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    03.03.2017   Scotch Whisky Association and Scottish Craft Distillers Association launch partnership    ( Company news )

    Company news Recognition of record number of new distilleries

    The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association (SCDA) have made a commitment to work in partnership to support the continued success of the entire Scotch Whisky industry and its supply chain.

    The agreement recognises the record expansion of the Scotch Whisky industry with 14 distilleries starting production since 2013 and a further 8 set to open this year. There are currently up to 40 new distilleries at various stages of planning and development across Scotland.

    Industry trade body, the SWA, and the SCDA, an association representing only newer, smaller producers, today (9 February) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) witnessed by Fergus Ewing MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity.

    Scotch Whisky is vital to the Scottish and UK economies, adding £5 billion in value each year, supporting more than 40,000 jobs and exporting £4 billion of Scotch annually to almost 200 markets.

    The SWA and SCDA will support each other, while remaining distinct organisations with their own memberships, to build on Scotch Whisky's long-term, global reputation for provenance and high quality products. The agreement, signed at the new Glasgow Distillery in Hillington, recognises that Scotch Whisky is:

    "a significant Scottish and British cultural asset based on authentic and unvarying local methods of production, with distilleries and brands supporting the communities with which they work; creating jobs and boosting growth".

    The MoU makes it easier for well-established Scotch Whisky companies to share their experience of building brands and opening up overseas markets with newer entrants to the industry. Newer companies can, in turn, offer fresh approaches and ideas to drive continued vitality across the industry.

    The main commitments of the MoU are to:

    work together to grow understanding of the rules surrounding Scotch Whisky, its production, handling and marketing within the industry and through the supply chain, recognising shared interest in the public good of the Scotch Whisky industry;
    encourage shared approaches to stakeholder engagement, including around raising awareness of best practice on responsible marketing and promotion of Scotch Whisky;
    work together to ensure the Scotch Whisky workforce is appropriately skilled;
    improve industry information;
    collaborate amongst existing memberships.

    Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, said:

    "I welcome this initiative between the Scotch Whisky Association and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association. This is exactly the sort of collaboration we want to see in our food and drink sector. Closer co-operation has the potential to benefit both organisations and help ensure the continued success of the Scotch Whisky industry and its supply chain.

    "Craft Distilling has blossomed over the past few years and is becoming an increasingly valuable part of our economy, particularly for those who live in our rural and island communities.

    "Today marks the start of a partnership that will support the industry into the future, building on Scotch Whisky's long-term, global reputation for provenance and high quality products."

    Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, said:

    "We are seeing unprecedented investment in the Scotch Whisky industry by companies of all sizes. This is a clear sign of optimism in the future, and recognition of the global demand for a high-quality product.

    "The SWA has over a century's wealth of experience and expertise - for example in market access, legal protection, and promoting social responsibility - that we are looking to share more widely with new entrants to the industry. Our collaboration with the SCDA reflects the strong partnership that has developed between new and established distillers."

    Alan Wolstenholme, Scottish Craft Distillers Association chairman, said:
    "Both long-established Scotch Whisky producers and the new wave of smaller distilleries recognise the enormous value and importance of the high regard our national product is held in around the world.
    "This agreement demonstrates both organisations' determination to work co-operatively together to protect and enhance Scotch Whisky's reputation now and in the future.
    "The SCDA warmly welcomes the genuine support and encouragement it has received not only from everyone across the industry, and in particular from the SWA, but also from the Scottish Government and its agencies especially Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    02.03.2017   ENGEL at Koplas 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news „Experience the smart factory“ – this is the theme of the Koplas 2017, which will take place from March 7 through March 11 in Goyang, South Korea. At the ENGEL AUSTRIA exhibition booth, visitors of the plastics trade fair can experience this theme in real time. The injection moulding machine builder and system expert, headquartered in Austria, will provide demonstrative examples of the opportunities created by digitalisation and networking, and how inject 4.0 can help to take advantage of these in a simple fashion.

    Photo: Thanks to its lightweight construction swivel arm, the e-pic pick-and-place robot achieves high dynamics and requires very little space.

    inject 4.0 – this is ENGEL's answer to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. The goal is a smart factory in which production processes continuously self-optimise through the networking of production systems, the systematic use of machine, process and production data, and the deployment of decentralised, intelligent assistance systems. Producers can thus increase the productivity and quality of their production and respond flexibly to ever faster changing requirements.

    In all three areas of the smart factory – smart machine, smart service and smart production – ENGEL today already offers mature products and solutions that provide an immense benefit individually as well as in the context of an overall digital strategy.

    Compensate for process fluctuations before they result in defects
    In the factory of the future, the human/machine interface plays an even bigger part than today. With processes becoming more and more complex due to increasing integration and automation, steering and controlling them must become that much more simple and intuitive. Self-adapting, decentralised assistance systems increase process capacity and quality, without requiring the machine operator to acquire special expertise. During the five days of the exhibition, in order to clearly demonstrate the functionality of these smart-machine solutions, at its booth ENGEL will be producing inject 4.0 logos on an all-electric, tie-bar-less ENGEL emotion 80 TL injection moulding machine. The CC300 control is capable of simulating process fluctuations; the automatic readjustments by the intelligent assistance systems can then be tracked on the display of the machine. While iQ weight control maintains consistent injected melt volume throughout the entire injection moulding process, iQ clamp control monitors the mould breathing and continuously readjusts the clamping force. This way, fluctuations in the environmental conditions and in the raw material are automatically detected and compensated for within the same shot, before resulting in rejects.

    iQ flow control, the third assistance system that is being presented at the Koplas, is based on e-flomo, the temperature control water manifold by ENGEL that monitors and documents all cooling and temperature control cycles of injection machines and independently regulates either the flow volume or the temperature difference. iQ flow control now connects e-flomo with the temperature control unit, thus the pump speed automatically adjusts to the actual need. This results in higher energy efficiency. ENGEL developed the integrated temperature control unit in cooperation with the Swiss temperature control unit manufacturer HB-Therm, and continues to strengthen its systems competency with the new e-temp line of temperature control units.

    With its ENGEL e-motion 80 TL injection moulding machine and the integrated ENGEL e-pic robot, the production cell being presented at the Koplas also achieves high standards of efficiency and precision in terms of design. The e-motion TL series combines the benefits of ENGEL’s tie-bar-less technology, such as quick setup processes, efficient automation solutions and compact production cells, with all-electric drive technology. Thanks to these characteristics, the e-motion 80 TL is being preferentially deployed in the production of precision components and high-quality optical components in the electronics industry.

    The innovative kinematics of the e-pic pick-and-place robot combines linear movements with a swivel arm, thus requiring very little space. The swivel arm is made of a thermoplastic composite material tailored to the specific requirements of lightweight construction, which additionally increases the energy efficiency and dynamics.

    Machine and robot with a uniform control logic
    ENGEL's second machine exhibit also emphasises the efficiency potential of tie-bar-less technology. On an ENGEL e-victory injection moulding machine, gear components made of TPE will be produced live at the exhibition. These sophisticated products require a high degree of precision, which the tie-bar-less hybrid machine ensures with its electric injection unit and outstanding platen parallelism. During the Koplas, the e-victory will also be working with integrated parts handling. An ENGEL viper linear robot will extract finished parts from the mould and place them on the conveyor belt. Since the RC300 robot control is designed as a subsystem of the CC300 control, the robot and the machine can be programmed and controlled through a uniform control logic. Furthermore, both systems access a common database, which reduces cycle time in many applications since the robot and the machine can precisely coordinate their motion sequences.

    Keeping an eye on production
    Besides the machine exhibits, visitors can dive even deeper into the subjects of automation and inject 4.0 at several Expert Corners in the ENGEL exhibition booth area. The areas of smart production and smart service have their own dedicated Expert Corners.

    The smart production Expert Corner is focused on e-factory, ENGEL's MES (Manufacturing Execution System). Tailored to the specific requirements of the injection moulding industry, it achieves an especially great depth of vertical data integration, down to the level of individual cavities. e-factory creates transparency, for example to optimise the utilisation of a machine pool's total capacity, or to correlate key productivity indicators with economic objectives. It becomes especially interesting when e-factory not only connects the production cells of a single site, but creates an entire worldwide production network. This allows company headquarters to also optimise processes at other sites, and to provide support even to far-away colleagues. The MES has a modular design. The solution can thus be adapted precisely to the individual requirements of the producer, and can be flexibly expanded as needed.

    Avoid unplanned system downtime
    In order to increase the availability of machines and production cells, smart service relies on short paths, remote maintenance, and a view towards the future. The new ENGEL solution e‑connect.monitor thus makes it possible to analyse the condition of process critical machine components during operation, and to generate a reliable failure prognosis. This condition-based, predictive maintenance allows for the maximum use of critical machine components while still avoiding unplanned system downtime.

    ENGEL at Koplas 2017: hall 5, booth P640
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    01.03.2017   Advanced grain cleaning solutions significantly reduce mycotoxin levels     ( Company news )

    Company news Mycotoxins, produced by fungal mold, are a growing health threat to people and animals. With a quarter of the world’s agricultural produce currently contaminated, according to the FAO. Mycotoxins ranks a third most important threat after bacteria and pesticides, which is whymaximum tolerance levels permitted in food and feedstuff are becoming crucial for food and feed producers. Meeting these requirements is possible with the right processes in place. Academic studies within the European project MycoKey and practical experience confirm that a very effective means to significantly reduce mycotoxin levels is via cleaning and optical sorting processes. Bühler solutions improve food and feed safety and product quality, helping customers adhere to regulatory requirements while achieving higher margins.

    The need to protect the health of humans and animals by limiting exposure to mycotoxins from grains is increasingly imperative, particularly in light of a recent United Nations (UN) report which confirmed the impact of climate change on food safety and security. It’s evident that extreme environmental conditions such as drought and rising temperatures have triggered an upsurge in toxic crops. This dangerous progression was identified as an “emerging environmental issue of our time” by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in a 2016 report (Toxic Crops and Zoonotic Disease). Previously more prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions, mycotoxin contamination is now on the rise in temperate regions – meaning it will increasingly become a food safety issue for Europe even if global temperatures can be limited to an increase of only 2-degrees Celsius, which UNEP deems unlikely. Climate change is increasing the prevalence of aflatoxin, one of the most poisonous mycotoxins.

    Mycotoxin scares have already been making headlines in Central Europe, such as a scare caused by aflatoxins in 2012-2013. At that time, headlines were dominated with the news that unsafe levels of the toxin were found in milk intended for human consumption as a result of dairy cows feeding on contaminated maize. For example, aflatoxins have been found in Italy, Hungary, and Romania. Mycotoxin levels in grain are a frequent reason to reject raw material for food and feed processing. Scarcity of raw materials, on the other hand, requires the industry to look for new solutions along the value chain.

    Knowing that just a few highly mycotoxin-contaminated kernels could make an entire grain lot unsafe for further use, it’s essential to implement post-harvest measures which reduce mycotoxin levels to ensure safe products, while ensuring economical yields and reducing losses. “Ultimately, it’s the prevention and reliable removal of mycotoxins as early as possible in the value chain that ensures the safety of foodstuffs produced for all consumer groups,” explains Matthias Graeber, expert in mycotoxin reduction and data analytics within Bühler’s Corporate Technology Group.

    Finding solutions to mitigate such food and feed safety issues is of critical importance to Bühler. The company invests roughly 5% of its turnover in research and development every year – creating breakthrough technologies and market-specific solutions to help its customers achieve long-term commercial success despite growing regulatory requirements and regardless of incoming product quality. Bühler has been partnering with science and applied research for many years in order to learn more about the value of integrating cleaning measures along the value chain. One such collaboration is with the experts from the European Horizon2020 project, MycoKey, which was initiated in mid-2016 to develop solutions for reducing major mycotoxins in economically important food and feed chains. The 6.4-million-euro project has partners from 32 organizations from a total of 14 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Together with Bühler and some of our customers, MycoKey, has run multiple, large-scale field tests to collect valuable data on the performance of grain cleaning solutions.

    A recent research activity specifically looked at the case of ergot alkaloids: To support its industrial milling customers in managing the growing risks associated with mycotoxins, Bühler initiated a study performed at two German rye mills to establish how the level of EA’s can be influenced by grain cleaning and milling processes. The study was carried out by Bühler with two industrial partners, a large milling group and an independent food safety laboratory. Applying the official sampling guidelines of the European Union, 10 rye lots at 12 tons each were tested at two mills. “Effective reductions of EA concentrations were found for the processing steps: separation by size (Combi cleaner, rotary screen), optical sorting (SORTEX), and surface treatments (scourer with aspirator). By far the highest statistical significance of EA reduction could be obtained by optical sorting,” Graeber explains. “This confirms the central importance of optical sorting in the rye supply chain, both at grain reception facilities and in mills.”

    The case for reducing levels of mycotoxins of any kind is clear considering the implications on consumer and animal health as well as to the commercial success of milling companies. Bühler technologies help achieve commercially viable yields – regardless of incoming product quality. For example, in a specific case the company has helped an Italian corn producer to recover 70–80 percent of contaminated maize and boost it from biomass to feed grade quality. Besides the obvious commercial sense of utilizing Bühler processes, they also make an important contribution to reducing post-harvest losses on a global level.
    (Bühler AG)
    01.03.2017   Brigl & Bergmeister: Changes in Management    ( Company news )

    Company news By February 28th Michael Sablatnig will retire from his position as Managing Director of Brigl & Bergmeister. He will however remain in the Roxcel Group in an advisory role and for specific projects. We thank Mr. Sablatnig for his excellent work in the last years with the B&B Group.

    Until further notice Mr. Bernhard Mayer will act as the sole Managing Director of Brigl & Bergmeister and will also take over the agenda of Mr. Sablatnig. Mr. Mayer joined the company in 1985 and was appointed as Managing Director in the technical field, for both Brigl & Bergmeister and Papirnica Vevče in July 2015.

    Mr. Norbert Peintinger will be appointed as general manager and head of sales and marketing for Brigl & Bergmeister and Papirnica Vevče. Mr. Peintinger has joined the company in 1993 and gained great experience in several roles.
    (Brigl & Bergmeister GmbH)
    01.03.2017   Logoplaste Innovation Lab wins the prestigious iF Design Award for its Vimágua water bottle    ( Company news )

    Company news The iF Design Awards are the world standard of quality for exceptional design.

    This year there were 5,575 entries, from 59 countries. To evaluate all these entries, a team of 58 international jurors took 3 full days.

    Logoplaste Innovation Lab’s Design Team is thrilled to have another award for their bottle design.

    The award ceremony will take place in the BMW Welt in Munich, on 10 March 2017.

    As a reminder, this is the 3rd award the Logoplaste Innovation Lab team has received in less than 2 years. The Ecover Ocean Bottle and the EPAL Fill Forever bottle were winners in 2015.
    (Logoplaste Innovationlab)
    28.02.2017   Crown Holdings, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter 2016 Results     ( Company news )

    Company news Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2016.

    -Earnings per share $0.47 for the quarter; $3.56 full year versus $2.82 in 2015
    -Adjusted earnings per share $0.71 for the quarter; $3.93 full year versus $3.59 in 2015
    -Cash from operations $930 million; adjusted free cash flow $479 million
    -Share repurchase authorization for $1 billion in aggregate through the end of 2019

    Fourth Quarter
    Net sales in the fourth quarter were $1,923 million compared to $2,027 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, reflecting $77 million of unfavorable currency translation in 2016 compared to 2015 and the pass through of lower raw material costs.

    Income from operations was $192 million in the quarter compared to $201 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Segment income improved to $236 million in the quarter compared to $234 million in 2015. The improvement in segment income compared to the prior year's quarter included benefits from lower corporate costs, offset by $9 million of unfavorable currency translation and lower volumes in Saudi Arabia. Corporate and unallocated costs of $156 million for the full year of 2016 are consistent with the Company's expectations for 2017.

    Commenting on the quarter, Timothy J. Donahue, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are pleased to report another solid quarter and strong year for Crown. Fourth quarter operating results were in line with our expectations, and we exceeded our free cash flow projections due to another quarter of excellent working capital performance. Global beverage can volumes increased three percent for the full year, and in the quarter were level to the prior year as strong performances in the U.S., Brazil and Asia offset softness in Saudi Arabia.

    "Our new beverage can plant in Monterrey, Mexico and the second production line at the Osmaniye, Turkey facility began commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2016. The first beverage can line at the Nichols, New York can plant was commissioned and began commercial shipments in late January of this year and will be followed by completion of the second line in April. In the second quarter, we will also complete the conversion of our Custines, France beverage can facility from steel to aluminum with the start-up of the second high speed line and expand capacity at our beverage can plant in Colombia. In addition to these previously announced projects, we are also constructing a new beverage can facility in Jakarta, Indonesia, our first in that country, that is scheduled to begin commercial production in the third quarter of this year to serve the growing local market, adding a second line at our beverage can plant in Danang, Vietnam that is also expected to begin production in the third quarter, and constructing a new beverage can plant in Yangon, Myanmar and a new glass bottle facility in Chihuahua, Mexico, both scheduled for start-up in the first half of 2018."

