamson said. Still, the challenge with appealing to such a narrow demographic is it’s a quickly moving target, he said.

    Two Hats isn’t the first time a beer company has created a product to target specific consumers it identified as underserved.

    MillerCoors rival Anheuser-Busch InBev NV set out to win over women in 2015 with a Super Bowl ad campaign built around the idea that coming together over a Bud Light can help solve the world’s problems, including unequal pay for females. Attempts to attract women also led to the introduction of new products, such as the Bud Light Lime-A-Rita.

    The same year, MillerCoors said that making beer more “gender friendly” could add about 5 million barrels to sales by 2020. The Chicago-based unit of Molson Coors, which at the time was a joint venture between Molson Coors and SAB Miller Plc, added products to appeal to women, such as Henry’s Hard Sodas, fruit-flavoured shandies and gluten-free beer.

    Women, however, didn’t flock. Nor did health-conscious consumers, though they’re helping boost smaller-volume brands such as gluten-free Michelob Ultra and Sparkling Seltzer. Young millennials may be the industry’s last hope.

    “We’re really doing this as a way to grow affinity for beer,” Colucci said. “Then, as they evolve, as they drink Two Hats, the idea is that they’ll start to evolve their preferences and they can start to grow into other beers within our portfolio.”
    19.03.2018   World: AB InBev CEO believes in increased sales volume of low- and no-alcohol portfolio by 2025    ( )

    AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito believes 20% of the company’s sales volumes will come from its low- or no-alcohol portfolio by 2025.

    In a conference call following the release of AB InBev’s full-year results, Brito shed light on the company’s strategy to expand sales and appeal to consumers who want to limit their alcohol intake, reported on March 2.

    He said that now around 8% of the company’s volumes came from its low- or no-alcoholic lines. “We want to get to 20% by 2025. So we’re not starting from zero, quite the opposite. The big thing that will accelerate this, in my view, is two things.

    “First, the category expansion model because it’s showing us there are opportunities in adjacencies, easy drinking and flavored liquids, that we can explore.

    “And the second one is that now we already have five of our main countries in which NABLAB, or non-alcohol beer and low-alcohol beer, represents more than 20% and in some even 30%.”

    Brito drew attention to the higher margins of the NABLAB sector. “I think this is going to be a big motivation for our people because they’re going to be inspired.

    “There is a toolkit to be shared with other countries. Again, so we’re not starting from zero, the margins are very interesting, and category expansion shows the way on how to use some of those products to enter new categories or new occasions.”

    AB InBev’s range of low- and no-alcohol beers includes Beck’s Blue, Bud Light and Corona Cero. Last year, the company launched an alcohol-free Budweiser Prohibition beer in the UK.

    Speaking of the launch, a spokesperson 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.”

    An AB InBev study released in 2016 found that one third of UK consumers had tried alcohol-free beer with almost as many unable to tell the difference between regular alcoholic varieties.

    In its full-year results, the company saw its net sales rise 5.1% year-on-year to $56.4 billion and operating profits increase 13.4% to $22.1 billion as it benefited from the integration of SABMiller.
    16.03.2018   Two successful days: Petcore Europe Conference 2018 'Strategy for PET in the Circular Economy'    ( Company news )

    Company news Once per year Europe's entire PET value chain meets in Brussels for the annual Petcore Europe Conference. Due to its success in recent editions this year's conference was held for the first time over two days and welcomed more than 200 industry experts.

    On 7 and 8 February, more than 200 delegates from the entire PET value chain from Europe and beyond gathered in Brussels for the annual Petcore Europe Conference 2018.

    Under the theme “Strategy for PET in the Circular Economy”, the complete industry shared perspectives and strategies for a succesful future. From PET resin producers, masterbatch producers, packaging designers and manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, label producers to major brand owners, EPR schemes, waste management organisations, recyclers, waste sorting and recycling machinery manufacturers - the entire value chain was represented. Additionally, speakers from the European Commission (DG GROW), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as well as PCI Wood Mackenzie shared their thoughts on the PET market as well as the plastics industry in the European Circular Economy.

    "Petcore Europe brings together the entire PET value chain. The strenght of the organisation is the engagement of its members, which are all participating actively in the working groups and other projects", emphasised Christian Crepet, Executive Director of Petcore Europe, when opening the conference on Wednesday, 7 February.

    "This engagement, in combination with Petcore Europe's commitment to improving the Circular Economy, is a great value for the entire industry. Petcore Europe's growth over the past years is remarkable. Every year the association can count on more and more members", added Paola Arlotti, President of Petcore Europe, before welcoming the first speaker on the stage. Read more about the conference in our press release.

    Petcore Europe Conference 2019
    The next Petcore Europe Conference will take place in the first quarter of 2019. The exact date and place will be announced in the second half of 2018.
    (Petcore Europe)
    15.03.2018   O-I's Containers Achieve Cradle to Cradle Certification    ( Company news )

    Company news First Food and Beverage Packaging Company to Achieve Gold Rating for Material Health

    Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) is the first food and beverage packaging company to achieve a gold rating in material health on the Cradle to Cradle Product Scorecard.

    The Cradle to Cradle Certified(TM) Products Program is one of the premier sustainability certifications for products around the world and across industries. "The certification provides brand owners, consumers, regulators, and shareholders tangible validation of our company's ongoing commitment to sustainability," said Jim Nordmeyer, VP, Global Sustainability at O-I. "It's an important baseline and helps us identify next steps to improve our environmental and social performance."

    Nearly 90 percent of O-I's glass operations were certified across product categories and for certain container colors in the beer, non-alcoholic beverage (NAB), spirit, wine and food markets. The certification is based on five categories: material health, material reutilization, water stewardship, renewable energy use, and social fairness.

    "Achieving a gold rating in material health strongly reinforces the benefits of glass," said Nordmeyer. "Glass is safe for repeated food contact and endlessly recyclable. It's virtually impermeable to oxygen so it protects the freshness and taste of consumers' favorite food and beverage brands."

    O-I collaborated with an environmental consulting firm, MBDC, to conduct a rigorous product assessment of the company's beer, food, NAB, spirits and wine platforms.

    "We are thrilled to collaborate with Owens-Illinois. It is a company taking innovation to the next level, seeking ways to partner with other industry leaders to incorporate more recycled content, maximize use of renewable energy, and consider the full use cycle of its glass products," said Jay Bolus, President of Certification Services at MBDC, the world's foremost advisors in material health, product design and the Cradle to Cradle® Design Framework. "The company's continued pursuit of Cradle to Cradle certification signifies its brand quality and value for its consumers and the environment."

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes C2C certification as a top-tier product sustainability standard in its new federal green purchasing guidelines.
    (O-I Owens-Illinois Glass Containers)
    14.03.2018   automatica 2018 shows solutions for food and beverage, plastics and packaging manufacturers    ( Company news )

    Company news In September 2017, VDMA increased its growth forecast for the current year for German robotics and automation from seven to eleven percent. The industry is also booming internationally. With this positive outlook and numerous innovations ready to be shown, the world's leading companies are going to meet at automatica in Munich from June 19 to 22, 2018. Visitors from industries such as food and beverage, plastics as well as packaging will find numerous innovative automation solutions and have the opportunity to exchange ideas with experts.

    “Both the incoming orders as well as sales development for the current year have significantly exceeded our expectations,” Dr. Norbert Stein, Chairman of VDMA Robotics + Automation, commented on the development of the German market. “The domestic industry will record more than 14 billion euros in sales and for the first time in the year 2017 consequently reach a new record level.”

    The great economic importance of automation technology can also be felt on the global level: According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), more than 1.7 million new industrial robots will be installed in the factories all over the world by the year 2020, which will increase global inventory to more than three million units.

    The above-average growth in the automation industry in the past few years is due to the rapidly growing number of variants in many production fields, a zero-error strategy required more and more frequently during processes as well as increasing cost pressure, among other things. These requirements can only be fulfilled with higher degrees of automation, increasingly powerful systems and more flexible processes.

    The automotive industry and its suppliers have been the most important users of automation and robotic systems for many years. The use of automated processes in this industry segment is the most advanced, but many other sectors are also working increasingly with highly automated solutions for more efficiency and cost effectiveness. As a result, companies from the fields of plastics, foodstuffs and packaging are increasingly employing innovative automation to improve their competitive position. Compared to the pioneering automobile industry, however, these three industry sectors have some catching up to do.
    (Messe München GmbH)
    13.03.2018   Corvaglia group announces U.S. expansion in Georgia    ( Company news )

    Company news ‘We think about your caps, so you can think of everything else’

    Switzerland based corvaglia group announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Newnan, Georgia. The company provides plastic cap and closure technology solutions to the beverage industry around the world. The new U.S. production facility will compliment corvaglia’s existing advanced manufacturing operations in Eschlikon, Switzerland and Ixtlahuaca, Mexico.

    corvaglia’s business begins and ends with closure design and as a vertically integrated supplier of caps and closures for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) containers, they deliver expertise all along the value chain. Founded in 1991, corvaglia continues to focus on one-piece closure technologies deployed from the design concept all the way through to the consumer. This end-to-end market approach is embodied in their slogan ‘Think, Shape, Make, Apply’ caps.

    The new U.S. facility will be operational by year-end and utilize corvaglia’s in-house proprietary moulds to manufacture lightweight one-piece caps and closures for the North American beverage market. Additionally, corvaglia will bring high-speed digital printing to the new U.S. facility that will provide valuable branding opportunities with virtually no limitations to artwork or graphics.
    (Corvaglia Closures Eschlikon AG)
    12.03.2018   DNP and SIG create joint venture in Japan    ( Company news )

    Company news Tokyo-based Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) and SIG have signed a joint venture agreement which will bring new value added carton packaging and filling technology solutions to the Japanese food and beverage industry. The 50-50 joint venture will be established as of April 1, 2018, under the name of DNP • SIG Combibloc Co., Ltd., located in Tokyo.