    Interest expense decreased to $62 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $68 million in 2015 primarily due to lower outstanding debt.

    Net income attributable to Crown Holdings in the fourth quarter was $65 million compared to $66 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Reported diluted earnings per share were $0.47 in the fourth quarters of both years. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $0.71 compared to $0.70 in 2015.

    A reconciliation from net income and diluted earnings per share to adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share is provided below.

    Full Year Results
    Net sales for the full year were $8,284 million compared to $8,762 million in 2015, and included $277 million of unfavorable currency translation in 2016 compared to 2015 and the pass through of lower raw material costs.

    Income from operations improved to $1,021 million compared to $927 million in 2015. Segment income improved to $1,078 million compared to $1,026 million in 2015, and included $39 million of unfavorable currency translation.

    Interest expense decreased to $243 million in 2016 compared to $270 million in 2015 primarily due to lower outstanding debt.

    Net income attributable to Crown Holdings increased to $496 million in 2016 over the $393 million in 2015. Reported diluted earnings per share in 2016 were $3.56 compared to $2.82 last year. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $3.93 compared to $3.59 in 2015.

    Share Repurchase Authorization
    The Company also announces that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of an aggregate amount of $1 billion of Company common stock through the end of 2019. This new authorization reflects the Company's strong balance sheet and cash flow from operations, allowing investment in the business and return of cash to our shareholders. Share repurchases under this program may be made in the open market, through privately negotiated transactions or other programs, and at times and in such amounts as market conditions allow.

    The Company currently expects 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.80 to $4.00 compared to $3.93 in 2016, including a foreign currency translation headwind of approximately $0.12 per diluted share based on current exchange rate levels. Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the 2017 first quarter are expected to be in the range of $0.65 to $0.75 compared to $0.69 in the prior year. These estimates reflect the impact of expected repurchase activity under the newly authorized share repurchase program described above.

    During 2016, the Company repositioned its capital structure by refinancing more than $1 billion of short-term floating rate debt to fixed long-term debt in both euros at 2 ⅝% and U.S. dollars at 4 ¼%. While these fixed rates are near high-yield historical lows they are higher than current short-term rates and as a result the Company expects 2017 interest expense to increase by approximately $13 million, or $.07 per diluted share to approximately $256 million. As reflected in the Company's December 31, 2016 balance sheet, approximately 75% of its debt is in fixed rate instruments.

    Additionally, costs incurred prior to start-up of the three large North American projects (Monterrey, Nichols and Chihuahua) are expected to have a $.06 impact on adjusted diluted earnings per share compared to 2016.

    The effective income tax rate for 2017 is expected to be approximately 26%, similar to the 2016 rate. Cash provided by operating activities is currently expected to be approximately $875 million and management currently forecasts capital expenditures for 2017 of approximately $450 million.

    Mr. Donahue further commented, "Looking back, the last three years have been very productive. We acquired and integrated two exceptional packaging companies, Mivisa and Empaque, and we continued to expand our global beverage platform allowing us to more than offset the currency headwinds faced by many U.S. multinationals. Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased to $3.93 in 2016 from $2.99 in 2013 despite more than $0.70 per share of currency headwinds over the three year period. We generated $1.7 billion of adjusted free cash flow over this period allowing us to delever and begin the process of returning significant cash to our shareholders. As we look forward, it is our past success which gives us confidence that our growth initiatives, underpinned by customer commitments, will continue to enhance the future earnings and cash flow of the Company. At the same time, we remain committed to providing our customers with the highest quality containers and service while controlling costs, improving productivity, increasing operational efficiencies and growing shareholder value."
    (Crown Holdings Inc.)
    27.02.2017   ECO KEG     ( Company news )

    Company news Based on the success experienced within Europe and the U.S markets, collecting design awards along the way, the ECO KEG offers the modern brewer the latest technology in beverage packaging.

    The first stainless steel deep drawn keg was introduced to the market over thirty years ago, and using the existing deep drawn stainless body, have mechanically integrated two polypropylene chimes into the steel body, resulting in a lighter, ecologically worthwhile and thus a smarter alternative to conventional all stainless steel kegs.

    Combining innovative design and contemporary materials allows the KEG to be produced to a lower tare weight, in the case of a 30 litre size, some 20% lighter, without compromising strength or safety.
    Reducing the weight of containers has obvious advantages in health and safety, as well as environmentally, as this helps breweries to cut out transport costs of their supply chain.

    In addition to this weight reduction, the ECO KEG will also significantly reduce noise levels, with the KEGs being rolled on the stackable PP rings instead of expanded steel rolling bands which flatten over time. The PP chimes are also stackable for added safety and easy to pick up and stack in the cellar. The chimes themselves are designed in such a way, that, similar to shock absorbers on cars, they can prevent damage on impact.

    The 30 and 50 litre ECO KEG's, with Euro diameter, are manufactured to the same height as the conventional all stainless steel kegs or PLUS KEGs and so will run alongside standard kegs on the keg filling line and fit on the same pallet. Running parallel with existing populations has big advantages for UK craft brewers who use a variety of options in their day to day business. The ECO KEG will always stand out as the property of a particular brewery, making a speedy return more likely.

    Kegs are a major asset for the UK brewery industry, but as millions of pounds in value still go missing each year, their security is of paramount importance, particularly with rising steel prices. Combining materials makes the ECO KEG far less attractive to metal thieves, due to their having to separate the materials and having a significantly lower original stainless steel content.

    To clearly denote a brewery’s ownership of their kegs, ECO KEGs can be individually branded.
    For example, the KEG chimes can be coloured, have a name and logo applied and be equipped with a transponder, which also brings more transparency to logistics and allows comprehensive container management. Neck and base can also be fitted with a permanently integrated coding system, such as character code or barcode. For an easily distinguishable quality image, the body can be branded with an electro-chemical signature, laser printing, silk screening or liner stickers.

    For Brewers concerned about on-going keg maintenance, ECO KEG eliminates the flattening of the rolling bands found on steel kegs, and, with replaceable chimes fitted to the KEG body, there is no need to send KEGs away for repair. Chime straightening and sharp hand holes often found on damaged conventional kegs, are now a thing of the past. This cuts out the need for welding or pickling, resulting in lower overall costs.

    The name is well chosen as the ECO KEG reduces transport costs, decibel levels for your employees and neighbours (and, with a 25-year lifetime, it ticks all the right boxes!) It is produced in a great range of sizes from 10 to 50 litres.
    27.02.2017   Taiyo: New warehouse offers maximum product safety    ( Company news )

    Company news Special storage rooms guarantee the highest quality standards

    Taiyo has relocated its ingredient storage facility in Germany. The logistics company In Time, specialist in the import, storage and transport of food and food ingredients, provides the new warehouse near Hamburg. Taiyo’s customers will now benefit from a smoother supply process and faster, more flexible delivery to the EMEA region.

    The new storage facility guarantees safe import and transport, proper storage and compliance with GMP regulations and HACCP standards. With fully air-conditioned halls that are subject to constant air quality tests, all year round, storage temperatures can be adjusted from 5–24 °C to accommodate specific ingredients and foodstuffs. Taiyo now benefits from a variety of storage rooms for both odorless and pungent products, thus ensuring maximum product purity.

    Computer-assisted, real-time tracking of products during storage and transport makes it possible to query the stock and consignments at any time online, offering logistical advantages that meet individual customer requirements.

    “The need for new storage facilities was driven primarily by our growing portfolio of organic raw materials. With In Time, we have found the ideal logistics partner for our product portfolio. This food-specific and organic-certified storage solution makes it possible to further improve our already high quality standards. With the online warehouse management system, we are able to view and manage our stock of ingredients and individual consignments at our company headquarters at any time," said Dr Stefan Siebrecht, Managing Director of Taiyo GmbH.
    (Taiyo GmbH)

    Company news Sidel is helping beverage producers to maximise cost efficiency while simultaneously improving sustainability with ECO Booster™, a service suitably developed for customers already operating Sidel blowers. ECO Booster, part of the Sidel Services™ portfolio, can provide measurable savings by reducing the consumption of materials, electricity and compressed air.

    "By keeping the use of PET material to an absolute minimum and doing the same with consumption of electrical power and compressed air, Sidel can help beverage producers to make significant savings, minimise running costs and achieve a very fast return on investment (ROI)," explains Samuel Le Guen, Global Maintenance and Line Improvement Director at Sidel. "When it comes to energy efficiency, the blower often offers the biggest opportunity for improvement, accounting for up to 70% of the total line power consumption," he adds. "In recognising this, we have leveraged Sidel's extensive experience in blow moulding technology to develop our comprehensive ECO Booster service."

    Improved monitoring and greater awareness
    The ECO Booster portfolio comprises five modules. The recommended starting point is the ECO Audit performed on the customer’s blower to analyse production conditions and energy consumption. The ECO Audit provides clients with a customised report including an outline of potential gains and predicted cost savings in electricity, heating and air consumption costs.

    Upgrades to reduce consumption
    The ECO Process module provides carefully calculated adjustments and process improvements proposing specific upgrades. The ECO Heating module involves the optimisation of the heating profile with less installed power: available options like the ECO Oven, ECO Lamps and ECO Oven Top Reflectors optimise the blower heating performance to achieve up to 45% electrical consumption reduction. Additionally, the ECO Air module reduces the electricity consumption through the installation of an Air Recovery Kit, leveraging on re-use of up to 40% compressed air during production.

    Lightweight design with heavyweight performance
    While reducing the consumption of both electricity and compressed air during the blowing process, Sidel’s expertise in optimising the bottle design can also bring its own benefits. The ECO Packaging solutions enable producers to transform the shape of their packaging while improving its appeal, performance and safety. With more than 35 years of experience in PET packaging, Sidel can assist beverage customers in achieving more from the production process by reducing the use of PET resin. By saving just one gram on a 0.5 litre PET bottle, overall savings of EUR 350,000 per year can be generated. One step in making these savings in PET bottle production is the reduction of the neck height. Soft drinks bottles can have neck heights reduced to as little as only 12 millimetres high.

    Two packaging innovations can easily demonstrate the company’s ability to solve the dilemma between lightweight PET design and the need to protect the brand experience in the hands of consumers, all without compromising on production costs. Bottles designed following the Sidel RightWeight™ concept can offer improved performance and reductions in material costs, while the implementation of the Sidel StarLite™ base in PET bottles will enable a reduction in air blowing pressure, yet increase the resistance of the base and stability of the bottle.

    Weighing just 7.95 grams, the RightWeight 0.5 litre concept bottle is around 34% lighter than the average commercial bottle for still water and demonstrates an impressive top load performance of 33 kilograms - 32% more resistant than the lightest commercial bottle. Not less important, the RightWeight bottle achieves this rigidity without the use of nitrogen dosing, again minimising costs. Utilising two proprietary PET design innovations, the Sidel StarLite PET bottle base for still drinks has a unique shape that makes the bottom of the container significantly more resistant and stable. Additionally, it offers better protection against extreme temperatures (hot and cold) while reducing energy consumption during production, lowering package weight and improving design flexibility - all without compromising on bottle integrity or product safety.

    Expertise enables optimisation
    Having more than 50 years of experience in blowing, Sidel is able to identify exactly which parts should be replaced and which upgrades would prove most effective in each particular case. As the agreed plan of ECO Booster actions is being implemented, consumption monitoring and process control tools can also be put in place, as well as additional laboratory tests or production-control equipment. Finally, when the servicing is completed and accepted by the customer, a sticker is placed on the machine indicating that it has passed the eco-efficiency test. This has the added, valuable benefit of promoting eco-awareness among the operators at the customer's plant.
    (Sidel International AG)
    23.02.2017   Ball Intends to Cease Production at Beverage Packaging Plant in Reidsville, North Carolina    ( Company news )

    Company news Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) announced that it intends to cease production at the company's Reidsville, North Carolina, beverage packaging plant in mid-2017. The plant's customers will be supplied by other Ball facilities in the U.S.

    Ball expects to record an after-tax charge of approximately $18 million, primarily for employee severance, pensions and other benefits, asset impairments, and facility shut down and disposal costs. The majority of this charge is expected to be recorded by mid-2017 and the net, after-tax cash costs are expected to be approximately $5 million.

    "This action will better align our manufacturing footprint to meet the changing needs of our customers and the market, as we actively manage our overall plant system after the addition of seven North American Rexam plants upon close of the acquisition earlier this year," said Daniel W. Fisher, senior vice president, Ball Corporation, and COO, global beverage packaging. "While closing a plant is always difficult, balancing our supply with demand in the highly competitive beverage packaging industry will better position the company for the long-term."

    The Reidsville plant opened in 1978 and was acquired by Ball in 1998 as part of the acquisition of Reynolds Metals Company. It produces beverage cans in a variety of sizes, and employs approximately 150 people. Reidsville employees may be provided benefits and outplacement services in accordance with the bargaining process, and are eligible to apply for job openings within Ball.
    (Ball Corporation)
    22.02.2017   New figures show Scotch is biggest boost for UK balance of trade    ( Company news )

    Company news Current UK tax of 77% is 'onerous'
    On Burns' Night Scotch Whisky industry calls for 2% cut in excise

    The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) called for a 2% spirits excise duty cut to boost an industry that creates £5 billion annually for the economy, supports more than 40,000 jobs and is the largest net contributor to the UK's balance of trade in goods, according to new research.

    As millions around the globe prepare to raise a dram to celebrate Burns' Night, research published lately - 'The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK' - reveals that without Scotland's national drink the UK's trade deficit in goods of £115 billion would be 3% larger. The SWA says that the Government's support of the industry in recent years has led to a boost in revenue for the Treasury and supported a wave of new distillery openings - 14 in the past three years.

    But tax remains too high at 77% of the price of an average bottle of Scotch and the SWA is calling for fairer treatment.*

    The research explains that exports of Scotch Whisky are worth around £4 billion each year, while imports in the supply chain, such as packaging for products and casks for maturing spirit, total only £200 million. The Scotch industry's trade balance is therefore £3.7bn.

    The SWA says the research reinforces Scotch Whisky's position as a strategically important industry for the UK in terms of value it adds to the economy, jobs supported, investment and export performance, and should be supported by government.

    The publication of the research on Burns' Night - the anniversary of the Bard's birthday - comes as the SWA calls on the UK Government to 'Stand up for Scotch' in the Budget on 8 March to encourage further investment and job creation.

    The onerous 77% tax on an average priced bottle of Scotch exists despite a freeze in excise in last year's Budget, a 2% cut the previous year and the scrapping of the alcohol duty escalator - which annually increased excise by inflation plus 2% - in 2014. The SWA wants the UK Government to 'pursue a 'Fair Tax for Whisky'.

    As well as boosting the Scotch Whisky industry, the government's changes to excise in the last few years have benefited the public purse. In the 12 months to the end of October this year, the Treasury secured around an additional £100m from spirits duty - including the tax consumers pay on a bottle of Scotch Whisky**. But the industry says it still deserves fairer tax treatment.

    'The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK' outlines the true contribution of Scotch Whisky to the economy and shows why the industry deserves recognition from government.

    Findings from the research include:
    -Scotch Whisky adds almost £5bn (£4.9bn) to the UK economy;
    -Some 40,200 jobs are supported by the industry across the UK. This includes more than 10,500 people directly employed in Scotland. Almost £1.3bn is paid in salaries in Scotland;
    -Scotch is a significant contributor to rural employment, supporting often fragile local economies. The industry supports 7,000 rural jobs. The Scotch Whisky industry is expanding at historic levels. As well as the 14 new distilleries opened since 2013, existing sites have been expanded, for example with increased production, more warehouses or revamped visitor centres. Up to a further 40 new distilleries are planned across Scotland, with seven expected to open this year alone.

    But the SWA says the uncertainty created by Brexit means that the industry needs more reassurance that it will receive fair treatment from government.

    Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, said: "Scotch Whisky is one of the UK's most strategically important industries. Without valuable Scotch exports of around £4 billion a year, the UK's trade deficit in goods would be 3% larger. And our research published today emphasises the value of the industry which adds £5bn to the economy annually and supports more than 40,000 jobs. Burns' Night is the perfect time to raise a dram to the success of Scotch.

    "But we are calling on the government to 'Stand up for Scotch' by addressing the high and unfair level of taxation distillers face in their home market. The current tax of 77% on an average priced bottle of Scotch is a burden on consumers and the industry. And the Government's own figures indicate that fairer tax treatment leads to increased revenue for the public purse. We are calling on the UK Government to cut excise by 2% in next month's Budget, supporting a great Scottish and British industry at a time of uncertainty, giving us a stronger domestic platform from which to invest and grow to make a success of Brexit."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    21.02.2017   A record line-up for the start of drinktec 2017    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 1,600 exhibitors to take part in the “World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”

    In September 2017 drinktec will be able to boast the biggest participation figures in its over 60-year history. Around 1,600 exhibitors are expected to take part in the “World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”, taking place from September 11 to 15, 2017 in Munich. With the integration of SIMEI, the world´s leading international trade fair for winemaking and bottling technology, total hall space taken up by drinktec rises to over 150,000 square meters.

    drinktec is the world´s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, and as such it is the biggest global gathering of this sector—a kind of world summit. From small, family-owned firms to global players, anyone who has anything to say in the sector is putting on a presentation at drinktec 2017. The exhibitors represent the entire process chain: from the manufacture, filling and packaging of beverages and liquid food through to marketing—raw materials, beverage ingredients and logistics solutions included. Specifically drinktec 2017 encompasses the following main exhibition sections: process technology; containers/packing materials; filling and packaging technology; raw materials/ingredients; process automation; energy systems; PET technology; restaurant and catering supplies and equipment; sales promotion and marketing.

    Innovations showcase and spectacular displays
    drinktec is regarded as a platform for innovations. The latest solutions and entire systems are presented in Munich for the first time—and this is a unique selling point of drinktec. This trade fair is renowned for the spectacular displays put on by its exhibitors at their booths. Nothing is too much trouble for them when it comes to making a big impression with the global trade audience. For example, entire filling and packaging lines of all kinds (from low-tech to high-tech) are set up in the halls, bottles run past on conveyor belts, innovative PET bottles are produced live—just like in a real industrial set-up. And all of this is on view and in operation for trade visitors on all five days of the fair.

    In 2017, for the first time, SIMEI will be an integrated component in drinktec (see also the press release on this dated August 6, 2015). Organized by the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), “SIMEI@drinktec” will have its own dedicated area in Halls C2 and C3. The spectrum of products and technologies on show at drinktec is therefore now expanded to include all areas of wine technology. This creates a globally unique platform for the international wine industry, covering not only the wine business, but also enabling visitors to look beyond their own particular field, and experience what´s new in other segments, such as the beer industry. For the exhibitors at drinktec, around 60 percent of whom also offer solutions for the wine industry, SIMEI is a chance to reach even more potential customers. And in return, the exhibitors in SIMEI@drinktec can present their offerings to a global trade audience. SIMEI retains its two-year cycle, but its venue will alternate in future between Italy and Munich.

    oils+fats – Home&Craft
    Hall C1 at drinktec is shared with oils+fats, Europe´s only specialist trade fair for the oils and fats industry. Here, fifty exhibitors will be presenting their systems, components and auxiliary materials for the production and processing of edible oils, fats and lubricants—along with raw materials and quality control solutions. Also in Hall C1 is a new exhibition section called “Home&Craft”, which features technology and products for home brewing and microbrewing. Rounding off the displays in Hall C1 is a range of product-specific and cross-industry process technology for the beverage and liquid food industry.

    Taking place for the first time as part of drinktec 2017 is PRO FachHANDEL, the leading trade fair for the German specialist trade in beverages and convenience products. PRO FachHANDEL will take up Hall B0 and the foyer of the ICM – Internationales Congress Center München, which is adjacent to the Messe München exhibition center. This trade exhibition is an opportunity for international beverage manufacturers attending drinktec as visitors to find the right trading partners for their entry into the German market. As such PRO FachHANDEL is an ideal enhancement to the offering at drinktec.

    Over 70,000 trade visitors from all over the world
    More than 70,000 trade visitors from all over the world and from all areas of the beverages industry will be coming to drinktec 2017. Around two-thirds of the visitors come from outside Germany. drinktec addresses the entire industry: trade professionals from the soft drinks and fruit juice industry, from brewing, from mineral water producers, dairies, the wine and sparkling wine segment, from the spirits industry, and from beverages wholesale and retail businesses. Employees from manufacturing and production make up the biggest proportion of visitors, closely followed by plant managers and CEOs. Representatives from marketing and sales have also discovered the attractions of drinktec and come along to learn about all the latest developments and trends. In 2013 this group of visitors numbered 12,000, and in 2017 that figure is expected to rise.

    Key themes
    The key themes at drinktec 2017, which are covered in all the exhibition halls and affect almost all sections, are: energy and resource efficiency, water and energy management, hygiene and product safety and process optimization/flexibility (see also the press release on this at

    Highlights from the supporting program
    - Special Area New Beverage Concepts, Hall B1: In a special exhibition area in Hall B1 manufacturers of sweeteners, colorants, ingredients, additives and flavorings, treatment agents and recipes will be presenting their new products and solutions. The “Special Area” has an open and interactive design. Product developers, brand managers as well as marketers and buyers will be able to try out new ingredients and beverage concepts at the bar, and also search the flavor providers for new ideas.
    - Innovation Flow Lounge (IFL): Following its highly successful premiere in 2013, the IFL will be continued in 2017, but with a new concept: High-caliber experts will discuss the topical themes of importance for the future of the industry in the areas of product innovation, packaging and marketing. IFL and the Special Area New Beverage Concepts will have a joint space at the show, so that topics from the area of new beverage concepts, such as beverage ingredients and ideas, are also addressed and dealt with in the IFL. The IFL is targeted at product, brand and innovation managers, as well as decision-makers and managers in the fields of marketing and sales. Thanks to the interactive concept with various action modules, exchange and networking are always in the foreground, for example also at the Beverage Innovation Bar.
    - drinktec Forum: The Forum in Hall A2 is dedicated on all five days of the fair to key issues affecting the future of the sector. Independent experts from research and industry will be giving answers and presenting pioneering approaches and practical solutions. The focus is on themes to do with technology, production processes and automation. In cooperation with the Zentralverband Deutscher Milchwirtschaftler (German Dairy Professionals Association) the last day of the fair is dedicated to the theme of milk. There will be simultaneous interpretation (German-English) of all the lectures. Also in the Forum, on the Monday, is the careers day for the beverage professionals of tomorrow: young_talents@drinktec.
    - place2beer: This is the further development of the Brewers’ Meeting Place, which celebrated its successful premiere at drinktec 2013. At drinktec 2017 the place2beer in Hall B1 is sure to be a big magnet for brewers, beer lovers and all those who have anything to do with beer. And there will be plenty on offer for them here: Beer lovers can taste, free of charge, beers from all over the world and find out about the latest qualities in hops, malt and yeast, while inspecting or trying out the products for themselves. Successful brewers will tell their stories and present their beers at a live tasting. And start-ups will be presenting their innovative ideas to the international trade audience for the first time. In addition, William Reed Business Media will be organizing lectures and panel discussions on themes such as food and beer, women and beer, popular styles of beer, packaging and branding, and lots more.
    - Competitions and award ceremonies: drinktec 2017 also features many competitions and award ceremonies. On the day before the start of the show, the World Championships for Beer Sommeliers will take place. The organizer is the Doemens. Also, the best beers from all over the world will be fighting it out for the title of “European Beer Star”, a competition organized by Private Brauereien Bayern e.V. (an organization of private breweries in Bavaria) and being held at drinktec for the second time. Also presented at drinktec are the “Beverage Innovation Awards” for creative and innovative ideas. The organizer is Foodbev Media.
    (Messe München GmbH)
    21.02.2017   Angola: Sagres beer to be brewed in Angola    ( )

    Portuguese beer company Sociedade Central de Cervejas reached an agreement with Angolan beverage distribution company Sociedade de Distribuição de Bebidas de Angola, Limitada (Sodiba) for the production of Sagres beer in Angola, Portuguese financial daily Diário Económico reported on February 9.

    The newspaper also reported that the agreement had been signed for months and provides for Sodiba to produce Sagres beer in Angola to the same standards with which it is manufactured in Portugal, as a result of the approval of this agreement by Sociedade Central de Cervejas and under the supervision of its main shareholder, the Heineken group.

    Sagres will be the first international beer to be produced in Angola and will have the same branding as the beer sold on the Portuguese market.

    The Angolan market has always been considered strategic for Portuguese brewers, but suffered a major setback with the Angolan economic crisis that resulted from a fall in international oil prices and, more specifically, with the entry into force in 2015, of the new customs tariff in Angola, with a resulting increase in taxes on all alcoholic beverages that has had a negative impact on consumption of imported beers.

    For Central de Cervejas, the Angolan market in 2014 was worth about 20% of global exports of the Portuguese Sagres brand but the following year and after the crisis took effect, it accounted for just 13%.

    The new plant built by Sodiba, whose shareholders are Isabel dos Santos and Sindica Dokola, is located in an industrial area of 40 hectares and has an installed annual production capacity of 144 million litres, which could be increased to 200 million litres per year.

    In addition to Sagres beer, Sodiba, whose plant required an investment of US$150 million, will also launch a new 100% Angolan beer, called “Luandina” which will be available in the Angolan market by the end of the first half of 2017.
    21.02.2017   Ball Reports 2016 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Highlights
    - Full-year and fourth quarter U.S. GAAP earnings per diluted share of $1.39 and 8 cents, respectively, vs. full-year and fourth quarter 2015 results of $1.99 and 39 cents, respectively
    - Full-year and fourth quarter comparable earnings per diluted share of $3.49 and 87 cents, respectively, vs. 2015 results of $3.48 and 80 cents, respectively; 2016 results reflect higher year-over-year share count
    - Solid global beverage and aerosol can demand and contribution from the Rexam acquisition drove the increase in comparable operating results
    - Aerospace contracted backlog of $1.4 billion at year end
    - Company reaffirms 2017 and long-term financial goals

    Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) reported, on a U.S. GAAP basis, full-year 2016 net earnings attributable to the corporation of $224 million (including the net effect of after-tax charges of $339 million, or $2.10 per diluted share for business consolidation, debt refinancing and other non-comparable costs) or $1.39 per diluted share, on sales of $9.1 billion, compared to $281 million of net earnings attributable to the corporation, or $1.99 cents per diluted share (including the net effect of after-tax charges of $209 million, or $1.49 cents per diluted share for business consolidation costs, economic hedging losses, and debt refinancing and other costs), on sales of $8.0 billion in 2015. Ball's comparable full-year 2016 results were net earnings of $563 million, or $3.49 per diluted share, compared to $490 million, or $3.48 per diluted share in 2015.

    Fourth quarter 2016 net earnings attributable to Ball Corporation were $14 million, or 8 cents per diluted share, on sales of $2.5 billion, compared to $55 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, on sales of $1.8 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2015. On a comparable basis, Ball's fourth quarter 2016 results were net earnings of $155 million, or 87 cents per diluted share, compared to $113 million, or 80 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2015. Earnings per share figures for 2016 reflect the impact of shares issued for the acquisitions of Rexam and Latapack-Ball.

    During the second half of 2016, Ball realigned its operating segments as a result of the Rexam transaction. The company retrospectively adjusted prior period amounts to conform to the current segment presentation; comparable operating results prior to June 30, 2016, exclude the effects of the Rexam transaction. Details of comparable segment earnings, business consolidation activities and other non-comparable costs, as well as descriptions of the company's new business segments, can be found in the notes to the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements that accompany this news release. The company's consolidated statements of cash flows will be provided in the company's Form 10-K expected to be filed by March 1, 2017.

    "Following a very complex and rewarding year, our 2016 comparable results were in line with our expectations. We had previously discussed that the momentum in our existing business combined with the addition of our acquisition would generate sequential momentum as we moved into 2017. This momentum continues to build in all of our businesses and our packaging products are excellently positioned to support our customers' plans to market sustainable packaging to all generations for any occasion," said John A. Hayes (photo), chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We once again reaffirm our financial goals for 2017 through 2019 and expect $150 million of transaction-related synergies to be recognized in 2017 with at least another $150 million expected by the end of 2019."

    Beverage Packaging, North and Central America
    Beverage packaging, North and Central America, comparable segment operating earnings for full-year 2016 were $469 million on sales of $3.6 billion, compared to $402 million on sales of $3.2 billion in 2015. For the fourth quarter 2016, comparable segment operating earnings were $114 million on sales of $959 million, compared to $86 million on sales of $736 million during the same period in 2015.

    Full-year and fourth quarter 2016 segment revenues and operating earnings benefitted from the additional operations from the Rexam acquisition and continued growth in beer, specialty and certain non-alcoholic categories in the U.S. and Mexico, as well as solid manufacturing performance across the segment.

    Beverage Packaging, South America
    Beverage packaging, South America, comparable segment operating earnings for full-year 2016 were $185 million on sales of $1.0 billion, compared to $80 million on sales of $591 million in 2015. For the fourth quarter, comparable segment operating earnings were $85 million on sales of $437 million, compared to $37 million on sales of $184 million during the same period in 2015.

    In South America, full-year and fourth quarter revenues and operating earnings were higher due to the inclusion of operations from the Rexam acquisition. Overall industry demand declined high single digits in the fourth quarter and low to mid-single digits for the full-year 2016 in line with beverage consumption and GDP declines in Brazil. Despite the weakness in the Brazilian economy, beverage cans performed well versus other packaging substrates, and specialty cans continue to represent approximately 45 percent of the package mix for the segment.

    Beverage Packaging, Europe
    Beverage packaging, Europe, comparable segment operating earnings for the full-year 2016 were $217 million on sales of $2.0 billion, compared to $192 million on sales of $1.7 billion in 2015. For the fourth quarter 2016, comparable segment operating earnings were $32 million on sales of $449 million, compared to $43 million on sales of $343 million during the same period in 2015.

    Comparable segment earnings in the fourth quarter and year-to-date reflect the inclusion of operations from the Rexam acquisition. Fourth quarter 2016 segment results were negatively impacted by depreciation associated with fixed asset write-ups from the acquisition in the European segment given its scale relative to other reporting segments involved in the acquisition and the acquired business has more pronounced seasonality versus our legacy European business. Plans have been initiated to address revenue and margin improvement in 2017 and beyond.

    Overall industry demand was up slightly led by solid demand across continental Europe offset somewhat by the normal seasonal slowdown in Russia. To support strong growth for beverage cans on the Iberian Peninsula, the company began construction of a two-line, aluminum beverage can manufacturing facility near Madrid, Spain, with most of the new capacity secured under a long-term customer contract. The plant will be operational in 2018 and produce multiple can sizes.

    Food and Aerosol Packaging
    Food and aerosol packaging comparable segment operating earnings for the full-year 2016 were $109 million on sales of $1.2 billion, compared to $108 million on sales of $1.3 billion in 2015. For the fourth quarter, comparable segment operating earnings were $24 million on sales of $259 million, compared to $18 million on sales of $285 million during the same period in 2015.

    During 2016, segment aerosol volumes increased low-single digits due to demand for personal care products versus segment food can volumes in our system declining mid- to high-single digits. Management remains committed to reducing invested capital and increasing plant efficiencies in its U.S. tinplate operations to align our cost structure with the supply demand situation in the U.S. food can industry.

    Aerospace comparable segment operating earnings for the full-year 2016 were $88 million on sales of $818 million, compared to $82 million on sales of $810 million in 2015. For the fourth quarter, comparable segment operating earnings were $26 million on sales of $241 million, compared to $21 million on sales of $162 million during the same period in 2015.

    Contracted backlog ended the year at $1.4 billion. To support growth in the business, including the year-over-year doubling of our contracted backlog, the company will expand its Westminster, Colorado, aerospace manufacturing center during 2017. Ball's legacy of delivering technologies and instruments for defense, civil and cyber should result in a step-change in year-over-year financial results in 2017.

    "Our year-end 2016 net debt of $6.9 billion was slightly better than our forecast of $7.0 billion. We continue to expect 2017 free cash flow to be in the range of $750 million to $850 million after capital spending of approximately $500 million," said Scott C. Morrison, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

    "The company is on course to deliver improved free cash flow, EVA dollar growth and comparable diluted earnings per share growth of at least 20 percent in 2017. We are fully executing upon our post-acquisition plans with the completed closure of the former Rexam headquarters, the closure of the Charlotte, North Carolina, regional support center slated for mid-2017, and additional transformative process and footprint work slated for the second half 2017 and beyond," Hayes said.
    (Ball Corporation)
    21.02.2017   UK: Carlsberg launches competition for craft brewers    ( )

    Carlsberg UK has launched a competition for craft brewers and importers offering the chance to get their beer listed in its ‘Crafted 2017’ portfolio, the Morning Advertiser reported on February 15.

    Brewers can enter the contest, named 'Your beer, here?' by submitting their beers for evaluation by a judging panel including beer writer Pete Brown, Mark Stretton of Fleet Street Communications and members of the Crafted portfolio team.

    The winning selection will be showcased in the company’s Crafted portfolio and handbook when it launches in April – making it available to thousands of pubs over the next 12 months.