    Photo: A joint venture has now been signed: Souichiro Nishitani, Corporate Officer and General Manager of Packaging Operations at DNP (left), and Rolf Stangl, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SIG.

    More differentiation
    The main focus of the partnership is to provide greater differentiation and added value in the field of carton packaging, technology and services for the food and beverages industry in Japan.

    Souichiro Nishitani, Corporate Officer and General Manager of Packaging Operations at DNP said: “The huge variety offered by the packaging system from SIG will enrich the Japanese market and offer clear added value for beverage manufacturers and consumers alike. The aim of our joint venture is to be Japan’s number 2 in aseptic carton packs by 2022.”
    Rolf Stangl, Chief Executive Officer at SIG added: “It is an exciting moment in our company's history. For many years we’ve looked into entering this big and promising market together with a perfect partner. We’ve now found this with DNP. Together with DNP, we are bringing innovative solutions to the food and beverage industry in Japan for current and next generation products.”

    Throughout its history DNP, one of the world’s largest printing industry manufacturers, has successfully established a multitude of business operations. For example, DNP has been developing and marketing carton packs and filling systems for alcoholic beverages and soft drinks in Japan since 1978. Many food and beverage manufacturers are also using DNP’s aseptic PET filling system. The company is ideally positioned in Japan, with substantial experience in the field of aseptic technology through its network of highly-qualified service technicians and established connections with all major companies in the food and beverage industry.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    09.03.2018   Customer portal e-connect goes live in North America    ( Company news )

    Company news ENGEL's new e-connect customer portal will be launched in North America in time for NPE2018: e-connect 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 price and availability of spare parts – any time, anywhere. From May 7 through 11, 2018, the Austria-based injection molding machine manufacturer and system solution provider will be demonstrating at its trade show booth W3303 in Orlando, Florida, how the new version of the customer portal is also ideally suited to meet the requirements of Industry 4.0.

    Photo: Fastest link to the world of ENGEL: the new version of the e-connect customer portal is even clearer.

    e-connect facilitates entry into the world of ENGEL and opens up new opportunities for injection molders to produce even more efficiently. “With the new software, we can now provide customers with more specific information at any time and independently of their location, establish contact with them even faster, and provide the best possible support to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0,” as Wolfgang Degwerth, Vice President Sales and Service at ENGEL Machinery Inc. in York, Pennsylvania, explains. "From now on, e-connect will be an important hub in the cooperation with our customers."

    From the first order, 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 at it immediately. Since customers and service technicians use the same data, they have the same knowledge base at all times. In many cases, the system history this contains makes it easier to find a solution. This is also why each new service call is fully documented in e-connect. The portal makes all details relating to the service call transparent for the user, and store the service report. With sites on three continents, ENGEL ensures qualified service technicians from its internal workforce are available around the clock.

    In particular, e-connect facilitates the procurement of spare parts. As price and availability are stored on the system, the customer can directly request and download a quotation from the platform. Customers can also track the spare part online up to its arrival at their plant.

    Condition-based, predictive maintenance included
    e-connect supports all service products in ENGEL's inject 4.0 program. In addition to online support and remote maintenance, this includes e-connect.monitor for predictive, condition-based maintenance. The aim is to utilize 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.

    ENGEL will also be integrating future service products for the smart factory into its customer portal. “We have structured the platform so that we can quickly implement further demands of advancing digitalization,” says Wolfgang Degwerth.

    More clarity, simpler navigation
    In addition to new functions, e-connect now offers greater clarity and transparency and even simpler navigation. The platform provides users with a constant 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.

    ENGEL at NPE2018: West Hall, Booth W3303
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    09.03.2018   GualapackGroup to open a new plant in Chile    ( Company news )

    Company news GualapackGroup, the World Leader of premade spouted pouches, continues its expansion in LATAM countries with the start of a brand new facility in Chile. Located close to Santiago, the new plant will be dedicated to pouches and spouted pouches production. “That new investment will strengthen our position in LATAM, a strategic area for our Group and, together with our existing subsidiaries in Costa Rica and Brazil, will consolidate our production platform on the Central and South American continent. Our vision remains, just like we did in Europe within the last 5 years, to invest in regional production sites in order to provide our local partners the best logistics and a proximity service” said Michele Guala, The GualapackGroup’s CEO.

    The new facility shall achieve its full production capacity by spring 2018.
    (Gualapack S.p.A.)
    08.03.2018   3rd European Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging Summit on 14th & 15th March 2018 in Amsterdam    ( Company news )

    Company news Venue of the Summit:
    Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam
    Damrak 1-5, 1012 LG
    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Key Topics Include:
    • Market trends for sustainable packaging in 2018 and beyond
    • Latest innovations in design, manufacturing, additive and convertor technology
    • Case studies from retailers/brands on packaging and design needs in the food & beverage industry
    • What does the European Commission circular economy package mean for the plastics packaging supply chain
    • Expectations and targets of EU waste legislation on packaging and packaging waste
    • Analysis and comparison of performance materials in different applications
    • Advancing plastics converters and manufacturer's capabilities and technologies
    • Life cycle assessments and environmental impact

    Why You Can't Miss this Event?
    ACI's 3rd European Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging will take place on 14th & 15th March 2018 in Amsterdam.
    This edition will focus on 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 as well as use of bioplastics, biodegradable & compostable plastics, as well as the latest innovations in the market for printing and labelling. Join us in Amsterdam to hear latest case studies from industry leaders, take part in interactive panels discussions & benefit from excellent networking opportunities.
    (Active Communications International (ACI Europe))
    08.03.2018   UPM Raflatac expands Lite range of ecodesigned labeling solutions with new PP Silver Lite film    ( Company news )

    Company news UPM Raflatac has expanded its PP Lite range of labeling solutions for the European market with the introduction of a new clear film, PP Silver Lite. The face materials, adhesives, and backing used in the PP Lite range offer brands new ways to achieve their sustainability objectives.

    PP Lite label materials offer brand owners the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition by becoming a leader in sustainable product labeling while boosting productivity across the value chain at the same time. By combining a lighter face material, a lower coat-weight adhesive, and a lighter backing, products in the PP Lite range optimize raw material use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water consumption, and waste.

    In line with the PP Lite concept, PP Silver Lite is a multi-purpose label material suitable for labeling rigid containers with smooth surfaces in beverage and home and personal care applications.

    "Our Label Life demonstrates that by replacing conventional PP label materials with our PP Lite solutions, brand owners can optimize raw material use and make sustainability gains through a lower environmental footprint," explains Jan Hasselblatt, Director, Global Business Development, UPM Raflatac. "With the addition of PP Silver Lite, the range allows brands to take their packaging designs one step further while improving productivity and demonstrating their commitment to sustainable packaging."
    (UPM Raflatac Oy)
    07.03.2018   CRAFT DRINKS INDIA: the newest member of the Beviale Family     ( Company news )

    Company news The global network of the Beviale Family is constantly growing. The latest addition to the beverage production segment is CRAFT DRINKS INDIA, which will take place for the first time on 4 and 5 July 2018 at the White Orchid Convention Center in Bangalore. The event is primarily designed for brewers, microbrewers, craft brewers and distributors, but also for newcomers seeking advice and inspiration. International manufacturers and suppliers will present their solutions at the trade fair, the focus of which will be the production of craft beer, craft spirits and wine. VLB, the Berlin-based Research and Teaching Institute for Brewing, has partnered with us to develop the conference programme. CRAFT DRINKS INDIA will be organised by NürnbergMesse India in conjunction with Indian exhibition company PDA Trade Fairs, and is tailored to the needs and interests of the fast-growing beverage market in India.

    The Indian market for alcoholic drinks is developing rapidly and is one of the fastest growing beverage markets worldwide. In particular, the number of microbreweries and craft breweries is increasing steadily by around 7.5 percent a year. Whereas according to BMI Research, which is cited by the All India Brewing Association, there were just two micro-breweries registered in 2008, by 2016 there were more than 80. “Compared with Germany or the rest of Europe the numbers are still relatively low,” explains Andrea Kalrait, Director Exhibition BrauBeviale and international product manager for the Beviale Family. “But we are really noticing the momentum in the market and our new Beviale Family member is designed to take account of this. We are really looking forward to the premiere in July.” Bangalore, the cosmopolitan metropolis in the south of India, is regarded as the heart of the country's craft beer and craft drinks scene. “This makes it the ideal venue for this new member of the Beviale Family,” Kalrait says confidently.

    PDA Trade Fairs is also looking forward to the premiere in July. “The synergies between NürnbergMesse India and PDA Trade Fairs are a strong driver making CRAFT DRINKS INDIA a complex event that covers numerous aspects of the sector and therefore promises to be highly relevant to all participants.”
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    07.03.2018   SIG and ProLeiT offer integrated solutions for smart and automated factories     ( Company news )

    Company news SIG has partnered with ProLeiT, a leading provider of automation and process control systems, to co-create innovative manufacturing solutions for food, beverage and dairy producers.

    Photo: SIG and ProLeiT confirm their partnership - from left: Stefan Mergel (SIG), Torsten Stollenwerk (SIG), Dr. Daryoush Sangi (SIG), Dr.Thomas Wunderlich (ProLeiT), Rudi Lippert (ProLeiT).

    SIG is one of the world’s leading solution providers for the food and beverage industry within the field of carton packs and filling technology, and with its new partnership with ProLeiT will be able to offer producers advanced production technology and integrated software solutions.