    Carlsberg Crafted marketing manager Adrian Rigby said: “The craft beer category is brilliant, diverse and innovative but, above all, it’s competitive and the route to market can be challenging.

    “As a brewer, we are committed to building the craft beer category and community in the on-trade and believe that through this opportunity and the established profile of our award-winning Crafted handbook, we can give and up-and-coming craft stars a hand.”

    Carlsberg’s 2016-17 Crafted range featured beers from Hiver, Chapel Down and Rooster’s Brewing Co as well as international offerings such as Hitachino Nest White Ale from Japan’s Hitachino brewery and Little Creatures from Australia’s Fremantle Brewery.

    The company recently launched new limited-edition packaging for its well-known flagship lager aimed at attracting younger drinkers.

    The new 300ml bottles, which feature a design based on “an abstract interpretation” of the beer’s ingredients, will be available across the on-trade until September 2017.
    21.02.2017   USA: Beer volumes grow 0.3% last year thanks to increased sales of craft and imported beer    ( )

    The US Beer Institute has estimated that category-wide beer volumes grew 0.3 percent last year, thanks in part to increasing sales of craft and imported beer, reported on February 10.

    In a note to members, sent on February 9, Beer Institute CEO Jim McGreevy said sales of imported beer, particularly brands from Mexico, propelled the category to a positive performance in 2016.

    Import volumes increased 6.8 percent, or 2.1 million barrels, versus 2015, he said.

    That’s in keeping with the long-term trend: Import volumes have grown steadily since 1992, when those brands accounted for just four percent (8.3 million barrels) of all beer sold in the U.S. In 2015, import volumes grew 6.2 percent, to 31.2 million barrels, according to Beer Institute statistics.

    Production of domestically brewed beer, meanwhile, declined 0.8 percent, or 1.4 million barrels, last year. 2016 marked the fourth straight year that domestic beer volumes declined, and the seventh time in the last eight years that domestic brewers failed to help the category grow, according to the BI.

    Despite the downward production trends for brews made stateside, beer produced by more than 5,000 U.S. craft breweries increased seven percent, which McGreevy noted was a “deceleration in that segment’s growth compared to recent years.”

    Indeed, production from craft breweries grew about 13 percent in 2015 and 18 percent in 2014, according to industry trade group the Brewers Association, which represents the interest of small and independent craft breweries.

    That group, however, also estimated midway through last year that craft beer volume growth would continue to decelerate as the segment matured.

    “As craft’s base gets larger, as with any industry, it becomes more difficult for it to grow at the same percentage rate,” BA chief economist Bart Watson said last July.

    In his note to BI members, McGreevy also noted that beer sales at off-premise retail outlets continued to grow while traditional on-premise operators lost sales to brewpubs and taprooms, where volume sales increased an astounding 60 percent.

    But even as total beer volumes grew slightly, the category itself still ceded share within the total beverage alcohol segment, McGreevy said.

    “The wine and liquor categories each outpaced beer last year, growing volume by an estimated 2.0 percent and 2.4 percent respectively,” he wrote. “As a result, beer lost an estimated 0.5 percentage points of share within beverage alcohol volume, which was two-thirds the amount of share that beer lost to wine and hard liquor in 2015.”

    That, he added, means beer companies have “more work to do,” in 2017 in order for the category to continue growing.
    20.02.2017   India: Ban on liquor shops on highways could lead to 40% drop in sales of alcoholic beverages    ( )

    United Breweries Ltd (UBL), India’s largest beer maker and majority-owned by Dutch firm Heineken, has said that its sales of the alcoholic beverage could drop by 40 per cent once the Supreme Court ban on liquor shops on highways comes into effect in April, the Business Standard reported.

    The estimates were arrived at after mapping the liquor outlets and sales in these stores, executives of the company said on February 9.

    On December 15, the court, on a petition, ruled that states should cancel the licences of liquor shops in and around the national and state highways, citing increasing road accidents due to drink driving. The ban includes shutting down liquor shops located within 500 metres from highways.

    “We need to find out the specifics of the order. There are a lot of roads in India that run within the city and there are state highways. It is also said that there is a chance that the state highways are exempted,” said Steven Bosch, chief financial officer, UBL, on a conference call.

    Anil Pisharody, senior vice-president, finance, said the challenge was not the renewal of licences but to get a place to relocate.

    “The problem is more of logistics now. They need to relocate to areas nearby, which takes time,” said Pisharody.

    UB controls more than half of India’s annual beer sales of nearly 300 million cases. While it continues to grow the sales of popular brands such as Kingfisher beer, the company would look at expanding premium products from the Heineken portfolio into states outside Karnataka, its main market.

    The company on February 8 asked its non-executive chairman Vijay Mallya, currently in exile in the United Kingdom, to resign from the board.

    UB and liquor maker United Spirits Ltd were sold to foreign rivals Heineken and Diageo, respectively, after Mallya’s civil aviation business went under and put him in deep debt. He has been accused of being an absconder and the government has issued notices to the United Kingdom to extradite him.

    UB’s sales have dipped because of demonetisation even as the company faces bigger challenges in Maharashtra due to higher excise duties, and regulatory changes in Tamil Nadu.

    “We do not know the reason (for irregular orders in Tamil Nadu). We assume it is because of a series of events including the death of the chief minister or a push towards their local products,” said Bosch.

    UB’s primary volumes went down eight per cent in the current quarter, which, the company said, was an impact of demonetisation in November and December. The company said its worst month was December.
    20.02.2017   Local Alcohol Action Areas – BBPA welcomes phase two    ( Company news )

    Company news The BBPA has welcomed the second round of the Home Office’s Local Alcohol Action Areas. The two-year Programme was previously announced in the Home Office’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy. The aims are to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder and diversify local night time economies through strong partnerships between local authorities, the police, health partners and businesses.

    BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
    “The BBPA welcomes the next phase of the LAAAs which aims to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder and diversify local night time economies through strong partnerships between local authorities, the police, health partners and businesses. It is great to see the scheme expanding and it is a strong endorsement that partnership working in this area delivers results.

    “The BBPA, along with Drinkaware and National Pubwatch, is a key supporter of Local Alcohol Partnerships and is already undertaking activity to raise awareness of the law surrounding serving drunks; a key focus area in the Home Office Strategy, and we look forward to working with the new LAAAs on this initiative. Brewers and pub operators also look forward to working with agencies and stakeholders at a local level to tackle any problems in the night-time economy. This is certainly the best way forward.”
    (BBPA British Beer & Pub Association)
    20.02.2017   Malaysia: Heineken Malaysia opts to tighten its belt instead of hiking its beer prices    ( )

    Heineken Malaysia Bhd says it has opted to tighten its belt amid the challenging market condition via various cost management measures and will not increase prices of products any time soon, The Star Online reported on February 16.

    Its finance director Teo Hong Keng said any price increase will only be carried out on the basis of commercial consideration, which among others include commodity price hikes on the backdrop of global uncertainties.

    “We need to weigh it out first to see if the market can accept a price increase. However, in a soft market such as this, we have resorted to tightening our belts to keep costs down,” said Teo at the sidelines of Heineken’s financial results announcement for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2016.

    Heineken last increased price of products in July, 2016 after the implementation of Anti Profiteering Act.

    Teo said because the company was part of Heineken N V, it benefitted them as the group purchased raw materials under the global procurement.

    Hence it wasn’t too worried about the rising raw material prices.

    Despite the subdued economic landscape, Heineken posted a good set of results for its financial quarter ended Dec 31, 2016.

    Its net profit was up 15.2% at RM104.68 mln from RM90.84 mln, a year ago, on improved cost efficiency in commercial spend, benefits from Project Breakout - an integrated system that optimised efficiencies in the entire value chain from brewery to trade as well as savings from global procurement initiatives.

    The market leader declared a final dividend of 60 sen, which will be paid out in May.

    Meanwhile, managing director Hans Essaadi said Heineken’s effective sales execution and robust growth in the off-trade segment and continued volume growth for Heineken and Guinness premium brands were drivers for better revenue growth.

    “We are in a dialogue session with the ministry with regards to the Anti Profiteering Act, as constant freeze in price hikes does have an impact.

    “We will see if it works to raise prices only if input costs go up,” he noted.

    In the meantime, Essadi expects the year to be challenging due to global and domestic economic uncertainties, cautious consumer spending, increase in regulatory requirements and rising demand for contraband products.

    “We will nevertheless continue to leverage on integrated global supply chain, strengthening our iconic portfolio and investing in developing our people,” he concluded.
    (Heineken Malaysia Bhd)
    20.02.2017   Thailand: Singha Corp launches new lager U Beer    ( )

    U Beer, a new lager produced by Singha Corp, the original Thai brewery since 1933, is the latest addition to Thailand's domestic beer market, Yahoo Finance reported on February 6.

    Since December, Thailand's local beer lovers as well as international visitors have been able to enjoy the fresh new taste of U Beer, a new brand adding to the Singha and Leo Beer, the market leading brands already brewed by Singha Corp., a company also known as Boonrawd Brewery.

    U Beer, inspired by European lager, offers a smooth taste, brewed for the new generation with its hip modern label design.

    U Beer, a lager with alcohol volume of 5.0%, is available at selected venues around the country in two bottle sizes, 620 Ml and 320 Ml.
    20.02.2017   UK: Heineken's deal to acquire pub chain Punch Taverns under antitrust probe    ( )

    Heineken's deal to acquire pub chain Punch Taverns could be under threat as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probes the agreement, Sky News reported on February 16.

    The CMA has issued an 'invitation to comment' to interested parties as it looks at whether the deal, which will see Heineken take over almost 2,000 pubs in the UK, could result in a "substantial lessening of competition".

    Concerns have already been raised about the deal by parts of the licensed industry, and this move by the CMA will allow them to formally submit their reasons for opposing the deal.

    Heineken clinched a deal to take over the Punch Taverns company in partnership with private equity firm Patron Capital.

    The two firms successfully fought off a counterbid by Punch Taverns' co-founder, Alan McIntosh, by offering to pay 180p-per-share for the company.

    It will see Heineken acquire 1,895 UK pubs on top of the 1,100 it already controls, with Patron securing the remaining 1,329.

    The CMA said it was "considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation" and, if so, "whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition".

    It has allowed until 2 March for comments on the takeover to be submitted, and it will then decide whether to take further action on the issue by 24 April.

    A Heineken spokesman said the CMA's call for comments on the planned takeover was an "important and fully expected stage in the process to finalise our acquisition", and added: "Heineken will be fully co-operating with the CMA."

    Paul Waterson, chief execuive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, has been very vocal in his opposition of the deal and welcomed the news that the CMA will be looking into the takeover.

    "We are delighted that the CMA has chosen to listen to the concerns voiced by so many businesses, organisations and individuals within the pub and brewing industry and open an investigation into Heineken's takeover bid for Punch Taverns," he said.

    "Heineken is a global brewer, with very different priorities to their customers who often rely on hard earned local relationships to make their businesses work.

    "We know from both Heineken's words and actions that they will give preference to their own products across their estate, and this is simply not fair for brewers, publicans or consumers."

    The news comes less than 24 hours after Heineken stated in their company results that they expected the deal to complete by mid-2017.

    The brewer revealed that its profits fell by 15% last year, and that it had taken a £976m hit from global currency volatility including fluctuations in the British pound following the Brexit vote.
    (Heineken UK Limited)
    20.02.2017   USA: Two largest brewers trying to boost sales of their cheaper beers    ( )

    For years, US sales of the cheapest beers fell as America’s two largest brewers focused on higher-priced craft brands. Now the neglected suds are back in the spotlight, The Australian reported on February 3.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to air its first Super Bowl ad for Busch, its namesake economy brand. The 30-second spot follows the company’s move last year to shift its Nascar sponsorship back to Busch from Budweiser.

    MillerCoors, the US business unit of Molson Coors, has begun rolling out new ads and redesigned logos for its economy beers, including Miller High Life and Keystone. It is increasing the quantity of beer in some bottles and packages, without raising prices. Both companies are offering price promotions on cheaper brands.

    Sales of so-called sub-premium brews, costing an average $US16 ($21.90) for a 24-pack, have long been in decline. From 2010 to 2015, shipments dropped by 16 per cent to 46 million barrels, while craft beers shipments doubled to 22 million barrels, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

    But the sub-premium category still represents about one out of every five beers sold in the US. AB InBev and MillerCoors, together accounting for about two-thirds of US beer sold by volume, acknowledge they must stop the slide to achieve their performance goals.

    From consumer surveys, “one of the greater realisations that we have is that as we prioritise other parts of our portfolio for all the right reasons … we also did that at the expense of our economy portfolio,” said Ryan Marek, director of economy brands for MillerCoors. “It’s not only critical to our growth but critical to the health of the entire beer industry.”

    After the merger of InBev and Anheuser-Busch in 2008, the company began raising prices on its lowest-priced beers more sharply than on premium beers, analysts and industry observers said. MillerCoors did the same.

    Those moves boosted revenue for a time but resulted in other consequences: some consumers switched to inexpensive spirits, and the beer industry lost some of its most loyal customers. And young people, for whom cheap brands might be a gateway to a lifetime of beer consumption, increasingly turned to other options.

    “We’ve lost a generation,” said industry consultant Joe Thompson, president of Independent Beverage Group. “And I think we’re going to pay a price for it.”
    17.02.2017   Bud Light Debuts New NBA Team Cans Ahead Of All-Star Weekend In New Orleans    ( Company news )

    Company news With NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans fast approaching, Bud Light is tipping-off the celebration in style with an all-new series of special edition cans that celebrate 13 of the league’s teams.

    Bud Light’s focus in 2017 is the value of friendship and the brand understands that friendship among players on the court and fans off of it, are an essential part of NBA culture. As the official beer partner of the NBA, Bud Light worked alongside the league to create cans that speak directly to each team’s passionate fan base, and serve as a way for die-hard supporters to proudly display their allegiance whether they’re cheering courtside or from the couch.

    In this initial phase of the NBA team cans program, fans of the Bulls, Cavs, Grizzlies, Heat, Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks, Pelicans, Spurs, Rockets, Thunders and Warriors can get their hands on these special-edition items, in-store now throughout the remainder of the season.

    In addition to the NBA cans, Bud Light will be celebrating All-Star Weekend in “The Big Easy” with special events and experiences through the weekend of Feb. 17-19.
    (Anheuser Busch InBev)
    16.02.2017   Diageo: Stronger performance reflects continued effective execution against our strategy    ( Company news )

    Company news DIAGEO interim results, six months ended 31 December 2016

    Reported net sales (£6,421 million) and operating profit (£2,065 million) were up 14.5% and 28.0% respectively, reflecting accelerated organic growth and favourable exchange
    · Organic growth, across all regions, with 1.8% volume growth and 4.4% net sales growth
    · Organic operating profit grew 4.4%, in line with top line growth, driven by gross margin improvement, good progress on productivity offset by implementation costs and the profit on sale of the UB shares in the prior period
    · Free cash flow continued to be strong at £1,084 million, increasing by £245 million compared to the prior period with net cash from operating activities up £230 million to £1,267 million
    · Basic eps of 60.3 pence. Pre–exceptional eps was 62.0 pence, up 21%, as higher operating profit and associate income along with favourable exchange more than offset the impact of disposals and a higher tax rate
    · Interim dividend up 5% at 23.7 pence per share

    Ivan Menezes (photo), Chief Executive, commenting on the results said:
    “We have delivered a strong set of results with broad based improvement in both organic volume and top line growth and this positive momentum demonstrates continued effective execution of our strategy. Highlights this half include improved performance in our US Spirits business and across our scotch portfolio, driven by our focus on marketing with impact, innovating at scale, expanding our route to consumer, and winning in reserve. Progress on productivity supports growth, margin improvement and consistent strong cash flow generation as well as improving our agility.

    Diageo is building a stronger, more consistent, better performing company. We are identifying consumer trends faster, expanding the reach of our products across markets and developing trade channels to capture these growth opportunities. Our productivity work is on track, driving efficiency and effectiveness across the business. Our work on trade and marketing spend gives us better data enabling smarter, quicker decisions that generate higher returns.

    Our expectations of delivering stronger financial performance this year are unchanged. We are confident of achieving our medium term objective of consistent mid–single digit top line growth and 100bps of organic operating margin improvement in the three years ending 30 June 2019.”
    (Diageo plc)
    15.02.2017   Tetra Pak announces science based targets for climate impact reduction    ( Company news )

    Company news Tetra Pak pledged that by 2030, the greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations will be at least 40% lower than in 2015.

    Working with the Science Based Targets (SBT)​ initiative, the company also set a goal that by 2040, emissions will be down 58% compared with a year ago.

    In doing so, Tetra Pak becomes the first company in the food packaging industry to have its climate impact reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative.