    ProLeiT is an expert within the field of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), enabling manufacturers to automate and control their production processes. This new partnership will allow both companies to combine their expertise for the joint development of innovative MES products for the food and beverage industry.

    SIG’s new strategic collaboration supports its commitment to build smarter, more automated plants as part of its Smart Factory segment. This solution-driven and value-added platform is helping SIG to deliver IoT-enabled systems and technical services that transform filling plants into connected factories securing the highest efficiency, flexibility and quality.

    “Digitisation is an important issue for all companies today, and the Internet of Things is constantly increasing in scope and relevance,” said Dr. Thomas Wunderlich, Vice President Sales, Dairies & Beverages, ProLeiT AG. “It’s therefore crucial for us to work with partners who develop innovative technologies and strategies together with us when implementing new application scenarios.”

    “With our partnership with SIG, we combine industry knowledge, an understanding of our customers' requirements and the solution portfolio of both providers to create a strong presence in the market. We look forward to opening a new chapter in MES development together with SIG."

    Dr. Daryoush Sangi, Head of Production Engineering & Strategic Partnerships at SIG, added: "We chose this partnership because we are convinced that with ProLeiT we have found a highly competent partner for MES solutions to offer our customers complete data processing solutions in the context of a Smart Factory.”
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    06.03.2018   KHS Innoket Roland 40: compact labeling machine for the beverage and food industries    ( Company news )

    Company news With the Innoket Roland 40 the KHS Group has launched a compact labeler to market. The KHS Innoket Neo’s little brother has a capacity of 2,500 to 25,000 containers per hour and is thus specifically tailored to the requirements of the food industry.

    -Space-saving table machine for the low capacity range
    -High-quality mechanical design based on the Innoket Neo
    -Many expansion options for individual requirements

    Photo: The Innoket Roland 40 is the little brother of the Innoket Neo, suitable for outputs of between 2,500 and 25,000 containers per hour.

    Dortmund, February 13, 2018 – With the Innoket Roland 40 the KHS Group has launched a compact labeler to market. The KHS Innoket Neo’s little brother has a capacity of 2,500 to 25,000 containers per hour and is thus specifically tailored to the requirements of the food industry. The Innoket Roland 40 can be fitted with various labeling stations and is characterized by its ease of use and the accustomed high quality offered by KHS.

    “The machine is specially geared towards lines with a low output,” explains Cornelius Adolf, labeling product manager at KHS. During development particular attention was paid to simple operation and a high degree of economy. The table machine is not only of interest to craft breweries but also to companies in the food sector, such as manufacturers of canned food, sauces or dressings./p>

    In its standard version the Innoket Roland 40 comes with two cold glue stations. This allows shoulder and neck labels to be applied at two levels by the first station, for instance, with the second station affixing back labels to the bottles. Alternatively, self-adhesive stations, a combination of cold glue and self-adhesive technology and hot melt labeling processes can be used.

    Proven components from the high-capacity range
    Inside the Innoket Roland 40 are countless quality-determining components taken from the established high-performance KHS Innoket Neo labeling machine. These include the carousel, infeed and discharge stars, folding doors, installation and format parts and guides and on the cold glue station the gripper cylinder and label magazine. The Innoket Neo servo feed screw has also been applied and integrated here, permitting gentle bottle stops.

    Plenty of upwards scope
    The KHS development also provides many different opportunities for extension to cater for individual labeling tasks. It is possible, for example, to equip the Innoket Roland 40 with the KHS VarioDrive electronic bottle plate control system. Other options include mechanical alignment by side notch in the infeed star and the fitting of traveling applicators, the latter used for cap or lid labels. U-shaped labels – as tamper-evident seals for twist-off caps, for instance – can also be labeled and rolled on. Optional sensors check for the presence of labels at certain points, for example in the label magazine or on the gluing roller, and for other factors such as broken bottles. With its many expansion options the KHS Innoket Roland 40 is thus perfectly suited to cater for all requirements in the low capacity range.

    At Anuga FoodTec the Innoket Roland 40 demonstrates its perfect suitability for the food industry through its point of display alone. The technology can be viewed live not at the KHS booth but at Florin Gesellschaft für Lebensmitteltechnologie mbH at booth E20/F29 in hall 10.1 where the system designed for an output of 2,500 to 25,000 containers per hour will be exhibited.
    (KHS GmbH)
    05.03.2018   Massive Increase In StarLeaf™ Stevia Planting: PureCircle Plans Massive Increase ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... In StarLeaf™ Stevia Planting This Year

    Company Significantly Boosting Supply Capacity Of Its Proprietary StarLeaf™ Stevia Plant That Yields High Amounts of Best-Tasting Stevia Sweeteners

    PureCircle (LSE: PURE), the world’s leading producer and innovator of great-tasting stevia sweeteners for the global beverage and food industries, announces that it will vastly increase the amount of StarLeaf™ stevia it plants in 2018. It plans to plant nearly 16,000 tons in 2018, an increase of about 200% over the prior year. As with any agricultural crop, these plans are subject to various conditions such as weather.

    PureCircle’s StarLeaf™ is a proprietary non-GMO stevia plant that yields roughly 20 times more of the newest and best-tasting stevia leaf sweeteners than conventional stevia varieties. These stevia sweeteners make it far easier for food and beverage companies to deliver great-tasting, sugar-reduced and sugar-free products across a wide range of food and beverage categories. And it allows them to do that with a plant-based sweetener.

    With the planned increases in planting, the company estimates that 80% of the stevia plants it uses this year will be StarLeaf™ — likely increasing to 90% next year. Expanding the planting and use of its proprietary StarLeaf™ stevia leaf will enable the company to meet the increasing demand of food and beverage industries for the best-tasting – and most sugar-like – zero-calorie, stevia sweeteners.

    PureCircle utilizes a wide and expanding global agricultural network for its stevia supply, sourcing it from an increasing number of countries around the world. Part of the dramatic increase in StarLeaf™ planting this year is the result of our new farming partnerships in North Carolina. Some farmers there – working with PureCircle — are starting to use land that once grew tobacco, to grow StarLeaf™ plants. Planting stevia enables them to grow and sell a highly-sought after crop, the demand for which is growing, and to productively use their farming acreage.

    The food and beverage industry has seen a steady increase in product launches featuring stevia as an ingredient, as evidenced by the 10% increase in 2017 as compared to 2016 according to Mintel. In 2017 alone, about 3,500 products launched with stevia. Since the first regulatory green light in the U.S. in 2008 for use of stevia leaf ingredients in foods and beverages, it has been utilized in more than 16,000 products globally. Consumer awareness of stevia is growing, and stevia is viewed favorably by consumers, who continue to seek out stevia as their preferred plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener.

    James Foxton, Vice President of Agriculture Operations at PureCircle, said:
    “We are excited about our StarLeaf™ stevia expansion program. It is a testament to our world-class agronomy program, and is enabling PureCircle to deliver the best-tasting stevia varieties on a global scale. Products from this leaf are revolutionizing the way our customers work with and adopt stevia. We look forward to providing food and beverage companies access to the most sugar-like content from the leaf, at a scale which has never before been possible.”

    By way of background, the story of stevia is evolving. Not long ago, it was a little known, plant-based zero-calorie sweetener – basically one ingredient — that worked well in some beverage and food applications.

    But today, due largely to PureCircle’s research, development and innovation, we offer a range of stevia-based sweetener ingredients with sugar-like taste and zero calories. These from-nature sweeteners — often used in combinations with each other — work well in a wide variety of beverages and foods, and that is advantageous for beverage and food companies. They have an increasing need for just such an ingredient, because consumers, health experts and governments have become increasingly concerned about obesity and diabetes, and have also become increasingly health and wellness conscious.

    PureCircle has developed solutions for food and beverage producers both to enhance their use of stevia for best taste and also to simplify their work with stevia. PureCircle offers tailored combinations of stevia ingredients designed to address the unique sweetening needs of various food and beverage categories. That makes the food and beverage producers’ formulation work easier. PureCircle’s production capability enables us to quickly meet global customer demands.
    (PureCircle Corporate Headquarters)
    02.03.2018   Tanqueray Rangpur gets refreshed look as it launches into new markets    ( Company news )

    Company news TANQUERAY, the bartenders’ favourite gin, has unveiled a stunning new look for TANQUERAY Rangpur alongside the news that it’s extending its distribution into new markets.

    Named after an exotic lime which originated from India, TANQUERAY Rangpur is a light, easy-drinking gin with a juicy citrus taste, making it the perfect gin for the summer.

    Since it first launched in 2006, TANQUERAY Rangpur has been winning top awards, including Double Gold at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition and is already an established favourite in most of Europe, USA and Canada. Now, due to popular demand, it will be available in Brazil, Australia, Colombia and Greece from January 2018.

    To celebrate this announcement, a new bottle design will also hit the shelves across all markets, shining a light on the zesty flavour and rich, innovative heritage of TANQUERAY Rangpur. Through citrus imagery as well as a delicate, Raj-inspired, border in classic TANQUERAY green, it tells a visual story of its signature ingredient, Rangpur, a lime which originated from India. For the first time it also introduces the signature of the brand’s founder – Charles Tanqueray.

    TANQUERAY Global Marketing Manager, Joanna Segesser said, “It’s an extremely exciting time for gin. It’s a category which is growing at a phenomenal rate with TANQUERAY at the forefront. This is the reason why we are refreshing the look and extending the reach of TANQUERAY Rangpur into new countries.

    “Like our founder, who searched the globe for the perfect ingredients, we believe that ‘It’s what you put in’ that matters and TANQUERAY Rangpur is no different. Distilled with rare Rangpur limes, the result is a distinctive zesty flavour.”

    “Our new look bottle reflects this rich heritage and its exotic flavour, while paying homage to the ultimate gin pioneer – Charles Tanqueray.”

    As TANQUERAY Rangpur continues to reach more consumers, TANQUERAY Ginstorian, Jo McKerchar explained that attention to quality and ingenuity has always been at the heart of this brand from the beginning:
    “TANQUERAY’s founder, Charles Tanqueray, was an innovator in the world of gin. In 1830 he set out to make the world’s finest gin. He poured his heart into it, creating over 300 recipes in pursuit of the definitive gin. It was that same dedication and experimentation that led to the creation of TANQUERAY Rangpur in 2006.

    “As other younger brands begin to experiment with their gin recipes, we are proud of our successful legacy of innovation and experimentation that spans nearly two centuries.”

    TANQUERAY Rangpur joins the award-winning portfolio of TANQUERAY that includes TANQUERAY London Dry and TANQUERAY No. Ten as well as limited editions such as Malacca, Old Tom and Bloomsbury.

    TANQUERAY Rangpur has an ABV of 41.3%.
    (Diageo plc)
    01.03.2018   Fewer rejects and greater energy efficiency    ( Company news )

    Company news At the launch in North America, ENGEL will be demonstrating iQ flow control live at NPE2018, from May 7th to 11th in Orlando, Florida. The integrated temperature-control solution improves the stability of injection molding processes, reduces rejects and boosts energy efficiency.

    Photo: Thanks to the e-temp temperature control units, ENGEL has become a system solutions provider in the field of temperature control of injection molding processes.

    "Most rejects in injection molding are the result of temperature control errors," says Joachim Kragl, Director of Advanced Molding Systems and Processing at ENGEL Machinery Inc. in York, Pennsylvania. "This explains why the processors' focus is increasingly shifting to mold temperature control." With flomo, ENGEL laid the groundwork for more transparency and consistency in the temperature control process as one of the pioneers in this field back at K 2010. ENGEL flomo, an electronic temperature control water manifold system, replaces the maintenance-intensive cooling water distributors and even the basic version can individually monitor and document all cooling and temperature control circuits. The next generation e-flomo is further able to actively control either the flow rates or the temperature difference (ΔT) in all individual circuits. The advantage of ΔT control is the automatic setting of the individually required flow rate for each temperature control circuit.

    On-demand pump control
    iQ flow control sees ENGEL taking the next step. The software networks the temperature control units and the injection molding machine to create a single unit and, based on the measured values determined by e-flomo, controls the pump speed in the temperature control units on demand. While e-flomo increases the process stability which consequently reduces the risk of rejects, automatic speed adjustment ensures that temperature control requires substantially less energy.

    Since the pump operates on-demand rather than at maximum output all the time, stress on moving parts is reduced and temperature control units have a longer service life, which makes it possible to extend the maintenance cycles. This allows for further substantial savings. In conventional operations, regular maintenance of the temperature control units, including the downtime associated with it, is a major cost factor.

    As an integrated solution, the entire temperature control process can be set up, monitored and centrally logged at the CC300 machine control display while the ideal operating point for the particular temperature control unit is determined and set automatically. This allows injection molding shops to fully leverage their injection molding machines' potential without the system operators needing special training.

    Self-optimizing machine
    To integrate the temperature control units with the CC300 control unit on the injection molding machine, ENGEL collaborated with temperature control unit manufacturer HB-Therm (St. Gallen, Switzerland), to develop the temperature control unit series known as e-temp. The extremely compact devices are networked with the injection molding machine via OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture). With its service-oriented, platform-independent and freely scalable structure, this communications model offers great flexibility. A high degree of data security is guaranteed by the technical safety features that are an integral part of the architecture.

    OPC UA is becoming increasingly popular in the plastics industry for networking injection molding machines, peripherals, sensors and applications and is an important component of the inject 4.0 platform by ENGEL. Thanks to inject 4.0, ENGEL is helping clients pave the way to the smart factory, with continuously self-optimizing production processes. Self-regulating systems such as iQ flow control play a key role in creatring smart machines.

    ENGEL at NPE2018: Hall West, Stand W3303
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    28.02.2018   PepsiCo/Marvel Studios: Black Panther packaging stages the worldwide movie launch    ( Company news )

    Company news When the US-American Marvel Studios launched their new blockbuster "Black Panther" world-wide on 15 February, a package played the lead role: With a particularly exciting promotion in the shape of a spectacular package for Brisk Iced Tea, sponsor PepsiCo (USA) pitched the event to the opinion leaders. Designed to perfectly match the look & feel of the cult movie, the packaging showcases the "Black Panther character" with all the senses. The company Karl Knauer, packaging specialist with headquarters in Biberach/Germany, produced the package that is worthy of an Oscar.

    "This extraordinary project tops everything we ever developed and produced before," says Martin Glatz, Head of Marketing at Karl Knauer. "Together with PepsiCo and Marvel Studios and supported by a network of strong partners, such as "buch exklusiv“ and "Highlight Media", we set off a firework of finishing techniques."

    Everybody who gets the chance to see the package will immediately understand Martin Glatz's enthusiasm: Produced in a 3D printer with high-end finishing, a can of the PepsiCo brand "Brisk" designed to look like the movie hero "Black Panther" is set up on a small "stage" with side parts that fold out, making it resemble the interior of their hi-tech stealth ships. The surprising stage effect occurring when the all-black packaging is opened was created by means of embossing in all facets, 20 seconds of light choreography, and sophisticated folding mechanisms.

    Illumination orchestration with HiLight-smart LEDs® technology
    Obviously, you need plenty of technology and know-how to implement this marvel. This is why Karl Knauer, known as the innovator of the industry, was awarded the contract: Implemented with the newly developed and patented HiLight-smart LEDs® technology, a spectacular illumination orchestration in the form of an ultra-thin layer was integrated in the three rear walls. When the Black Panther logo is pressed, the light show starts in five separately controlled zones. The light show can be re-started at any time and gives a perfect taste of the magic of the movie.

    The robust packaging which contains high-quality rigid box material, finished with 3D UV paint on uncoated paperboard, provides a touch and feel that perfectly represents the native setting of “Wakanda” in the movie. In terms of appearance and functionality, the technically fully mature package is a treat.

    As a bonus, a replica of the characters prized Kimoyo beads are included, packaged in high-finish rigid box material with a laser-cut styrofoam bed.
    Additionally, the entire set is also environmentally friendly! The batteries can be removed from their easy-to-open compartment and disposed of properly, or exchanged for continued enjoyment of the illumination. "The illuminated Black Panther package is unique in all aspects. I reckon that it will become a highly coveted object immediately, and will certainly be a sought-after collector's item," says Martin Glatz.
    (Karl Knauer KG)
    28.02.2018   Scotch Whisky industry to phase out use of plastic straws    ( Company news )

    Company news The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is to phase out the use of plastic straws and stirrers as part of the industry's continuing commitment to environmental sustainability.

    The SWA's Environmental Strategy - first launched in 2009 and the only one of its kind covering an entire Scottish sector - set a series of ambitious targets, including a commitment that by 2020 all product packaging will be 100% recyclable.

    The commitment of the SWA to phase out the use of plastic straws and stirrers and replace them with new environmentally friendly biodegrable alternatives is a logical extension of that goal. The SWA will also encourage members to follow suit, and Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi have already announced that they will takes steps to use biodegradable alternatives across their businesses.

    Commenting, SWA Chief Executive Karen Betts said:
    "The Scotch Whisky industry takes sustainability very seriously. Through our Environment Strategy, the industry is taking steps to reduce its impact on the environment, including action to reduce non-fossil fuel use, increase recycling and ensure efficient use of water.

    "Our commitment to phasing out the use of all plastic straws and stirrers from all our offices, industry and events is yet another signal of our commitment to the environment.

    "It is encouraging to see Scotch Whisky producers taking steps to phase out unnecessary plastics. We hope that this SWA commitment will lead to the industry uniting behind biodegradable alternatives so that Scotch Whisky cocktails can continue to be enjoyed without discarded plastics continuing to have a damaging impact on land as well as at sea."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    27.02.2018   Australia: AB InBev's Pirate Life to build the largest craft brewery in South Australia    ( )

    Craft brewer Pirate Life has announced it will develop a A$15 mln site at Port Adelaide, creating the largest craft brewery in the state of South Australia, the Business Chief Australia reported on February 13.

    The company was recently acquired by the world’s largest beer producing company, Belgium’s AB InBev, and it appears its mammoth spending power is being put into practice.

    Pirate Life wants to nearly quadruple its output from 3 mln to 11 mln litres annually. It currently produces a range of different beer, from stouts and IPAs to golden ale and American-style hoppy pale ales.

    Set up in 2014, Pirate Life has grown enormously in a short time, shown by the fact it produced just 600,000 litres in its first year compared to the 11 mln litres it now wants to make.

    Co-founder Red Proudfoot told ABC: “We've been looking around for a new site for quite a while, looked at a number of locations, loved the Port and identified this gorgeous old wool store.”

    He was joined in setting up the company by two fellow Western Australians, who decided that South Australia was the best base to grow the company from. Pirate Life already exports to the likes of New Zealand and the UK.
    27.02.2018   Hong Kong: Gweilo Beer ready to launch its new US$5 mln brewery    ( )

    The transformation of Hong Kong craft beer company Gweilo Beer, from humble beginnings operating in a spare bedroom to a purpose-built, 1,300-square-metre (14,000-square-foot), US$5 million brewery, is almost in the can, the South China Morning Post reported on February 14.

    Brewing trials began on February 8 and tests are almost complete on a state-of-the-art, US$1.2 million Italian canning machine, capable of producing 6,000 cans per hour. The facility in Fo Tan, in Hong Kong’s New Territories, will be Hong Kong’s largest craft-beer brewery and one of  Asia’s most advanced. Full-scale production is slated to start at the end of this month.