    To achieve these targets, Tetra Pak will focus on three areas:
    -Driving energy efficiency, aiming to reduce energy use by a further 12%;
    -Purchasing electricity from renewable sources, investing in renewable energy projects and renewable electricity certificate schemes;
    -Installing onsite renewable energy systems such as solar panels.

    In addition, the company commits to reduce GHG emissions across the value chain by 16% per unit of revenue by 2020 from a 2010 base-year.

    Mario Abreu, Vice President Environment at Tetra Pak, said: “The collaboration with the SBT initiative has helped us accurately define our greenhouse gas emission targets and set a direction for the company in a scientific way. The new targets ensure we are able to openly and accurately demonstrate the contribution we are making to a low carbon economy among customers and other stakeholders.”

    Cynthia Cummis at the World Resources Institute (WRI) said: “The SBT initiative provides a science-based methodology for companies who are serious about incorporating sustainability into their business practice and want to do their part in avoiding the worst impacts from climate change. Tetra Pak is the first packaging company to complete our target review process and we are very pleased to see them join a growing number of companies that understand the benefits of transitioning towards a low-carbon economy.”
    (Tetra Pak Schweiz AG)
    14.02.2017   Proven standard: KHS Group ISO 9001:2015 certified worldwide    ( Company news )

    Company news -TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH audits production sites
    -Certification according to new 2015 revision
    -Employees proud of certification

    With immediate effect the KHS Group’s production sites are now certified according to the new, revised ISO 9001:2015 standard. The current 2015 standard replaces the ISO 9001:2008 norm previously in widespread use. The KHS factory in Ahmedabad in India has been awarded the certificate for the first time. TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH has now confirmed a uniform standard at all KHS production locations, giving customers of the manufacturer of filling and packaging systems the world over extra assurance.

    “We’re extremely pleased about the successful expansion of the group,” smiles Hans-Joachim Peinemann, head of Quality Management at KHS. It is perfectly normal to have individual sites audited, he continues, but being certified group-wide is “very special”. In addition to its German production sites the KHS Group also manufactures its plant engineering in India, USA, Brazil and Mexico.

    Customers and employees benefit
    ISO 9001 stipulates the requirements made of a company-related system of quality management, the fulfilment of which acts as proof of conformity with defined standards. The practical application of these standards is verified by audits performed by an independent certification body. In the new, revised edition of the quality management standard from 2015 there is now an even stronger focus on continuous improvement and process and customer orientation.

    Tested and verified worldwide
    Standards which are usually easier for Europeans to adhere to can present something of a challenge on a global scale. “The project proved to be quite demanding at some sites. Other non-German plants have already been certified for years,” states Peinemann. He describes certification as a process which takes several years. ISO 9001 confirms that high standards are applied internationally. “Customers like to know for certain that they can rely on certain quality criteria. This certificate objectively confirms the KHS Group’s good system of quality management worldwide,” explains the QM expert.

    Employee motivation has also increased following certification, he adds. Appearing together before a German TÜV auditor has internally heightened awareness of the common aspects the group shares. “For some of our factories it was like being presented with an award,” says Peinemann. For him, however, the standard is just one stage of many. “In the future we don’t just want to keep this standard but to build on it.” There will be time to do just that as the current certification is valid until 2019.

    Supplementary certificates in Germany
    The external auditors from TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH have also attested to a uniformly high standard being upheld in energy, environmental and occupational health and safety management at all German KHS production sites. The latter are not only certified according to ISO 9001:2015 but also to ISO 14001:2015, BS OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 5001:2011.
    (KHS GmbH)
    13.02.2017   DIAGEO TO LAUNCH PREMIUM BLENDED IRISH WHISKEY ROE & CO    ( Company news )


    Irish Whiskey is the fastest growing spirit in the world with global sales increasing by over 300%

    Diageo is to launch a new premium Blended Irish Whiskey, Roe & Co, the company announced. The move by Diageo into the premium Irish Whiskey category comes as the company announced plans for investment in a whiskey distillery in the once Power Station at St. James’s Gate. The total project investment comes to €25 million (£18.6 million) over three years.

    As seen in other spirit categories in recent years, Diageo identified a clear opportunity in Irish Whiskey to drive overall category growth via premiumisation. Responding to this, Roe & Co was born. The brand has been created to reflect modern, contemporary luxury, in everything from pack to liquid, and with a focus of making Irish Whiskey more prominent in Europe’s booming cocktail culture. Roe & Co is made from the finest hand-selected stocks of Irish malt and grain whiskies and aged in bourbon casks. It has the signature smoothness of Irish Whiskey with remarkable depth of flavor - a luxuriously smooth blend, with a perfect harmony between the intense fruitiness of the malt and the mellow creaminess of the grain whiskies.

    Roe & Co is named in honour of George Roe, the once world-famous whiskey maker who helped build the golden era of Irish Whiskey in the 19th century. His distillery, George Roe and Co extended over 17 acres on Thomas Street in Dublin and was once Ireland's largest distillery. As neighbours for hundreds of years George Roe and Co and Guinness were the two biggest names at the heart of Dublin’s historic brewing and distilling quarter. Diageo will now build on this rich heritage with the creation of a new distillery by converting the historic former Guinness Power House on Thomas Street. The new St. James’s Gate distillery, will be situated just a stones throw away from where the George Roe and Co distillery once stood and subject to planning approval will begin production in the first half of 2019.

    Using her 30 years of experience, Diageo’s Master Blender Caroline Martin and her team set about meticulously sourcing and selecting stocks of the very finest Irish whiskies. Having trialed over 100 prototype blends since December 2014, Caroline has created an extraordinary expression of Irish Whiskey. The high proportion of first-fill casks gives notes of creamy vanilla balanced with its hints of fruit and soft spice and a remarkable depth for such an elegant and refined whiskey. Roe & Co is non-chill filtered and bottled at 45% ABV. The first blend of Roe & Co will be available in key European cities from 1st March 2017 as part of Diageo’s growing Reserve portfolio.

    Speaking about the launch Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD said: “Irish Whiskey is experiencing a renaissance and is truly an Irish success story. It is seeing a return to the success it experienced in its golden era in the 19th Century and is now the fastest growing spirit drink in the world with global sales increasing by over 300% and record exports of over €400 million* in the last ten years. This commitment and investment by Diageo comes at an opportune time for the sector which is experiencing unprecedented global demand. €25 million investment in this project over 3 years will support the local economy, create jobs, and bring a welcome new addition to the City’s tourism offering. The Irish Whiskey market has a great story to tell and today’s announcement marks an exciting new chapter in its development”.

    Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovations, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said, “It is great to see Diageo continue to invest in and further enhance the historical Dublin 8 area to create a fantastic attraction for tourists and locals alike. The proposed distillery will play a major role in the overall regeneration of the Liberties through the repurposing of the St James’ Gate Power House.

    “Irish produced whiskey has never been as popular, garnering international acclaim and recognition. Diageo’s decision to move into the premium Irish whiskey category and its plans to invest in a new distillery will further enhance Ireland’s reputation as one of the finest premium whiskey producers in the world”.

    Commenting on the launch, Tanya Clarke, General Manager of Reserve Europe said: “This is a wonderful project for us at Diageo, highlighting the opportunity we see to develop the premium segment of Irish Whiskey and contribute to the category’s growth as it sees new investment and entrepreneurial interest. In crafting Roe & Co we explored the demands of today’s consumers for more premium drinking experiences and the desire of bartenders for an adaptable, flavourful whiskey that works in both traditional and new cocktails.”

    Colin O’Brien Operations Director of Diageo said: “The planned distillery will provide employment in the coming years – both at construction and operation stages. It will complement what is already the country’s most popular tourism offering, The Guinness Storehouse. This investment further demonstrates Diageo’s commitment to the growing vibrancy of The Liberties, one of the City’s most dynamic districts and the home of Irish Whiskey during the original golden age of Irish distilling. We are excited that the planned distillery will help revive the proud tradition of distilling in the Liberties.”
    (Diageo plc)
    10.02.2017   Intralogistics at drinktec 2017 - The road to the smart supply chain    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 In 2015 German intralogistics companies had a combined production volume of more than 20 billion euros. That makes intralogistics a major economic force in Germany. And in the brewing, beverages and liquid food industry it is increasingly becoming an important competitive advantage. For two reasons: Firstly, it is an area in which there is real potential for rationalization. And secondly, “smart logistics” opens the way to completely new business models. The technology and solutions on offer will be showcased at drinktec 2017, the “World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”, which takes place from September 11 to 15, 2017 in Munich.

    What precisely does the term intralogistics cover? Basically intralogistics, like logistics, is about the handling and flow of goods and materials. But with intralogistics, this takes place not on the roads, but instead within a company site. The processes include the packaging of goods in crates, wraparounds or baskets, sorting them onto pallets for the individual orders and then dispatching them. And also, the raw materials or new glass bottles have to be brought from the stores to the point of use.

    Fast, flexible and down to batch size 1
    Over the years this in-company flow of goods has changed from being a “necessary evil” into an important factor in the creation of added value in a company. Because only companies who can deliver the product fast and with flexibility, and without tying up or using capital unnecessarily, will win out against the competition. In terms of speed: Ordered today, delivered tomorrow? In many applications even this is no longer enough. “Same day delivery” is now almost a must, especially in online food retail. To achieve this, delivery chains have to be adaptable. Because the markets themselves are changing all the time. Also: The order quantities are getting ever smaller. Batch size 1 is a serious goal. For beverage or food manufacturers the number of different packagings will therefore continue to rise. And with it, so, too, will the need to package, palletize and transport the variety demanded by the customer more efficiently.

    Packaging and labeling in logistics is a sensible choice
    In this context, a shift from production into logistics is being seen, as Thomas Lehmann, Managing Partner of BMS Maschinenfabrik GmbH, explains: “Aiming to realize this tremendous variety inline is something for the really big companies. They can process such large-sized batches that it is worth switching over an entire filling or packaging line.” For small and medium-sized businesses—they make up around 60 percent of the trade visitors to drinktec—Lehmann suggests therefore another way: “In this case we place the filled product with the highest efficiency into the standard crates, then drive these to the logistics center where the products are repackaged as required for transport or final sale in a compact and highly flexible repackaging system.” The advantages of this solution include: optimized transport routes, greater efficiency and reduced handling processes in the bottling hall, improved planning security thanks to demand-oriented repackaging with the latest expiry date and no layer of dust on the packaging. Lehmann identifies another process step that could be shifted to the repackaging area: “Labeling could also be a job for logistics. In this case the repackaging system takes on the task of unpacking the bottles and then places for example the just-in-time labeled bottles destined for the export market into the dispatches packaging.”

    In terms of beverages dispatch: Here, too, drinktec will be showcasing interesting solutions, in particular for returnables. These include on the one hand beverage crates that are compatible with lots of different returnable multipack variants. A second solution—which is already popular in Austria—is what´s known as “carrier trays”. These flat re-usable trays are filled with standard bottles or multipacks, then stacked and finally delivered to the sales floor for use as a kind of shelf replacement. Also, once the produce has been sold, these carriers can be used for returning the empties.

    4.0 is bringing new impetus
    But back to intralogistics: IT and automation solutions have long been a firm component here. Luigi Panzetti, Managing Director of the Italian System Group, for example, noted at drinktec 2013: “The beverage world is increasing its interest in automated systems for intralogistics, and the level of investment is growing. We believe this fair is the best opportunity to meet customers from the beverage industry, to discuss strategic issues related to their future developments, including automation to support growth and efficiency."

    Currently a theme with global impact is giving new impetus in this area. “On the user side, Industry 4.0 is coming ever more strongly into focus,” is how Sascha Schmel, Managing Director of the VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics Association, summed up the current developments. And that means essentially: The beverage and liquid food industry is increasingly prepared to take on integrated and automated solutions. Some of these 4.0 ideas have long been a reality in intralogistics, too: transport systems that organize their in-company routes autonomously, and palletizing robots that identify empty slots in real time and fill them up. These are just two examples of intralogistics solutions that, thanks to innovative IT, can become internal “full-service providers”—and organize their operations autonomously.

    The “Internet of Things” as the missing link
    So, what can we expect next? The future is certainly going to belong to continuous integration all along the “smart supply chain”, from raw material through to the final customer. This is being made possible by the “Internet of Things”: Worldwide already 20 billion items have their own IP address and are fitted with a chip or sensor and connected to the internet. These items can thus be localized and identified. But they can also interact autonomously with each other. For example, the fridge that when informed via a weather app that it will be a very hot night, independently orders beer and meat for the barbecue—the production and delivery of this order is then also organized and processed autonomously. This vision is not as far off as it seems. A few months ago in the US, the first self-driving truck delivered 2,000 cases of Budweiser beer a distance of 120 miles. True, this is an example of external logistics, and not intralogistics. But in this field, too, the current trends and future developments will be on show at drinktec 2017. And that makes drinktec also very interesting to retail distributors. An attraction that is further enhanced by the leading trade fair for the entire German specialist retail trade in beverages and convenience products—PRO FachHandel. In 2017 this event is being held for the first time in parallel with drinktec in Munich. PRO FachHANDEL will be taking up Hall B0 and the foyer of the ICM—Internationales Congress Center München, which is adjacent to the Messe München exhibition center. Alexander Berger, the CEO of GES (the organizing company) and responsible for PRO FachHANDEL: “The trade fair platform is becoming even more attractive for visitors and exhibitors from the entire retail industry with the collaboration. PRO FachHANDEL with its special areas of Newcomer Market and Beer Live fits perfectly in the supporting program of drinktec.”
    (Messe München GmbH)
    10.02.2017   O-I Reports Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2016 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Entering next phase of transformational journey as Company delivers
    strong financial performance for 2016

    Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) reported financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016.

    -For the full year 2016, the Company recorded earnings from continuing operations of $1.32 per share (diluted), which compares favorably with $0.85 per share in 2015.
    -Excluding certain items management considers not representative of ongoing operations, adjusted earnings[1] were $2.31 per share. This was up 15 percent compared with prior year and in line with guidance of $2.27 to $2.32 per share.
    -The Company continues to generate strong cash flows. Cash provided by continuing operating activities for 2016 was $758 million compared with $612 million for 2015. Adjusted free cash flow1 for 2016 was $429 million, up 23 percent compared with the $348 million reported last year. Adjusted free cash flow excludes asbestos-related payments.
    -Global volumes for 2016 were up 9 percent compared to the prior year. Key contributors to growth were the acquired business, Europe, legacy North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand. On a global basis, volumes of all major end use categories grew year-on-year. Excluding the overall decline in shipments in Asia Pacific, organic growth increased approximately one percent.
    -Earnings from continuing operations before income taxes were $356 million for the year compared with $268 million for 2015. Segment operating profit of reportable segments1 for 2016 was $882 million, an increase of 19 percent compared with prior year. While all regions except Asia Pacific posted higher segment operating profit compared with prior year, the increase was largely driven by the acquired business.
    -Strategic initiatives, primarily in manufacturing, contributed approximately $55 million to segment operating profit for the year, consistent with commitments made by management at investor day in early 2016.
    -The Company's disciplined capital allocation continues to favorably impact its debt structure. Total debt in 2016 declined $245 million, primarily due to debt repayments as well as the favorable impact of foreign currency.
    -The Company improved its debt profile in the fourth quarter through the issuance of a 500 million euro, eight-year, fixed-rate bond with a very favorable coupon of 3.125 percent. This transaction increased the proportion of fixed-rate debt to nearly two-thirds, augmented the natural hedge to foreign currency exposure, repaid higher-cost floating-rate debt and extended the Company's debt maturity profile.
    -In 2017, the Company expects to deliver higher earnings from continuing operations mainly driven by higher segment operating profit. Earnings from continuing operations, and adjusted earnings, are expected to be in the range of $2.40 to $2.50 per share. Cash provided by continuing operating activities is expected to be approximately $730 million, whereas adjusted free cash flow for the year 2017 is expected to be approximately $365 million.

    CEO Andres Lopez stated, "Our multi-year transformation is off to a strong start - we achieved the key financial targets that we outlined at investor day in early 2016. Margins[2] expanded more than 100 basis points, due to the benefits of our strategic initiatives and the acquired business. We are executing on our strategy, overcoming visible external challenges from Brazil macros, the Brexit vote and the strengthening U.S. dollar.
    "Looking ahead, we expect continued improvement in our top-line and bottom-line results as we advance to the next stage in our transformational journey - from stability to agility. We will augment our ability to adapt to market changes and invest in new capabilities. In all, we are one enterprise solely executing on one plan with focus, rigor and discipline everywhere to further enhance shareholder value."