    Moving to its own brewery is necessary because Gweilo – which Ian Jebbitt, 33, co-founded in 2015 with his wife, Emily, 34, and their friend Joe Gould, 35, who are all British – could not meet rising demand at the shared premises it was using.

    Ian Jebbitt says: “There’s growing interest in craft beers – beer with no additives or preservatives, made in smaller batches with traceability, and created with a bit of love and passion.”

    Since October, brewing equipment from Canada, a bottling machine from Germany capable of producing 3,000 bottles an hour, a centrifuge from Sweden, a  custom-made chiller from the US and the Italian canning machine, have been shipped and installed.

    “The project has almost doubled in budget and we have had delays but come the end of February, we will be ready to showcase our new line-up – and we couldn’t be more excited,” says Ian Jebbitt, an intellectual-property lawyer who first brewed beer at the age of seven at home with his father.

    The new brewery has been built in conjuction with BCI Engineering, who American Scott Powrie, Jebbitt’s friend and fellow home brewer from Mui Wo on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island, works for. CLI Engineering is an industrial accelerator whose owners also have a passion for craft beer.

    Powrie, 39, says: “We’ve had equipment coming from all four corners of the world and this is the first project of this size and scale in Hong Kong. “We were in unchartered territory, as a lot of the contractors had never done things on this scale before.”

    The South China Morning Post had a sneak preview of the facility, where teams have worked around the clock  to build walls, install new electricity and gas supplies, and tip up 17 tanks,  including 12  that are more than six metres tall, which will hold the company’s expanded range of beers.

    “There were a few scared faces when the chain block broke as we tipped up one 14,000-litre tank and she rocked backwards and forwards before finally settling in place,” Emily Jebbitt says.

    She says the team has spared no expense to create the best possible beers and has shipped ingredients from the US, Britain, Vietnam, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and Thailand in preparation for the new beer range.

    “Gweilo will have some of the most sophisticated equipment in Asia. We’ve gone all out with the equipment we’ve bought, the ingredients we will be using and the team we’ve hired,” Emily Jebbitt says.

    “We all love Hong Kong and have made it our home; we want to help elevate the craft-beer scene in Hong Kong and really put the city on the world map,” as a great beer-producing area.

    American Matt Walsh, formerly head brewer at Modern Times Beer, Lost Coast, Speakeasy and Karl Strauss in the US, has joined the company and been busy finalising recipes. Walsh, 43, says: “The great thing about working for a smaller brewery like Gweilo is I have much more freedom to be creative. They actively encourage me to go wild.”

    A major focus in the future for Gweilo’s expanded team of 13 staff will be to lead the shift from bottles to cans. 

    American assistant brewer Justin Jackson, 36, is a former physics teacher, owner of Back to School Brewing and chairman of the Home Brew Association. 

    “Cans are the way forward. They protect the beer by completely blocking out damage caused by light … [and] keep dissolved oxygen levels – the main enemy of a brewer – extremely low, which leads to fresher beer for longer. They are also more environmentally friendly,” Jackson says.

    Ian Jebbitt says: “In hiring Justin, not only have we hired a great assistant brewer, but also someone that can help us connect with and support Hong Kong’s growing home brewing community.”

    Gould says the Gweilo brand has been refreshed, too, with the  dictionary definition of gweilo – Cantonese slang for Westerner – given a new place on its label.

    The current Gweilo IPA and Gweilo Pale recipes will stay the same, but as the brewer is introducing a limited-edition 1,000-litre experimental  range, it has changed its Gweilo Wit recipe, and stopped using mango and kaffir lime. 

    The Gweilo Brewery is capable of producing 6,000 cans per hour at its premises in Fo Tan. It plans to offer a big choice of beers, including core, quarterly seasonal, collaboration and sour-beer ranges and a barrel-ageing programme, in addition to the 1,000-litre range.

    “With the 1,000-litre range, we aim to make as many batches of limited-edition beers as the market will consume to help educate people on the different styles that exist and push the boundaries, to test  their  perception of what craft beer is and can be,” Ian Jebbitt says.

    “We want to use the 1,000-litre range as a testing ground to try and make a style of beer which becomes  synonymous  with Hong Kong.”
    27.02.2018   What's Happening to Diet Coke®? Oh, Nothing. And Everything.    ( Company news )

    Company news Diet Coke — the same crisp, iconic taste launched in 1982 O.G. Diet Coke — isn’t changing. (You don’t mess with a good thing.)

    But the Diet Coke you think you know is history. We’re re-launching with a bold new look, a fresh attitude, and four delicious new flavors, which join the iconic original.

    Because every good icon knows that evolution is everything. That’s why we’re rolling out a modern design and adding new sleek cans – still 12 ounces with that old-school Diet Coke vibe and great taste.

    Because after speaking to more than 10,000 people and spending years exploring all kinds of combinations like tropical, citrus and even botanical notes, we found magic. Introducing Diet Coke Ginger Lime, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange and Diet Coke Twisted Mango into the Diet Coke family. Trust us when we say, you haven’t tasted anything like this before.

    And finally, we’re switching things up because change is delicious and because we can.

    So whether you’re a longtime fan, or just the type who’s down to try new things, give Diet Coke a taste and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
    (The Coca-Cola Company)
    26.02.2018   Oh Hi! Meet bubly™ Sparkling Water And #CrackASmile    ( Company news )

    Company news PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) announced the launch of bubly, a new sparkling water that combines refreshing and delicious flavors with an upbeat and playful sense of humor to shake up the sparkling water category while keeping it real with no artificial flavors, no sweeteners, and no calories.

    Available across the U.S. beginning February 2018, bubly is available in eight crisp flavors that are as fun to say as they are to drink: limebubly, grapefruitbubly, strawberrybubly, lemonbubly, orangebubly, applebubly, mangobubly and cherrybubly. Each bubly flavor features bright, bold packaging, unique smiles for every flavor, and comes with its own witty greeting on the tab (like "Hey u," "hiii," and "yo") and personal messages on the can (such as "I feel like I can be open around u," "hold cans with me," and "love at first phssst"), for maximum enjoyment and smiles. To meet a variety of ready-to-drink packaging options, bubly will be available in 12oz. cans (eight and 12 packs), as well as 20oz. single-serve bottles – perfect for every consumer lifestyle and occasion.

    The introduction of bubly comes just one year after the launch of PepsiCo's premium bottled water LIFEWTR, and further validates the company's commitment to its water portfolio. This is also a direct reflection of the organization's Performance with Purpose goals, one of which is that at least two-thirds of the global beverage portfolio volume will have 100 calories or fewer from added sugars per 12oz serving by 2025.

    "When we looked at the sparkling water category, we saw an opportunity to innovate from within by building a new brand and product from the ground up to meet consumer needs. We created bubly to provide consumers with a great-tasting, flavorful, unsweetened sparkling water in a fun, playful, and relevant manner that is unlike anything we've seen in the sparkling water category today," said Todd Kaplan, Vice President, Water Portfolio – PepsiCo North America Beverages. "This is an exciting addition to our PepsiCo portfolio, which is why we're committed to make bubly one of our biggest product launches to date and are introducing the new brand to the world during the Academy Awards."

    bubly is set to make its official TV debut with two ads airing during the 90th Oscars® broadcast on March 4. The 30-second spot builds excitement for the entire bubly portfolio of products while bringing to life the fun personality of the brand.
    (PepsiCo Inc.)
    22.02.2018   BALANCING HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN 2018!    ( Company news )

    Company news There’s something in the air: consumers are seeking out healthier lifestyles. Consequently, they are adopting consumption habits that are having a huge impact on the food products market. They want to eat well while enjoying themselves, too. They like new things, but can’t bring themselves to let go of the classics.

    The ultimate goal of their pursuits is balance. When it comes to new flavor sensations, manufacturers have to be constantly overflowing with ideas in order to entice consumers.

    Here’s a sneak peak at the four main flavor categories we can expect to see in the grocery aisle this next year.

    Seaweed is in! The nutrition craze has given rise to more products with flavors taken from foods that are valued for their health benefits. This is why we saw many products with “functional flavors,” such as coffee, maple syrup, and wild berry over the past year. For this same reason, seaweed, blue corn, and coffee berries will soon be a part of this craze. Water, functional beverages, and even salty snacks will have flavors inspired by these up-and-coming superfoods.
    Fuel flavors: Coffee fruit & Pomegranate - Prickly Pear - Raspberry & Pink Pepper - Maple & Blueberry

    Even though healthy nutrition is preferred, having a real dessert every so often is allowed. The decadent dessert trend has never been stronger in the tasty treats section. The variations are endless: waffles, brownies, cakes, ice creams, and more. Ever-more adventurous combinations with multiple layers and all sorts of toppings are being offered. Chopped nuts, salted chocolate chunks, sour candies, toasted marshmallows, cookie crumble, whipped cream… the extreme flavor combinations are limitless!
    Crazy Sweet flavors: Choco-Coco Tornado - Super Crazy Breakfast - Triple Pie Cake Fantasy - Hazelnut-Choco Dream Waffle - Candy Storm

    Increasingly exposed to travel, consumers are more open to and curious about foods from distant places. They want to experiment! This year, classic lemon is taking a back seat to its more exotic cousins: new citrus. From California to Asia, the range of citrus fruits is piquing consumers’ curiosity and allowing them to travel with their taste buds. Just one sip of lemonade made with pink lemons—with their flavor that is floral, sour, and fruity all at once—will transport them to a sunny patio in San Diego. New citrus flavors promise warmth, wonder, and most of all, something worldly.
    New Citrus flavors: Yuzu - Etrog Citrus - Lime Finger - Blood Orange

    Every year, new flavors steal the spotlight with their striking originality. Bold consumers are enticed by the newest popular flavor. But sometimes, out of caution or a need for something familiar, they simply prefer looking to a classic, a sure thing that will never disappoint them. The following traditional flavors have made a strong comeback: mom’s comforting tomato sauce, the refreshing taste of sliced cucumbers as a snack, the creaminess of avocado on a sandwich… Some flavors just can’t be outdone!
    Simple Flavors: Creamy avocado – Rhubarb – Banana - Cucumber
    (Foodarom GmbH)
    22.02.2018   Estonia: Roughly one third of all beer consumed in Estonia last year was bought in Latvia    ( )

    Though producers only publish their numbers for the previous year in the second half of February, Estonia’s two biggest beer producers, Saku and A. Le Coq, confirmed to ERR's Estonian news portal last week that taking into account the amount of beer that was brought in from Latvia, domestic consumption of the drink has increased, and roughly a third of all beer consumed in Estonia last year was bought in Latvia, ERR News reported.