    Fourth Quarter 2016 Results
    For the fourth quarter 2016, the Company recorded a loss from continuing operations of $0.43 per share (diluted), which compares with earnings from continuing operations (diluted) of $0.04 per share in the same period of 2015. Loss from continuing operations before income taxes was $39 million in the quarter, which was unfavorable by $87 million compared with the same period in prior year. These figures include significant items that management considers not representative of ongoing operations.[3] In the fourth quarter, the Company incurred restructuring and impairment charges of $110 million, primarily driven by anticipated restructuring activity in Europe, Latin America and at corporate, as well as a settlement charge of $98 million related to actions to de-risk pension liabilities.

    Excluding certain items management considers not representative of ongoing operations, adjusted earnings were $0.50 per share. Adjusted earnings increased 25 percent, or $17 million compared with prior year, a great achievement in light of ongoing currency headwinds and recognizing that both periods reflected results from the acquired business.

    Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2016 were $1.6 billion, up 1 percent from the prior year fourth quarter. Price was up $27 million on a global basis, primarily driven by price adjustments that reflect cost inflation. Currency translation adversely impacted net sales by $16 million, or 1 percent.

    Global sales volumes increased 1 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. Shipments in Europe increased 3 percent, mainly due to gains in beer and food shipments. In Latin America, shipments increased nearly 3 percent with higher shipments in all product categories except wine, which was down slightly. North America volumes were similar to the prior year with higher non-alcoholic beverage and spirits shipments offsetting lower food and beer shipments. Fourth quarter shipments in Asia Pacific were 6 percent below the same period of 2015. In the mature markets of Asia Pacific, sales volumes were similar to prior year, despite lower in-country production volumes due to planned engineering activity. Sales volumes in mature markets in Asia Pacific were supported by shipments from China; in turn, domestic sales there declined.

    Segment operating profit was $201 million in the fourth quarter, 8 percent higher than prior year fourth quarter.
    -Europe reported segment operating profit of $45 million, which was $17 million, or 61 percent higher than the prior year quarter. The gain in sales volume and benefits from manufacturing initiatives more than offset price-cost pressure in the region. Europe received an energy credit in the quarter that had been delayed for legislative reasons since 2015. Excluding the energy credit, Europe posted approximately 25 percent higher segment operating profit than the fourth quarter of 2015.
    -Segment operating profit for North America was $52 million in the quarter. This was $1 million higher than fourth quarter of 2015. The business benefited from further contributions from strategic initiatives.
    -Latin America's segment operating profit of $75 million was on par with the prior year quarter. Strong shipments by the Mexican business more than offset lower shipments in Brazil and Ecuador related to the challenging economic situation in those countries. The management team continues to successfully control costs.
    -Asia Pacific reported segment operating profit of $29 million, down $3 million compared with the prior year. This was mainly due to the aforementioned lower sales volumes and the costs for higher intra-regional shipments. The region is in a strong position exiting 2016, due to the high number of furnace rebuilds during the year.

    Full Year 2016 Results
    Full year net sales were $6.7 billion, up $546 million from 2015. The acquired business contributed $608 million in incremental sales (excluding organic growth from September through December 2016) which was partially offset by $108 million in adverse currency translation. Prices were 1 percent higher on a global basis, mainly due to price adjustments resulting from cost inflation. Global shipments increased 9 percent in 2016. Key contributors to growth were the acquired business, Europe, legacy North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

    Shipments in Europe increased nearly 2 percent, primarily due to favorable beer and wine volumes. In North America, sales volumes improved nearly 7 percent compared to the prior year period, mainly due to the acquired business, and higher shipments in all major end uses except beer which was on par with the prior year. Full year shipments for Latin America rose 41 percent, primarily due to the acquired business and growth in Colombia and Peru which was partially offset by the negative impact of economic weakness in Brazil and Ecuador. Overall, Asia Pacific shipments declined low single digits. In mature markets in Asia Pacific, sales volumes increased approximately 3 percent, primarily due to beer and wine. Sales volumes in China declined as domestic production was exported to support sales elsewhere in the region.

    Segment operating profit was $882 million in 2016, compared with $740 million in the prior year, an improvement of 19 percent.
    -In Europe, segment operating profit was $237 million, an improvement of $28 million over the prior year period, or 13 percent. The region profited from higher sales volumes and improvements in operating performance. These benefits were partially offset by lower average selling prices that were not fully offset by energy deflation. Europe received an energy credit in the fourth quarter that had been delayed for legislative reasons since 2015, which essentially offsets the adverse impact of the Brexit vote for the year.
    -North America's segment operating profit increased $34 million, or 13 percent. Approximately 80 percent of the increase was due to the acquired business. The legacy business also benefited from contributions from strategic initiatives and from higher sales shipments.
    -Segment operating profit in Latin America rose $86 million compared to prior year, an increase of 47 percent. The acquired business provided an incremental $94 million of segment operating profit for the region. Unfavorable currency translation and lower sales volumes in Brazil and Ecuador negatively impacted Latin America's segment operating profit.
    -Asia Pacific reported segment operating profit of $77 million which was $6 million below the prior year. The favorable impact from currency was more than offset by the costs for higher intra-regional shipments and lower production volume resulting from planned engineering activity, similar to the situation noted in the fourth quarter.

    Retained corporate and other costs were $98 million in 2016, which is in line with the past five-year average.

    Net interest expense in 2016 was $272 million, higher than the prior year primarily due to acquisition-related interest expense.

    The Company's effective tax rate from continuing operations for 2016 was approximately 33 percent, compared with almost 40 percent for 2015. The effective tax rate on adjusted earnings was approximately 24 percent for 2016 which is similar to approximately 25 percent in 2015.

    In 2016 and 2015, the Company recorded several significant items impacting reported results as presented in the table entitled Reconciliation to Adjusted Earnings and Constant Currency. Management considers these items not representative of ongoing operations. Charges in 2016 include restructuring and impairment charges of $129 million, primarily driven by restructuring activity in Europe, Latin America and at corporate.

    Cash provided by continuing operating activities was $758 million for 2016. After deducting additions to property, plant and equipment of $454 million, and adding back asbestos-related payments of $125 million, adjusted free cash flow was $429 million, in line with management guidance of $425 million.

    The Company expects earnings from continuing operations, and adjusted earnings, for the full year 2017 to be in the range of $2.40 to $2.50 per share. The midpoint of this range represents a 10 percent compounded annual growth rate in adjusted earnings per share since 2015. The Company expects cash provided by continuing operating activities for 2017 to be approximately $730 million and adjusted free cash flow to be approximately $365 million. As previously communicated, the decline in adjusted free cash flow from 2016 is mainly related to the non-recurrence of a VAT refund of approximately $130 million, partially offset by higher segment operating profit and stronger contributions from working capital.

    Despite the significant strengthening of the U.S. dollar, the earnings and cash flow guidance ranges are entirely consistent with targets conveyed by senior management during investor day in early 2016. The earnings and cash flow guidance ranges reflect uncertainty in macroeconomic conditions and currency rates, among other factors.
    (O-I Owens-Illinois Glass Containers)
    09.02.2017   Want to reduce the risk of unplanned GPHE downtime? This is the best advice you will get all year    ( Company news )

    Company news Getting the best plate heat exchanger performance requires preventive maintenance, especially for hygienic applications within the food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical and home & personal care industries. Each process system, however, is different with different parameters that affect the heat transfer and sealing efficiencies of the plates and gaskets.

    Photo: Alfa Laval gasketed plate heat exchanger

    A gasket, its material properties and its construction are specifically selected to provide optimal sealing performance for its intended application. Knowing exactly when to replace gaskets is almost impossible since the timing varies, depending on the application. But over time, all gaskets wear due to natural aging as well as the temperature, pressure and stress of normal operating conditions.

    Without preventive maintenance, you risk unplanned downtime that can be costly.

    Things to consider:
    • Temperature and pressure: Higher operating temperatures and pressure cause more wear and tear on the gaskets.
    • Compression: Gaskets are subjected to local stress from the moment you first clip them on to and tighten the plates.
    • Store spare gaskets in a sealed bag, in a dry, cold and dark place, and away from ozone-producing equipment such as machines or light armatures.
    Alfa Laval Kolding A/S)
    08.02.2017   Brigl & Bergmeister – Changes in Mangement    ( Company news )

    Company news By February 28th Michael Sablatnig will retire from his position as Managing Director of Brigl & Bergmeister. He will however remain in the Roxcel Group in an advisory role and for specific projects. We thank Mr. Sablatnig for his excellent work in the last years with the B&B Group.

    Until further notice Mr. Bernhard Mayer will act as the sole Managing Director of Brigl & Bergmeister and will also take over the agenda of Mr. Sablatnig. Mr. Mayer joined the company in 1985 and was appointed as Managing Director in the technical field, for both Brigl & Bergmeister and Papirnica Vevče in July 2015.

    Mr. Norbert Peintinger will be appointed as general manager and head of sales and marketing for Brigl & Bergmeister and Papirnica Vevče. Mr. Peintinger has joined the company in 1993 and gained great experience in several roles.
    (Brigl & Bergmeister GmbH)
    08.02.2017   Bühler invests and grows    ( Company news )

    Company news Bühler showed a healthy performance in 2016. While continuing its policy of reinvesting profits to secure future development, the company has continued its growth path. Order intake in 2016 was up 3% to CHF 2.54 billion, compared to a decline of 4% in 2015. Turnover rose by 2% to CHF 2.45 billion, and profitability remained stable at 7.1% (EBIT margin). R&D investments were significantly increased. “For a company based in Switzerland, 2016 marked a real proof point considering the Euro/Swiss franc shift a year ago,” says CEO Stefan Scheiber (photo). “In this context, we can be satisfied with these results.”

    Both businesses of Bühler, Grains & Food and Advanced Materials, contributed to the success of the Group in 2016. The strategy of two businesses that are both based on leading process technologies and services, has proven successful. The Group’s performance was strongly supported by its customer service business. Customers appreciate the local network of 92 service stations worldwide. Consequently, the service business showed higher growth and recorded a turnover of CHF 578 million, which is 7% higher than last year. The service share of turnover now accounts for 24% (previous year: 22%). On a regional level, growth in North and South America, Europe, and China overcompensated the downturns in the Middle East & Africa and South East Asia. Overall, Bühler holds a very balanced position with its global presence: Europe reported a turnover share of 30%, Asia 25%, Middle East & Africa 15%, North America 17%, South America 6%, and South Asia 6%.

    Strengthened financial position
    Net profit remained stable at CHF 143 million. Despite ongoing high investments of CHF 71 million into the worldwide asset base, net liquidity grew significantly by 18% to CHF 462 million. With an equity ratio of 47% (previous year 46%), the Group is free from all bank liabilities. The return on net operating assets (RONOA) stayed on a high level of 19% (previous year: 22%). “With this strong financial position, Bühler is well equipped to continue investing into its own future”, says CEO Scheiber.

    Sustainability further enhanced
    We are fully committed to sustainability with the ambition of contributing to a safe and secure global nutrition system as well as a responsible usage of natural resources to limit the effects of climate change. The key lever to support these efforts is innovation: With new technologies and solutions, Bühler transforms global challenges and trends into new business opportunities. With around 40 new products and technologies, Bühler proved to be a true innovation accelerator in 2016 and maintained its position as the leading technology and solution provider in its industries. R&D investments were increased significantly by CHF 7 million to CHF 109 million, corresponding to a share of turnover of 4.4%. Bühler signed a partnership with Bosch to develop future IoT (Internet of Things) solutions. The company engaged with the start-up accelerator MassChallenge and won the prestigious Nestlé Research Award. With its Networking Days held in August 2016, Bühler brought together 750 leaders of the global grain and feed industry to discuss and develop sustainable solutions that address global challenges such as malnutrition and energy efficiency.

    Strong investment in new technologies, applications, and markets
    In line with its strategy of operating “in the region for the region”, Bühler also invested substantial sums in 2016 to enter new markets, develop decentralized applications centers, and further expand and update its global manufacturing network. Eight new service stations were added to the global network for a total of 92 locations with 60 workshops. This move further increases Bühler’s proximity to customers. In Vietnam, a new factory for rice equipment was opened. New regional applications centers were established, for example, in North America, and the buildup of a new production site in China is ongoing. In Switzerland, the company launched a modernization program. In the fields of battery manufacturing and insect processing, Bühler is set to capture the massive growth potential.

    Positive outlook for for 2017
    Regardless of day-to-day variations, Bühler is excellently positioned in global growth markets – the processing of basic foods & feeds and advanced materials. With a global setup, Bühler has achieved real customer proximity and truly lives up to the motto of being “locally relevant and globally leveraged”. Today’s megatrends such as the growing global population, increasing urbanization, or enhanced environmental awareness further benefit the strategic setup of the Group and unlock additional growth potential.

    “With the accomplishments of 2016, and a strong order backlog, Bühler has a positive outlook for 2017,” says CEO Scheiber. The dynamic nature of market and technology trends, regional developments, and political conditions make predicting potential business outcomes increasingly challenging. Bühler has adjusted to new developments with flexibility, a collaborative innovation model, and strong partnerships with customers, the science community, and technology and industry. Based on its leading technologies and solutions, Bühler aims to further increase its growth rate and profitability in 2017.
    (Bühler AG)
    07.02.2017   Beviale Moscow opening its doors    ( Company news )

    Company news -Attractive and comprehensive supporting program
    -Premiere: presentation of the Russian Beer Award

    From 28 February to 2 March 2017, the East European beverage industry will be meeting for the second time at Beviale Moscow. The trade fair covers the entire spectrum of beverage manufacturing and marketing: from suitable raw materials through to tailor-made technologies up to efficient packaging, logistics and creative marketing ideas. 135 exhibitors (2015: 112) are presenting their solutions for alcoholic, non-alcoholic beverages or even liquid dairy products to an expected total of around 4,500 trade visitors (2015: 2,667). A clearly expanded support program with exciting specialist lectures and presentations as well as special presentations on PET, refrigeration / heating technology and craft beer will provide an optimal complement to the trade fair ranges. For the first time, the Russian Beer Award ROSGLAVPIVO is being presented.

    The presentation program at Beviale Moscow picks up the currently pressing issues expressed by the beverage manufacturers, for example: how is the legislation on alcoholic drinks changing in Russia? How can we correctly train the young, up-and-coming talent in the beverage industry? How can processes be designed and organized in a sustainable and efficient way whilst saving resources? Or: which requirements and solutions are available to small and medium-sized companies? The services of top-ranking speakers from the fields of science as well as practical application areas have been acquired for the specialist conference, which is being held parallel to the trade fair.

    Premieres: special shows on PET, also on refrigeration and heating technology
    Beverages packaging is the focal point of the new “PETarena powered by PETnology” special show. There a series of companies are presenting attractive solutions for the entire PET value-added chain – for small and medium-sized companies and global players alike. Specialist lectures and presentations on the theme will round off the exhibitors’ ranges.
    In the entire beverage production process thermal processes such as cooling and heating play a great role. This begins with the storage of raw materials and ends with the logistics for the ready beverages. The theme of process refrigeration, refrigeration chain and refrigerated storage in the beverage sector will be addressed by the “Refrigeration & Heating Pavilion”, which is also being held for the first time at Beviale Moscow. The main theme on the second day of the fair is the dairy industry. The Russian dairy association will then be holding its annual conference within the Refrigeration & Heating Pavilion.

    Craft Beer in demand in Russia too
    “Craft-brewed, highly aromatic beer is increasingly in demand in Russia. The craft beer movement has arrived there too”, states Thimo Holst, Project Coordinator at NürnbergMesse. With 78 million hectolitres, the country ranks second behind Germany in terms of European beer production. It comes as no surprise then that at Beviale Moscow this year – similar to the mother fair BrauBeviale in Nuremberg – Craft Beer Corner will be celebrating its premiere. On all three days of the fair Russian beer sommeliers will be sampling and tasting beers from around 15 breweries. Interested trade visitors are warmly invited to attend.

    Continuation training for craft brewers
    Already the day before the fair, 27 February 2017, the subject will also be craft beer with the start of the three-day “VLB Seminar for Brewers”, to be more exact the technological and qualitative aspects of brewing. The Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauereien (VLB, Research and Teaching Institute for Brewing, Berlin) is organizing this continuation training event, in which, apart from imparting know-how, networks and the specialist exchange also play a very important role. The seminar is directed at proprietors and master brewers from small breweries and craft breweries as well as amateur brewers.

    Russian Beer Award initiated
    For the first time this year, the Russian Beer Award ROSGLAVPIVO will be presented at the fair – fully in keeping with the example set by the popular and extremely successful European Beer Star Award.
    30 judges from all over the world already came together at the beginning of the year in Moscow to test various beers. Up to 35 beers had been submitted in each of the 23 categories, ranging from “Pilsner German Style” through to “India Pale Ale” up to non-alcoholic and spiced beers. The winning beers will be announced on the first day of the fair at 12:30 at Beviale Moscow. The ROSGLAVPIVO Award is supported by the Russian agriculture ministry and organized by the “Barley, Malt & Beer Union” as well as the “Private Brauereien Deutschland” (Association of Private German Breweries).
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    07.02.2017   Carlsberg UK Creates ‘The København Collection’    ( Company news )

    Company news ​Carlsberg UK’s revitalization of its flagship Carlsberg brand continues with the launch of limited edition packaging for its 3.8% ABV beer – called ‘The København Collection’ – as part of a planned £15m marketing spend to connect with millennial drinkers.