    A. Le Coq's CEO, Tarmo Noop, told ERR that in the second half of 2017 more than a third of their production was sold to shops at the southern border. In December, the company sold more than 40 percent of its total volume there, which Noop said is a new record.

    At the beginning of the year that share had been at 10-11 percent, Noop added.

    A. Le Coq are not the only ones seeing a boom: Saku's sales director, Jaan Härms, told ERR's Vikerraadio that the share of cross-border trade in their business is still growing at a quick pace.

    Credit card statistics confirm this as well, with the amount of money spent across the border in Latvia growing every month, also peaking in December.

    Stores on the Latvian side of the border are reacting to the increasing demand and making more space available. The two main border crossing points in Ikla and Valga now each have two sizeable stores. According to the producers, by now they cover roughly a third of Estonia's total alcohol consumption.

    Though in terms of beer sales Estonia currently is in the low season, Saku are currently sending four or five truckloads of beer a day to the shops south of the border. According to a prognosis by Härms, this could increase to 30 truckloads in summer this year, once the high season starts.

    Though Latvia is planning an excise hike for March this year, price differences are likely to remain the same, as Estonia's alcohol excise duty picked up again last month as well.

    With stores having doubled their space, people are still waiting in line. Whoever went and saw with their own eyes what the price difference really is typically ends up going back, Härms said. And demand will keep growing, he added.

    If the government hoped to apply the higher excise duties as a preventive measure, there is now little hope for this ever working. As Härms confirms, the effect on the producers has been positive, and consumption in Estonia is up. The only difference is that a large share of what Estonians drink is now bought in Latvia.

    Another feature of the current run on cheap booze is that Estonian traders hardly stocked up before the higher excise duty entered into effect, as they were afraid that they might have trouble selling drinks at substantially higher prices.

    All things considered, the government's excise policy has been a complete failure, at least in the eyes of the Estonian beer producers. Instead of consumer behaviour staying the same and excise revenue going up, there is now an €88-million hole in the state's revenue, €55 million of which are due to people's changed behaviour when buying alcohol, including the number of Finnish visitors to Estonia having gone down and excise revenue in the North dropping as well.

    Estonia's alcoholic beverages producers are demanding that the government not only suspend the next excise increase announced for 2019, but revert the current rate to what it was before the new policy entered into effect.

    According to the producers' estimates, in this way the state could count on enough excise revenue to make up for its 2017 loss within about a year. The numbers as currently included in the government's budget strategy are hopelessly unrealistic, Härms said.
    22.02.2018   The Singleton whisky launches 'Forgotten Drop Series'    ( Company news )

    Company news The Singleton Glendullan 40 Year Old is the first release from the distillery’s Forgotten Drop Series, which will include limited edition whiskies drawn from reserves uncovered by The Singleton’s Master of Malts Maureen Robinson.

    The rare spirit is the oldest liquid ever released from the Speyside distillery since its founding in 189. The special limited release of only 600 bottles is available exclusive to Travel Retail outlets in Changi and Taiwan.

    “The Singleton Forgotten Drop Series is an exciting collection to curate. We have been exploring the deepest corners of our warehouse to find hidden treasures that, due to the stocks, we could never release widely. The amount of time these liquids spent maturing in this type of cask makes it so precious. It’s whisky for whisky lovers and The Singleton Glendullan 40 Year Old is a stunning liquid to launch with.”, says Maureen Robinson, Master of Malts for The Singleton.

    The distillery, with its large, uniquely shaped stills and light distillation technique creates an incredibly fresh and delicate spirit, resulting in a sweet and spicy profile featuring hints of honey and a gingery sweetness, finishing with a spiced, lightly salted nutted oak.

    Dayalan Nayager, Managing Director of Diageo Global Travel, commented: “The Singleton Glendullan ‘Forgotten Drop Series’ will offer a collection of limited releases for our whisky connoisseurs in Travel Retail. We’re delighted to introduce this series and work with our Master of Malts Maureen Robinson to unveil such a rare and perfectly crafted single malt.
    (Diageo plc)
    22.02.2018   USA: Mexican brands continue to dominate US beer imports    ( )

    Corona and Dos Equis lovers made Mexico the supplier of more than two out of three imported beers in the U.S. last year, Bloomberg reported on February 15.

    Mexico exported a staggering 712 million gallons to its northern neighbor. That’s the most among exporting nations, according to data from the Beer Institute. The Netherlands came in second place, exporting 145 million gallons for a market share of almost 14 percent. Belgium, Canada and Germany followed with single-digit market-share figures.

    The most popular Mexican brands include Corona Extra and Modelo Especial, both manufactured for the U.S. market by Constellation Brands, and Dos Equis and Tecate, produced by Heineken NV’s Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma unit.
    21.02.2018   Glenmorangie plans expansion of historic Distillery    ( Company news )

    Company news Glenmorangie has announced plans for an expansion of its historic Distillery to position it for further growth. The new still house is expected to be completed in 2019.

    In conjunction with Glenmorangie’s 175th anniversary celebrations the Scottish distiller has announced an exciting milestone in its history with the creation of a new still house, located in the heart of the historic Distillery in Tain, in the far northeast of Scotland. The new still house will allow Glenmorangie to increase capacity to meet continually rising global demand and prepare for the Distillery’s growth.

    Marc Hoellinger, President and CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, said: “This planned expansion of the Distillery is a testament to the success of Glenmorangie, and to the exceptional expertise of our ‘Men of Tain’, that we are able to plan with confidence for the future.”

    The new facility will showcase two more of Glenmorangie’s signature copper stills, the tallest in Scotland. It is expected to be completed in 2019 and will work in tandem with the existing still house.
    (Glenmorangie plc)
    20.02.2018   Halewood Wines & Spirits see profits double    ( Company news )

    Company news Halewood Wines and Spirits has reported a 100% increase in net profits in the year ending 1 July 2017 and are planning further acquisitions.

    The financial year saw profits grow to £3.9 million (US$5.3m) from £1.7m (US$2.3m) in 2016.

    The steep sales growth can be attributed to the new management team, with successful supermarket listings for mid-priced and premium spirits around the world, as well as increased exports – with special emphasis on Asia, particularly in China and Thailand.

    “Halewood has delivered a second year of profit as the impact of the successful restructuring and change in corporate strategy delivers sustainable margin growth. We have seen particular success with our range of premium gins and Whitley Neill Gin is now the third largest premium gin by value in the grocers.”
    says Stewart Hainsworth, group chief executive.

    Recent acquisitions have included the City of London Distillery, which has “added strength” to the portfolio.

    There are also plans for further acquisitions and internal invest in distilling and brewing capabilities to “enhance the premium craft spirits portfolio”.
    (Halewood Wines and Spirits)
    20.02.2018   SCHÄFER Container Systems appoints Carsten Dirk Sauer as the new DACH sales director    ( Company news )

    Company news From March 1st, Carsten Dirk Sauer will be in charge of SCHÄFER Container Systems’ sales for the so-called DACH region: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The 55-year-old’s previous role at the SCHÄFER Werke division was Key Account Manager KEG International, where he successfully applied his expertise gained in the metal packaging industry, as well as in pharmaceutical packaging. Sauer is the successor of Uwe Herzog, who will be taking on a new role within the company.

    “We are very pleased that in Carsten Dirk Sauer we have found a competent in-house solution to continue extending our strategic direction. Without any doubt, his work for Container Systems up to now and his previous business career qualify him for his new role as sales director for the DACH region“, says Business Unit Sales Director Guido Klinkhammer, the man with overall responsibility for KEG sales at SCHÄFER Container Systems. Prior to joining SCHÄFER, Sauer’s last position was Area Sales Manager at LC Packaging, where he oversaw the sale of FIBCs (big bags) in South Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
    (SCHÄFER Werke GmbH)
    19.02.2018   Cans Are the Most Recycled Drinks Package in the World    ( Company news )

    Company news Aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled drinks package in the world, according to a new analysis by Resource Recycling Systems (RRS).

    Commissioned by the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME) and Abralatas in Brazil, the study used global recycling data to calculate and validate the global recyclability rates for aluminum, PET and glass beverage containers. The study established a global weighted average recycling rate for aluminum at 69 percent, compared to PET at 43 percent and glass at 46 percent.

    The study prioritized markets with accessible recycling data and then verified and validated the data for 82 percent of the aluminum can global market (representing 21 countries), 79 percent of the PET bottle global market (representing 23 countries), and 79 percent of the glass bottle global market (representing 22 countries). The study identified aluminum recycling rates at 98 percent in Brazil, 79 percent in Poland, 77 percent in Japan, 72 percent in Italy and 55 percent in the United States.