    Inspired by the beautiful simplicity of Danish design, each pack in the København Collection – Danish for Copenhagen – embodies an abstract interpretation of Carlsberg beer’s ingredients: barley, hops and its legendary brewers’ yeast. The limited edition packs will be available across the UK off-trade between February and September 2017 in a variety of can and bottle formats, including a new premium 330ml-sized bottle and outer packaging. The premium 330ml-sized bottle will also be available in UK on-trade pubs, bars and restaurants.

    Liam Newton, vice president of marketing, Carlsberg UK said: “The København Collection is a bold launch for Carlsberg in the UK, marking 170 years of brewing excellence. Carlsberg has a remarkable place in the history of brewing when our founder, J.C. Jacobsen and his team of beer scientists discovered purified yeast in 1883 – which changed the quality of lager that is enjoyed to this day. These designs communicate Carlsberg’s unique place in beer in a manner that we believe will engage millennials.”

    The København Collection complements the new-look design for the brewer’s premium Carlsberg Export brand, also available from February. The brand has been transformed with a stylish design that is influenced by the iconic cross from the Danish flag, while the signature of founder, J.C. Jacobsen, and the word ‘København’ underline the brand’s roots.

    The relaunch of the Carlsberg brand will be supported by a £15m campaign incorporating media and integrated consumer activity, launching in April. The campaign will celebrate the brand’s Danish heritage and taps into consumer demand for authenticity and the trend towards premiumisation in the beer category.
    (Carlsberg UK Limited)
    07.02.2017   Peru: Craft brewers fighting to change disadvantageous tax laws    ( )

    Peru’s microbreweries are fighting to change tax laws which put them at a disadvantage against the economies of scale of SABMiller’s local monopoly, Peru Reports said on January 27.

    The small but growing craft beer industry in Peru is pushing Congress to change its excise tax scheme so small breweries which sell less than 34,000 barrels per year pay less in excise tax than large breweries. With less than 1% of Peru’s beer market, they say the tax presents an unfair barrier to growth.

    Peru’s largest brewer, Backus y Johnston, controls over 96% of the beer market, and that share is set to increase to over 99% after AB InBev completes its takeover of Backus parent company SABMiller. With almost 12 million barrels sold in 2015, the monopolist’s economies of scale allow it to pay a fraction of what the small businesses pay per litre in excise tax.

    “Without a doubt, taxes are our biggest obstacle to growth. Absolutely without a doubt,” says Ted Alexander, founder of the Sierra Andina brewery in Peru’s central city of Huaraz. “Literally every single month between the 10th and the 17th, we all have to scratch our heads and come up with $10,000 to throw to the government.”

    Under current tax law, breweries pay an excise tax of either $0.38 per liter or 30% of the retail price – whichever is higher. Consumers pay $3 on average for a 12-ounce bottle of Sierra Andina, compared to $1.25 for a 21-ounce bottle of popular Backus brand, Pilsen. Based on those prices, Sierra Andina would pay $2.75 in excise tax per liter while Backus would pay just $0.67

    According to their annual report, Backus paid $600 million in excise tax on $1.2 billion in sales in 2015, from which the company earned $360 million in net income.

    “Backus pays a tremendous amount in tax, but their beer is far less expensive than ours,” Alexander says.

    Sierra Andina pays higher production costs per unit on much smaller volume of 130 barrels per month, and it also pays more for higher-quality malt and hops than Backus does for its lighter, American-style lagers. With a smaller tax burden for his business, Alexander says the extra money would go back into Huaraz’s local economy in the form of jobs.

    Popular Force congressman Luis Galarreta recently submitted a bill to Congress which will modify Peru’s excise tax by allowing companies which brew less than 34,000 barrels per year to pay a fixed excise tax of $0.38 per liter. In 2016 elections, Keiko Fujimori claimed Popular Force would work for small businesses and tried to portray President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as the pawn of large multinationals.

    The bill is similar to the scheme in the United States, where small breweries have enjoyed lower federal excise taxes since the 1970s. Brewers of less than 2 million barrels per year paid just $7 per barrel for their first 60,000 barrels, compared to $18 per barrel for large breweries.

    In 2015, the United States went further in lowering taxes for small brewers. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act lowers the beer excise tax to just $3.50 for the first 60,000 barrels and raises the threshold to be considered a large brewer to 6 million barrels per year. And after the first 60,000 barrels, small brewers pay only $16 per barrel in excise tax.

    Peru’s finance ministry did not comment on the proposed change.

    But Galarreta’s proposal faces opposition from unlikely sources including Comex Peru, a chamber of commerce which promotes free markets, private investment and international business. Comex Peru general manager Jessica Luna says the law will hurt competition by favoring some companies over others and weaken the rule of law.

    “This new system is discriminatory since it uses different tax regimes for products in the same category,” Luna told El Comercio. “What is even worse is that it would violate trade agreements which clearly guarantee equal treatment for domestic and foreign products.”

    Alonso Segura, the former finance minister under President Ollanta Humala, opposes the law because excise taxes are designed to discourage undesirable behaviors that create external costs borne by the state.

    “This specific measure is meant to reduce the incentive to consume, mainly in the most vulnerable groups that would tend to go to cheaper products [if taxes were reduced],” Segura told Gestion last year.

    Critics argue that the current system may promote irresponsible drinking by incentivizing beer which is inexpensive to produce in order to keep the selling price low.

    The craft brewers have an unlikely ally in Grupo Aje, one of Peru’s largest multinationals and producer of popular beverages including the Kola Real soda line, Pulp juices and Sporade sports drinks. If small brewers paid a fixed excise tax per liter, the company says it could competitively launch a beer brand to complement its portfolio of low-priced beverages.

    While the craft brewers want a less prohibitive tax for superpremium beers, Grupo Aje wants a lower tax so it can compete with Backus in the subpremium segment – the result Segura cited for his opposition to the new scheme.

    Another criticism of Galarreta’s bill comes from Segura’s deputy minister Enzo Defilippi, who told Gestion that the new excise tax would cost the government $60 million per year. But Alexander says the tax could be redesigned without forgoing revenue.

    “Instead of distributing the tax burden along the whole chain, it currently gets lumped on to the producer,” Alexander suggests. “They could distribute that excise tax along the distribution line instead of crushing the economy at its source. Have each vendor pay 10% and the government is still receiving what it needs to keep the organization afloat.”

    “The laws were created for big industrial beer, and it works if you have massive volume. It was probably created by the big industrial beer lobbyists to keep other industrial beers from being able to take foot. You can’t come into Peru without massive volume unless you’re going to operate at a loss for five years.”

    In fact, Alexander supports his family with his first business, a mountaineering guide and tourism agency in Huaraz. But he does not see Backus as a competitor neither in the market nor in getting the new tax scheme implemented. He points out that their attempts to launch craft beers have failed, but they know that Peru’s consumers will ultimately follow global trends.

    “With 99% of the market they don’t have anywhere to go. They need one of us to develop the craft market so they can then buy somebody out. But that can’t happen as long as taxes are impeding growth.”

    While the craft segment grew an estimated 50% in 2016, Backus’s beer sales grew just 5%.
    06.02.2017   All apples are not the same: when it comes to juice, people want a range of options    ( Company news )

    Company news SIG’s filling flexibility eases market entry with ‘favourite apples’

    People who like wine usually develop a preference for a particular grape variety. A similar thing could soon happen with juice drinkers: ‘variety’ is the current catchword for fruit juice specialists such as Amecke GmbH & Co. KG and the Maspex Group with their brand Tymbark. Because all apples are not the same. Both companies are bringing out juices made from specific varieties, to cater to the tastes of discerning consumers and encourage them to drink juice.

    Photo: Amecke – Mein Lieblingsapfel: In addition to its traditional apple juice range, in Germany Amecke now also has the unmixed variants Golden Delicious (‘velvety and balanced’), Idared (‘powerful & original’) and Cripps Pink (‘temptingly fruity’) on shelves.

    In Europe, the market for juice and juice drinks is largely saturated. And it is a highly competitive market: beverage manufacturers try to differentiate themselves from the competition with new products, to secure market shares. Ariana Amecke-Moennighof, Product Manager at Amecke: “The apple juices you find on supermarket shelves today are generally blends of juices from different apple varieties. The ratio of ingredients depends on availability. However, we believe unmixed premium juices have potential – especially in markets that demand high standards for food and beverages. That’s exactly where we’re placing our range of ‘Mein Lieblingsapfel’ (My Favourite Apple) products, which we’ve incorporated into our premium assortment”.

    In addition to its traditional apple juice range, in Germany the company now also has the unmixed varieties Golden Delicious (‘velvety and balanced’), Idared (‘powerful & original’) and Cripps Pink (‘temptingly fruity’) on sales shelves. Ariana Amecke-Moennighof: “The conventional types are on sale, as usual, in 1-litre carton packs. For the ‘Mein Lieblingsapfel’ range, we’ve opted for the 750 ml variant. Both these volumes can be filled on one and the same SIG Combibloc filling machine, which makes us very flexible in production”.

    A recent consumer survey by market intelligence agency Mintel confirms this approach: in Germany, more than a quarter of respondents aged over 16 would buy juices made from specific fruit varieties. A similar picture emerged in France and Spain, where 23 per cent of those polled are interested in variety-specific juice; in Italy the figure is 21 per cent and in Poland around 30 per cent.

    Older varieties very popular right now
    That is a good basic prerequisite for the Maspex Group in Poland. The company has now added apple juices made from the varieties Antonowka, Champion and Jonagold to its Tymbark brand range. Dorota Liszka, Corporate Communication Manager at Maspex Group: “For our new variety-specific, not-from-concentrate juices, we only use apple varieties that are popular with Polish consumers right now. Antonowka is an old Russian apple variety – sweet and sour in flavour. The Champion is full of flavour, and is characterised by a very low acid content. In comparison, the Jonagold has quite a subtle, delicately fruity taste. With this variety of options on offer, each consumer can find the juice he likes best”.

    Juice from local, traditional apple varieties in particular gives consumers the reassuring feeling that they are buying natural, healthy, high-quality products with a transparent and traceable source. Norman Gierow, Head of Global Product Management Market at SIG Combibloc: “For many consumers, transparency in respect of a product’s source reassures buyers, and is an indication of high quality. Variety-specific juices with regional provenance are a very good example of how manufacturers can make use of the potential associated with prevailing consumer values. The packaging can contribute to consumers identifying products as authentic and high quality”.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    03.02.2017   inject: the injection moulding forum, from March 7th to 8th in Schwertberg    ( Company news )

    Company news inject, the injection moulding forum organised by ENGEL AUSTRIA, will take place for the second time on March 7th and 8th in Schwertberg, Austria. Following on from the highly successful premiere of the new forum series in the spring of 2016, the injection moulding machine manufacturer expects visitor numbers to be high. The aim of the event is to enable injection moulders to harness the latest research and development findings faster, and to promote the mutual exchange of experiences.

    The two-day forum, which will be held in German, is aimed at injection moulders, plastics technicians, process optimisation specialists, quality managers, production managers and company directors. Many of those participants who attended last year have already registered for the follow-up event in early March. “Those who attended were struck by the many new ideas and tips they were able to take back to their businesses with a view to resolving specific challenges,” says Robert Brandstetter, head of ENGEL’s training department, referring to the highly positive feedback generated by inject 2016. “In 2017, we want to bridge the gap once again between basic development and practical, day-to-day challenges. It is precisely this aspect that sets inject apart from other forums in the sector.”

    Food for thought, live demonstrations and space for networking
    This year’s presentations and short contributions will focus on the design of injection moulding machines and moulds, process optimisation and production monitoring. The aim is to impart knowledge while providing food for thought and encouraging exchanges of experience. Developers and product managers from ENGEL will speak alongside experts from partner companies. Topics on the agenda will include:
    -The selection of injection moulding machines and plasticizing units,
    -Energy calculation tools,
    -New possibilities for intelligent temperature control,
    -Close-contour cooling,
    -Hot runners,
    -Intelligent assistance systems for more consistent processes and
    -Condition monitoring.

    Live demonstrations in the ENGEL technology centre will build directly on the presentation topics, illustrating the practical usages of the innovative products and technologies. For example, sample parts will be produced on an all-electric, tie-bar-less ENGEL e-motion 80 TL injection moulding machine to demonstrate how the potential of smart machines can be exploited. The machine’s CC300 control unit enables users to simulate fluctuating process conditions and track automatic readjustment by intelligent iQ systems.

    The injection moulding forum will also provide ample opportunity for networking away from the live demonstrations, during breaks and at the evening function.

    Access to knowledge ensures competitiveness
    As it continues to invest heavily in research and development, ENGEL is setting its sights not only on application-based challenges, but also the fundamentals. “There is still significant room for improvement in the field of standard injection moulding technology. We are continually exploiting that potential through new developments and opening it up to injection moulding businesses,” emphasises Professor Georg Steinbichler, Senior Vice President of Technologies Research and Development at ENGEL AUSTRIA and Director of the Institute of Polymer Injection Moulding and Process Automation at Johannes Kepler University Linz. “For injection moulders, access to that knowledge is a key factor in securing competitiveness.”

    "inject – the injection moulding forum" takes place on March 7th and 8th, 2017 at ENGEL's technology centre in Schwertberg, Austria. The event will be held in German and the attendance fee is EUR 490.
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    02.02.2017   Major sustainability goal achieved: SIG Combibloc switches all production sites to green electricity    ( Company news )

    Company news Reduce CO2 emissions, promote the use of renewable resources, and thus counteract climate change – these are three of SIG Combibloc’s current environmental and sustainability targets. Now, the manufacturer of carton packaging and filling machines can announce an important interim goal at the start of 2017: from January onwards, all SIG Combibloc sites in Europe, South America, China and the Asia-Pacific region will be supplied 100 per cent with so-called ‘green electricity’. This electricity can be proven to come from renewable energy sources such as wind, sun, hydropower, biomass or biogas.

    Picture caption: Green Electricity – Production Plant Brazil: SIG Combibloc achieved an important interim goal at the start of 2017: from January onwards, all SIG Combibloc sites in Europe, South America, China and the Asia-Pacific region will be supplied 100 per cent with so-called ‘green electricity’ from renewable sources (wind, sun, hydropower, biomass or biogas). The picture shows the packaging materials plant at Campo Largo near Curitiba, Brazil.

    In Europe and America, renewable electricity can be procured on the free market. In Asia, SIG obtained green electricity from local suppliers certified according to the recognised ‘GoldPower®’ standard. This includes, for instance, biogas plants in Thailand, in which methane from wastewater is extracted and converted to electricity. In addition to climate-friendly power generation, the local population also benefits from the project, in the form of cleaner air, improved water quality, and employment and training opportunities.

    “Obtaining source-identified green electricity in Asia is a huge achievement, as these capacities are very scarce and up to now have been acquired almost exclusively by large multinationals”, says Arnold Schuhwerk, who as Global Category Manager is responsible for energy procurement at SIG Combibloc. “We’re delighted to have reached this goal so quickly”.

    Feasibility studies are currently being carried out at several of SIG Combibloc’s sites in Asia to check whether building own solar power plants are possible – from both the environmental and economical point of view.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    01.02.2017   India: Heineken unable to remove chairman Vijay Mallya despite owning higher stake in ...    ( )

    ... United Breweries

    Dutch beer maker Heineken International is caught in a bind as it is unable to remove chairman Vijay Mallya from its Indian joint venture United Breweries (UB) despite owning a higher stake. The beleaguered billionaire is causing reputational risks to United Breweries due to his legal battles with lenders and investigation by government agencies for misappropriation of funds, the Economic Times reported on January 24.

    Though Heineken owns a much higher stake than its partner at 42.4%, the Articles of Association (AoA) between the two shareholders states that Mallya will be entitled to be the lifelong chairman apart from a non-retiring director unless he voluntarily steps down and nominates one.

    According to an agreement in 2009 between the two, Mallya has the right to choose his successor. A change in the AoA needs an approval from 75% of the shareholders.

    Mallya’s financial problems and legal battles are posing reputational risks to United Breweries, said an official close to the development. “The board had earlier tried to convince Mallya to step down in the long-term interests of the organization.’’ Mallya had said he would not step down from the board until he is proven guilty in an Indian court.

    Heineken declined to comment while Mallya did not respond to an emailed questionnaire. Heineken has been hiking its stake in the company from 37.5% in 2003 by purchasing shares in block trades from the stock market. Heineken, which also has the first right of refusal, is also open to a hostile takeover of the company. In 2016, Heineken purchased shares from ECL Finance, with whom Mallya pledged shares, in block trades.