    Speaking on the results of the study, RRS Vice President Anne Johnson said, "Data on beverage container recycling rates for 25 countries, representing 80 percent of the global market, were reviewed and validated by the RRS Data Analytics Team. Even with factoring in the data reliability for each container type by comparing high and low error ranges, RRS determined that aluminum beverage containers remain the most recycled container globally. A key finding of the RRS data review is that much could be done to improve the reporting of recycling data in most markets, through more harmonized definitions of recycling and reporting methods."

    “Aluminum beverage cans are, by far, the leader of beverage container recycling in the United States,” said CMI President Robert Budway. “Although we have always felt confident about making a global claim, we wanted third-party certification. We hope that beverage companies and consumers around the globe will recognize the importance of continuing to recycle this valuable material.”

    Gordon Shade, CEO of Metal Packaging Europe, the association created through the merger of BCME and Empac, said, “This is a welcome confirmation of the aluminium can's premium status in recycling. It is especially good news for consumers as, through their conscientious and responsible behaviour, they ensure the preservation of the material for future use.”

    Renault Castro, CEO of Abralatas in Brazil, noted, “It comes as no surprise that this important study confirms this outstanding feature of the can, certifying that our packaging has a true competitive and environmental advantage over our competitors. In times of global warming this is a huge benefit to society.”

    Aluminum is recycled again and again. In fact, nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today, which is a testament to its characteristic as a permanent material and its legacy as a commodity that is actually recycled into new products. While this report is extremely encouraging, there remains work to further consolidate our leadership position and enhance our environmental credentials. This includes being fully recognized by consumers as the model for real recycling.
    (CMI Can Manufacturers Institute)
    16.02.2018   ENGEL to present innovative process technologies at Chinaplas 2018    ( Company news )

    Company news “Innovation is key to the future” – this is the motto of Chinaplas 2018 from 24 to 27 April in Shanghai. At its booth, ENGEL will be presenting many exciting applications and technology solutions to demonstrate how innovative injection moulding technologies can help build competitive advantage and secure future viability. When it comes to challenging plastic products, the injection moulding machine producer and systems solution provider based in Austria is among the preferred suppliers of the plastics processors in Asia.

    Photo: Thanks to its free accessible clamping unit, the tie-bar-less e-victory injection moulding machine unlocks major potential for high-efficiency LSR processing.

    Chinaplas 2018 is all about growth. “The investment climate in China is on a new high,” reports Gero Willmeroth, President Sales and Service of ENGEL Machinery Shanghai, in the run-up to Asia’s most important plastics trade show. “Chinaplas will give a further boost to this trend.” Growing competition among the local producers of plastic components is another factor contributing to this positive development. Investment is being made in modernising machinery and new technologies that help to raise production efficiency and product quality.

    Economical injection moulding of thick-walled lenses
    The exhibition space dedicated to Automotive at the ENGEL booth reflects the trend towards the use of innovative process technologies. This is the first time that ENGEL is presenting a complex multi-component process with interlinked injection moulding machines at Chinaplas. Two duo injection moulding machines will produce LED lenses made of PMMA with a thickness of 22 mm for vehicle headlamps.

    Plastic is increasingly being used to produce high-quality optical components. The polymer materials are lighter than glass and offer product designers more freedom. The challenge, however, is to combine high optical quality with highly efficient production. The optimelt multilayer technology developed and patented by ENGEL with external cooling meets precisely that challenge.

    Initially, a preform is produced and further layers of the same material added to it in subsequent stages. Overmoulding compensates for any sink marks in the surface of the previous layer and achieves high optical quality. Optical tests have shown that the boundary between the layers has no influence on the performance and function of the lighting optics.

    Because the cooling time in injection moulding increases with the square of the wall thickness, the multilayer technology significantly improves efficiency especially in the production of thick-walled components. Several thin layers cool in total faster than one thick layer. If, in addition, the base body of the lens is removed from the mould to cool, the cycle time is shortened further. Cooling in the air takes longer than in the mould, but it does not affect the cycle time.

    During Chinaplas, the lens base bodies will be produced on a duo 1060/400 injection moulding machine in a 4-cavity mould. An easix articulated robot is integrated in the production cell and removes the four parts and passes them to an external cooling station. From there the robot takes four already sufficiently cooled preforms at a time and transfers them to the 4+4-cavity mould of the duo 600H/600H/500 combi multi-component machine with rotary table. There, two more PMMA layers are applied successively before easix removes the finished lenses. The cycle time is significantly lower than 3 minutes, although the preforms take around 30 minutes to cool. The cooling time can be controlled via the number of cooling positions in the external cooling station.

    The combination of a standard injection moulding machine and a two-component machine is synonymous with very high production flexibility. Both machines can also be utilised independently of the other with different moulds.

    ENGEL is presenting the exhibit jointly with system partners including Skymould (Ningbo/China), HRSflow (San Polo di Piave/Italy), Innolite (Aachen/Germany), Opsira (Weingarten, Germany) and Gimatic (Shanghai, China). In order to integrate other peripheral units and moulds alongside its own robots and process technologies, ENGEL has established a worldwide network of system partners. “We have very strong partners locally in China who, like us, are very familiar with the demands of local processors and translate them into optimal solutions,” explains Willmeroth. “By working with local suppliers, we can also guarantee high cost efficiency for challenging applications and keep the delivery time short for the complete plant.”

    Innovative lightweight concepts from a single source
    Material substitution to reduce component weight is an important trend in the automotive industry, also in China, where electric vehicles are very much on the increase. There are four main areas the processors in Asia are looking at here: LED lenses made of PMMA, glazing systems made of polycarbonate, foam injection moulding, and composite technologies.

    ENGEL is dedicating an Expert Corner of its booth to composite technologies. At its Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies in Austria, the machine manufacturer works with partner companies and universities to develop especially economical processes that will help composite technologies become established in automotive series production faster. From HP-RTM and SMC, through processing of thermoplastic semi-finished products such as organic sheets and tapes, to reactive thermoplastic technologies such as in-situ polymerisation (T-RTM), ENGEL’s developers are exploring all the current cutting-edge technologies and have already achieved several internationally significant milestones. A central success factor in that process has been ENGEL’s expertise in automation and systems solutions. At the same time, ENGEL also offers in its v-duo a machine series that is specifically developed for the demands of the composites industry.

    Processing liquid silicone rubber, no reworking required
    Electric mobility relies not only on new processing technologies but also new design solutions. For example, electric vehicles require a greater variety of grommets to lead wires safely from the engine compartment into the vehicle interior than those with a combustion engine. During Chinaplas, ENGEL is producing wire grommets made of liquid silicone rubber (LSR) for individual wires with a corresponding fine structure. A tie-bar-less e-victory 50/80 injection moulding machine with electric injection unit is used to process the extremely low-viscosity LSR with high precision and high efficiency. On the ENGEL tie-bar-less injection moulding machines, the patented force-divider ensures that the moving mould mounting platen follows the mould exactly while the clamping force is building up distributing the clamping force evenly across the platen face. This keeps all the cavities closed with exactly the same force, which ensures consistent compression of the mould and consistently high product quality. “Burr-free manufacturing with no reworking required is the only way high-tech components can be produced economically from LSR in injection moulding,” Willmeroth stresses. LSR is used increasingly in China. Besides seals for diverse applications, a growing number of microcomponents, for example for mobile phones or medical technology, are also made from LSR on tie-bar-less ENGEL machines.

    ENGEL is presenting LSR processing with its partner Elmet Elastomere Produktions- und Dienstleistungs GmbH (Oftering, Austria). In this application, the 4-cavity mould and the LSR dosing system, which can be integrated in the CC300 control of the e-victory machine, come from Elmet.

    A cleanroom solution with a tiny footprint
    Another premiere is in Medical, where ENGEL is presenting a highly integrated production cell for manufacturing pipette tips under cleanroom conditions. This exhibit too, is the result of cooperation between Europe and China. ENGEL, Waldorf Technik (Engen, Germany) and Wellmei Mold (Dongguan, China) have combined their know-how and experience with medical precision parts and tailored the system solution exactly to the specific requirements of the Chinese processors.

    Because the pipette tips are used in fully automated analytical systems in medical diagnosis, reproducible product quality is the highest priority. As mass-produced parts, however, they are also under especially high cost pressure. To achieve a stable process and high economic efficiency, the system partners integrate a tie-bar-less e-victory injection moulding machine from ENGEL with a 32-cavity hot runner precision mould from Wellmei and high-speed automation from Waldorf Technik in an extremely compact space. The free accessibility of the mould area makes it possible to move the automation particularly close to the clamping unit of the e-victory injection moulding machine.

    The electric injection unit on the hybrid machine ensures very high precision when injecting the plastic melt. To additionally compensate for fluctuations in the ambient conditions and raw material, iQ weight control is also used. The assistance system from the ENGEL inject 4.0 programme analyses the pressure in real time during the injection process and compares the measured data with a reference cycle. For every shot, the injection profile, the switchover point and the holding pressure are automatically adjusted to the current conditions and the injected melt volume kept constant throughout production. This is a proactive way of preventing rejects.

    The automation is another key to constantly high product quality in this application. The automation solution developed by Waldorf Technik removes 32 pipette tips from the mould in sync with the injection moulding process and loads groups of 96 pipette tips, sorted by cavity, into racks. Every 18 seconds, 96 pipette tips are discharged from the production cell, which is enclosed to create a cleanroom environment.

    In practice, subsequent steps such as quality control or packaging are increasingly taking place immediately after the injection moulding stage. In place of the many different downstream processes, during Chinaplas a Sawyer collaborative robot from Rethink Robotics (Boston, USA) retrieves the loaded racks at the end of the production process. A special feature of collaborative robots is that they require no protective enclosure and can operate safely hand in hand with employees.

    inject 4.0: consistent quality without specialist knowledge
    With intelligent assistance systems such as iQ weight control, ENGEL makes it especially easy for its customers to ensure consistently high product quality, even without specialist knowledge. The iQ systems continually analyse critical process parameters and readjust them automatically, shot for shot. The result is a self-optimising injection moulding machine.

    The growing intelligence of the machine control is a key feature of the smart factory, the goal of Industry 4.0. Networking of production systems and systematic use of machine, process and production data additionally help to raise the productivity, quality and flexibility of manufacturing. Under the name of inject 4.0, ENGEL already offers a series of mature products and solutions for digitalising and networking injection moulding production that have proven themselves in practice many times. These generate considerable benefits both in isolation and as part of a digitalisation strategy encompassing the entire production operation. “Step by step towards the smart factory, that is our customers’ strategy,” Willmeroth says.

    ENGEL is demonstrating the great potential of the inject 4.0 solutions in the production of inject 4.0 logos on a tie-bar-less and fully electric e-motion 80 TL injection moulding machine. The CC300 machine control is capable of simulating process fluctuations so that the automatic readjustments by the intelligent assistance systems can be tracked on the display. While iQ weight control maintains consistent injected melt volume throughout the injection moulding process, iQ clamp control monitors the mould breathing in order to calculate and automatically adjust the optimal clamping force. “With the self-optimising injection moulding machine, we are making it especially easy for processors to exploit the full efficiency and quality potential of the machines and technologies,” says Gero Willmeroth. “The first machines with iQ are already in operation in China.”

    ENGEL at Chinaplas 2018: Hall 5.1, Booth E71
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    15.02.2018   10 year renewal of Scotch Whisky trademark in China announced during Prime Minister trade visit    ( Company news )

    Company news The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has renewed its collective trademarks 'SCOTCH WHISKY' and its translation '苏格兰威士忌' in China until November 2028.

    As a result, Scotch Whisky is officially protected from locally produced copies for a further 10 years.

    The announcement was made as SWA Chief Executive, Karen Betts, joined the Prime Minister on a three-day trade visit to China. Scotch Whisky exports earn the UK £127 every second, totalling more than £4bn annually.

    Twenty-five bottles of Scotch Whisky are exported to China every minute, so protecting the Intellectual Property rights of the spirit is important to both the industry and the UK's balance of trade.

    The SWA has worked closely with the British Embassy and Chinese authorities to crack down on locally produced spirits falsely described as "Scotch". Since securing trademark protection in 2008, the SWA has investigated and dealt with around 200 brands of fake "Scotch", in addition to over 100 trademarks featuring Scottish words and images which companies have applied for in bad faith for use on their Chinese made products.

    Commenting, SWA Chief Executive Karen Betts said:
    "The renewal of the 'SCOTCH WHISKY' trademark is an important step in securing future growth for the world's leading high-quality spirit drink in China, the world's largest spirits market. "While challenges remain, Scotch Whisky producers can be confident that the Chinese government officially recognises Scotch Whisky as a Scottish product, produced according to traditional methods, that should be given special recognition in the Chinese market.

    "The industry has enjoyed great support from the Chinese authorities, who take food fraud and IP protection seriously, in tackling fake "Scotch". We're grateful too to the British Embassy, which has provided invaluable support

    "As we approach the Chinese New Year, I'm delighted to join the Prime Minister on this trade visit to showcase the heritage, craft and quality of Scotch Whisky - which is the UK's largest food and drink export.

    "China is a key market for Scotch Whisky, both now and in the future, and legal protection is the firm foundation on which our future trade is built."

    International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:
    "I am pleased to be in China with the Prime Minister and a diverse contingent of innovative British businesses to promote our exports and attract Chinese investment into the UK.

    "China is a key market for British goods and services with exports increasing by 25% over the last year to more than £59 billion and it is my ambition to ensure that the trade relationship between our two countries continues to grow."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    14.02.2018   Australia: Scottish craft brewer BrewDog announces location for Australian brewery    ( )

    After a six-month search, flamboyant Scotland-based brewery BrewDog has announced Brisbane will be the home for its new Australian brewery, Australian Brews News reported on February 6.

    Brisbane beat Newcastle to become the site of the Australian brewery, with support from the Queensland State Government and Brisbane Marketing.

    BrewDog’s local head Zarah Prior told Brews News the perceived enthusiasm from the city’s beer community had proven a decisive factor.

    “We’ve been so humbled by the support from local businesses as well as the local community who have shown a real passion for BrewDog to call Brissie home,” she said.

    “It’s a city that’s on the brink of some incredible growth, and we can’t wait to be a part of that. There are tonnes of amazing local breweries we’re looking forward to working alongside and collaborating with.

    “From local brewing pioneers Green Beacon and Newstead, through to up and coming breweries like our mates at Range Brewing.

    “We are hugely appreciative of the support we received from Brisbane Marketing, Austrade, and the Queensland Government, all of whom played a role in sealing the deal for Brisbane.”

    BrewDog said the riverfront brewery fits into Brisbane’s plans to become a new world city. The company is partnering with local developers NPD Property Group to build its state-of-the-art brewing facility in Brisbane’s Metroplex complex in Murarrie, 8km east of the CBD.

    BrewDog says the total investment in Australia may reach A$30 million, including the construction of the 50hL brewing and canning facility. The 3,000 sqm site will also feature a restaurant, taproom and visitor centre.

    The initial A$10 million brewery development will be built and owned by the developers and leased to the Scottish brewery.

    The brewer said it has then earmarked a further A$20 million for its laboratory, taproom and growing bar division, which will be spent “over time”, dependent on growth.

    The additional A$20 million investment to some extent appears to be dependent on the company’s current crowdfunding campaign, Equity for Punks, which has listed the sum of £5 million as being set aside for the Australian brewery. The sum is set aside as part the ‘stretch goal’ for the campaign, if it raises £50 million.

    The campaign was recently extended, having achieved its initial £10 million target, but at £12.26 million is currently short of that goal. BrewDog says that its local operation is not dependent on the Equity for Punks funds but will enable it to “invest more quickly” in its Australian operation.

    The project is projected to create 150 jobs over five years. A head of production position will be amongst the first to be created and advertised soon.
    14.02.2018   Diageo 2018 Interim Results, half year ended 31 December 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news Strong performance reflects consistent and rigorous execution of our strategy

    -Reported net sales (£6.5 billion) and operating profit (£2.2 billion) were up 1.7% and 6.1%, respectively, as organic growth was partially offset by adverse exchange
    -All regions contributed to broad based organic net sales growth, up 4.2%, and organic volume grew 1.8%
    -Organic operating profit grew 6.7%, ahead of top line growth, as higher marketing investment was more than offset by efficiencies from our productivity programme
    -Cash flow continued to be strong and in line with last year, with net cash from operating activities at £1.2 billion and free cash flow at £1 billion
    -Basic eps of 82.2 pence was up 36.3%. Pre-exceptional eps was 67.8 pence, up 9.4%, driven by higher organic operating profit and lower finance charges
    -The interim dividend increased 5% to 24.9 pence per share

    Ivan Menezes (photo), Chief Executive, commenting on the results said:
    “These results demonstrate continued positive momentum from the consistent and rigorous execution of our strategy. We have delivered broad based improvement in both organic volume and net sales growth. We have increased investment behind our brands and expanded organic operating margin through our sustained focus on driving efficiency and effectiveness across the business.

    By consistently delivering on our six strategic priorities, Diageo continues to get stronger: we have better consumer insight through superior analytics, improved execution on brand and commercial plans and have embedded everyday efficiency across the business through our productivity initiatives. This has enabled continued growth, improved agility, and consistent cash flow generation.

    Our financial performance expectations for this year remain unchanged. We are confident in our ability to deliver consistent mid-single digit top line growth and 175bps of organic operating margin improvement in the three years ending 30 June 2019.”
    (Diageo plc)
    14.02.2018   North Korea: North Korea reportedly creates wheat beer with 'exclusive' brewing technique    ( )

    North Korea has reportedly created its own domestic beer with a brewing technique touted as exclusive, the BBC reported on February 6.

    The British news site quoted the reclusive country's state newspaper Rodong Sinmun, which said that the beer was brewed by local brewery Taedonggang with wheat instead of barley.

    This technique is said to be "better than existing beers in terms of taste and smell" and has already "gained positive reviews" from locals.

    The Taedonggang Beer Factory is a state-owned factory, reportedly one it bought from Britain in 2000 and shifted to Pyongyang.

    In 2009, news of an advertisement for Taedonggang beer on state TV made headlines.

    The ad for the beer, which was made of rice and contained protein and vitamin B2, was a surprise as there were said to be no TV advertisements in the country.

    A South Korean Unification Ministry official who had been monitoring the North's television for more than two decades said then that it was the first time he had seen any advertisement for food, much less beer - although he had seen shows on North Korean cuisine.

    North Korea had held a beer festival - the Taedonggang Beer Festival - in August 2016, where rice beer, dark beer and other varieties of the brew from the Taedonggang Beer Factory were presented.

    However, last year's edition of the festival was abruptly cancelled. Reports quoted tour companies that said they received news of the cancellation, but no official reason was given for the change in plans.

    Beijing-based Koryo Tours said a looming drought could have been the reason for it, CNN reported in July last year.

    Media outlets in North Korea are already counting the launch of the beer as a win for leader Kim Jong Un, who apparently has plans to raise the standards of living in the country, American publication Food & Wine magazine said in an article on Tuesday.

    State media said the beer launch is part of a larger "battle" to make life "more enjoyable for the people".

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