    Analysts said a complete takeover is ideal for Heineken and there are no concerns as the Dutch beer maker is in the driving seat with key financial position with them. “Though Mallya is termed as a ‘’defaulter’’ and wanted by the law, there is a professional team running the organisation,’’ an analyst tracking the consumer sector said. “Heineken is already in the driver’s seat in the company and focused on growing the business in India,’’ the analyst said.

    “If it takes complete management stake it would be an ideal situation… However, there are no concerns even with the current leadership team since Mallya is not running the show,” he added.

    Company news ... PET BOTTLES FOR CSD

    This latest addition to StarLite™ range of bottle bases ensures better performance of PET bottles for carbonated soft drinks (CSD) produced and distributed in extreme environmental conditions.

    The new Sidel StarLite Tropical base is enlarging the family of StarLite bottle solutions originally developed by Sidel packaging experts. This latest addition to the range is designed to offer a flexible solution for CSD, in all packaging sizes from 0.25 to 3 litres. Additionally, it is applicable to the different standard levels of carbonation. It is specifically designed for CSD bottles undergoing harsh conditions - for instance when produced and distributed in the supply chain at very high temperatures or in environments which are particularly humid. The end result is a PET bottle that offers improved resistance in terms of stress cracking and creeping, as well as better stability throughout the supply chain. It also avoids material waste during production and storage while offering a great consumer experience and – importantly - not compromising on the safety standards of the beverage inside.

    Improved bottle resistance and stability, tested by in-house experts
    The StarLite Tropical base has been designed to improve performance in terms of resistance. Its optimised geometry reinforces all the zones which are more susceptible to stress cracking due to mechanical constraints. This avoids potential breaking of the PET bottle walls and base which can be caused by interactions with fluids or chemicals during the conveying stage.

    The base has been evaluated and qualified under rigorous test protocols which are internationally recognised. It successfully completed a very demanding creeping test conducted over 72 hours under 38°C and 50% moisture conditions. This proved a good base roll-out resistance when the bottle is under pressure at high temperature and demonstrated that it is less likely to burst during production or to deform during transportation. Also, Sidel packaging experts conducted various trials through computer simulations, followed by real-world physical tests, to achieve optimum bottle strength. In those tests the StarLite Tropical design resulted in improved bottle stability and – again - more resistance to extreme temperatures (hot and cold). Vincent Le Guen, Vice President, Packaging at Sidel says, “The Sidel StarLite Tropical base is already in production in far-eastern countries by Sidel customers who have trialled the base and achieved great performance results, including significant improvements in resistance to stress cracking.”

    The improved bottle stability is achieved through the enhanced base standing surface. High surface contact of the base’s feet ensures easy bottle transportation and smooth conveying, an efficient solution for even high-output lines. This prevents bottles falling when passing through machine interfaces within the PET bottling line and results in a higher production uptime. As Le Guen adds, “The new StarLite Tropical base takes all the benefits of the original StarLite base, enlarging them to all producers of carbonated soft drinks. Now, they can incorporate the large and stable base to their containers’ designs, to greatly improve bottle performance throughout the supply chain.”

    Base moulds for all production configurations
    Having an enhanced venting design, the new Sidel StarLite Tropical base moulds are offering an optimised cooling capacity to further improve bottle base performances. Available for all Sidel moulds, they are easy to implement in PET production lines and can even be retrofitted to existing Sidel CSD moulds to adapt bottle designs. The new base can be applied to all lines equipped with any generation of Sidel blowers, in standalone - with an additional post-mould cooling base device - or Combi configurations. Line conversion is quick and, in some cases, only needing a simple adjustment to filling-levels.
    (Sidel International AG)
    01.02.2017   The Czech Republic: AB InBev invests USD15 mln in Samson brewery    ( )

    Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) group continues with the modernisation of Samson brewery in České Budějovice. The investment into the new machine room, fermenting tanks, filtering tanks, warehouses, pasteurisation gear or cleaning and hygienic station totals USD15 mln, Prague Monitor reported on January 24.

    The spokesperson for AB InBev, Kathleen Van Boxelaer, said the group will continue to invest into the brewery in the next two years as part of the biggest upgrade in more than 20 years.
    01.02.2017   UK: Carlsberg and Heineken announce beer price increases for this year    ( )

    Britain’s beer drinkers could soon shell out more for a pint of their favourite ale, as some of the biggest brewing companies plan to put prices up this year, The Sun reported on January 24.

    Carlsberg and Heineken have become the latest brewers to unveil beer price increases for 2017, affecting many of the most popular brands on the market.

    Trade magazine The Morning Advertiser reported on January 23 that Carlsberg prices were going up by 2.6 per cent on average across the board, affecting brands like Tuborg, Tetley’s, Holsten Pils, Skol and San Miguel.

    Heineken also confirmed that it would see an average price increase of 6p per pint across its brands, with a 6.6p increase for Foster’s.

    As well as Heineken, its brands include Desperados, Kronenbourg, Deuchers IPA and John Smith’s.

    While the companies have confirmed that wholesale prices are going up by an average of 6p a pint, it is not yet clear how much more drinkers will have to pay at their local pub.

    It’s likely, though, that a rise in wholesale prices will impact the price at the pump.
    31.01.2017   UK: Kingfisher Beer Europe to distribute Indonesian lager Bintang in the UK    ( )

    Kingfisher Beer Europe is set to launch popular Indonesian lager Bintang in the UK on-trade, the Morning Advertiser reported on January 18.

    The company acquired UK marketing and distribution rights from owner Multi Bintang Indonesia, which is part of the Heineken company, with an eye to expanding the brand beyond restaurants and into pubs and bars.

    Kingfisher CEO Damon Swarbrick said: “The brand is ideally positioned to capitalise on the burgeoning pan-Asian restaurant sector so we will initially be seeding it here.

    He added: “However, we believe it has much wider potential and we have already secured a number of high-profile bar listings in London and Manchester.”

    The beer, which has an ABV of 4.7%, will be available in 24x330ml and 12x620ml bottles this month.

    Swarbrick added: “While the industry continues to explore craft beer, there is clearly significant demand for premium, authentic, easy-drinking world beers. We believe Bintang is perfectly suited to meet this demand.”

    Heineken recently launched H41, a new lager made with ‘wild’ Patagonian yeast, to the UK on-trade.

    The beer, a 5.3% ABV lager, was launched exclusively into Laine Pub Company sites in London and Brighton in December with an eye to expanding its presence further in the future.

    The beer’s name is a nod to the co-ordinates of the mountain range where its yeast was found.

    Heineken brand director David Lette previously said: “We are in perfect position to explore different tastes and flavours while remaining true to our iconic product.
    31.01.2017   USA: Total number of permitted breweries raises to record high of 7,190 in 2016    ( )

    For the third straight year, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issued more than 1,000 new brewery permits, bringing the total number of permitted U.S. breweries to a record high of 7,190 in 2016, reported on January 17.

    According to recent TTB data published by National Beer Wholesalers Association chief economist Lester Jones, the number of permitted U.S. breweries has tripled from 2,343 over the last six years.

    The government agency issued 1,110 new permits in 2016, down slightly from the 1,142 new permits issued in 2015.

    Permitted breweries include brick and mortar facilities and alternating proprietorships while excluding contract brewers. It also includes brewers who may have recently shut down their brewing operations but have not yet been “delisted” by the TTB.

    As of December 31, 2016, California had the most permitted breweries in the U.S., at 927, and Washington, D.C., had the fewest with 13.

    According to Jones, California’s 927 permitted breweries is “almost as many as the entire U.S. total of 974 permits in 1995.”

    Similarly, the TTB counted 264 total permitted breweries in Florida last year, which is 14 more than the 1990 national count of 250, according to Jones.

    On a national basis, there are now 2.2 breweries per 100,000 residents, up from 0.7 per 100,000 residents in 2010. And, at the state level, Vermont has the highest number of breweries per capita, at 11.7, followed by Maine (7.7), Montana (7.6) and Colorado (7.0), Jones reported.

    “Around the country, per capita brewery measures in many states have more than tripled since 2010,” he wrote.

    But as overall beer consumption continues decline, Jones said he believes the increasing number of permitted breweries will only create stiffer competition in an already crowded beer category.

    “With continued declines in per capita consumption of beer on the books for 2016, this year’s beer market is gearing up for another highly competitive, innovative and dynamic battle for share for consumer’s mind, wallet and stomach,” he wrote.
    30.01.2017   Carlsberg Group appoints new Executive Vice President for Supply Chain     ( Company news )

    Company news Carlsberg Group announces that Philip A. Hodges (photo) will join Carlsberg Group as EVP Supply Chain and member of the Group’s Executive Committee (ExCom) from 1 February 2017, replacing Peter Ernsting who left the company at the end of last year.

    Phil brings extensive experience in supply chain and finance from various international positions. He last served as Senior Vice President for Integrated Supply Chain Europe at the global food and beverage company, Mondélez.

    Previously, Phil has held numerous senior executive and management roles in supply chain, general management, finance and strategy in various countries, amongst them the US, UK, Italy and Singapore.

    Carlsberg Group CEO, Cees ´t Hart says:
    “Philip A. Hodges brings a wealth of international experience from very senior supply chain roles at reputable, global companies, and I am sure he will add significant value and new insights to the Group.”

    Philip A. Hodges says:
    “Carlsberg is a fantastic company with a rich heritage, iconic brands and strong potential. The Carlsberg people have been great and very welcoming. They have embarked on an important journey of integrating all Supply Chain functions into a truly End to End approach aimed at optimising performance. I look forward to joining the team and together taking that process to the next level.”

    Phil holds a BSc in Management Science and Geology from Keele University (UK), and he started his professional career at Citigroup Investment Banking in 1987. He will be based in Ziegelbrücke, Switzerland.
    (Carlsberg Danmark A/S)
    27.01.2017   Howard G. Buffett to Retire from The Coca-Cola Company Board of Directors    ( Company news )

    Company news The Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company announced that Howard G. Buffett, 61 (photo), will not stand for re-election to the Board at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareowners in April 2017. Buffett has chosen to retire from the Board to focus more time on his work as Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which focuses on advancing sustainable agricultural practices and conflict mitigation throughout the world.

    “I’ve enjoyed my more than 17 years of combined service to the boards of Coca-Cola Enterprises and The Coca-Cola Company and have the utmost respect and admiration for the work the Company is doing to sustainably grow its business around the world,” Buffett said. “Under the long-time leadership of Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, joined recently by President and COO James Quincey, the Company has exciting plans for the future and is poised to deliver even greater value to its many stakeholders in the years to come.”

    Buffett joined The Coca-Cola Company’s Board of Directors in December 2010 and has served as a member of the Public Issues and Diversity Review Committee since 2011. From 1993-2004 he served as a director on the Board of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc., which at the time was the largest bottler of Coca-Cola beverages in North America and Western Europe.

    In addition to his role with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Buffett serves as President of Buffett Farms, a commercial farming operation in Nebraska, and, since 1993, has served as a director of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. From 1995 to January 2016, Buffett also served as a director of Lindsay Corporation.

    “On behalf of everyone at Coca-Cola, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to Howard for his years of exemplary service to our Board and our system,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company. “Howard has provided valuable guidance as we have worked to imbed sustainability as a core value in our system while continuing to grow our business globally. We have all benefitted greatly from his wisdom and wise counsel.”
    (The Coca-Cola Company)
    26.01.2017   Sierra Nevada Underscores Its Commitment To Quality -- Replaces Select Beer On Store Shelves    ( Company news )

    Company news Voluntary recall for select Sierra Nevada beer including Beer Camp Golden IPA, Pale Ale (photo), Sidecar Orange Pale Ale, Tropical Torpedo, Nooner, Hop Hunter, Otra Vez and Torpedo Extra IPA in 12-ounce bottles

    Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced a voluntary recall of select 12-ounce bottles that may contain a glass packaging flaw. This recall comes after quality inspections at the company's Mills River, North Carolina, brewery detected a very limited number of bottles with a flaw that may cause a small piece of glass to break off and possibly fall into the bottle, creating a risk for injury. The recall applies to product purchased in the Midwest, Southern and East Coast states listed below.

    "While we believe this concern impacts roughly 1 in every 10,000 (0.01%) of our bottles packaged during this time," says Mike Bennett, Chief Supply Chain Officer, "Sierra Nevada has set the standard for quality in the craft brewing industry since 1980 and we have decided to take this precaution to ensure the safety of our consumers. To date, we have not received any consumer reports of injuries resulting from the potentially affected bottles and we are working with our supplier to determine the root cause of the issue."

    The beer affected by this recall includes those brands listed below with a packaging date that falls within the range with a code of "M" (Mills River) and not "C" (Chico), which is all information that can be found printed on the packaging or shoulder of the bottle:

    Pale Ale 12-ounce bottles in 6-, 12- and 24-pack (cases) packaged 12/5/16-1/8/17
    Beer Camp Golden IPA 12-ounce bottles in 6- and 12-pack (cases) packaged 12/5/16-1/13/17
    Sidecar Orange Pale Ale 12-ounce bottles in 6- and 12-pack (cases) packaged 12/5/16-1/13/17
    Torpedo Extra IPA 12-ounce bottles in 6- and 12-pack (cases) packaged 12/5/16-1/13/17
    Tropical Torpedo 12-ounce bottles in 6-packs packaged 12/5/16-1/13/17
    Nooner 12-ounce bottles in 6-packs packaged 12/5/16-1/13/17
    Hop Hunter 12-ounce bottles in 6- and 12-pack (cases) packaged 12/5/16-1/13/17
    Otra Vez 12-ounce bottles in 6-packs packaged 12/5/16-1/13/17

    The recall applies to product purchased in the following Midwest, Southern and East Coast states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

    Sierra Nevada has stopped distributing all affected beer. The company is actively working with distributor and retail partners to remove this beer from retail shelves and hold any further shipments. Consumers who have purchased beer within the scope of this recall will be eligible for full compensation of the purchase price and are advised not to drink it and to dispose of the beer. A website has been set up for updates on the recall and to report purchase at

    No other Sierra Nevada products are affected by this recall.
    (Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.)


    Success for producers bottling still and sparkling water requires a focus on output and efficiency, combined with an uncompromising commitment to food safety. By taking a holistic view of the production cycle, a fully connected line can be optimised through a combination of lightweight packaging, great efficiency and hygiene, always keeping the total cost of ownership (TCO) as low as possible.

    Water is a precious commodity. Increasing urbanisation in developing countries - and the resulting need for regular access to drinkable water, and the move away from sugary beverages in more mature markets has driven a growth in demand for bottled water around the world. Global sales climbed in volume by 6.7% between 2014 and 2015 to reach 193 billion litres with still water accounting for 86% of this total . The material of choice in this growing market is PET, covering 86% of all projected bottled water packaging sales in 2016.

    With more than 40 years’ experience with complete line solutions and the world’s largest installed base of Combi integrated blow-fill-cap systems, Sidel has helped producers to reach and exceed their targets, time after time.

    "Smarter solutions and innovations are essential to meeting the needs of the rapidly expanding and ever-changing bottled water market. A complete line approach recognises the roles that lightweight and safe packaging, top quality equipment, optimised line design, smart automation and ongoing services all have to play in meeting the market challenges. It offers producers full control and transparency throughout the bottling process,” says Simone Pisani, Category Marketing Director Water at Sidel.

    Value adding innovations by in-house experts
    With the aim of improving bottle strength and performance while reducing costs and ensuring the brand stands out on the shelves, Sidel scientists and in-house packaging designers work on more than 250,000 new bottle concepts every year. At 5 packaging centres and 4 in-house R&D laboratories around the world, they help producers to qualify and industrialise specific packaging solutions that satisfy consumer needs and help to differentiate products on the shelf. Creating and evaluating bottle samples and performing many different laboratory tests, they take care of the safety and quality of customers’ beverages, as well as of the best product’s performance throughout the supply chain, and enhance their value proposition to consumers.

    One of Sidel’s many recent innovations within bottled water production is the development of the Sidel Rightweight™ bottle. This design reduces bottle weight and energy consumption during production, while improving the container’s performance across the entire supply chain and delivering a superior consumer experience. The resulting 0.5 litre bottle weighs 35% less than the average commercial alternative, yet achieves 32% greater top-load performance than the lightest commercial bottle, resulting in cost savings of up to EUR 1.74 million per year .

    Sidel has also developed a new PET base for still water. Sidel StarLite™ has a unique shape that significantly increases base resistance and stability. Through this solution - which can even be applied to existing lines - overall package weight is lowered without affecting beverage quality.

    With StarLite, bottles for sparkling water can also benefit from improved protection against stress-cracking, a similar reduction in base-weight and improved bottle performance.

    Compact and reliable water solution
    Sidel’s fully integrated, hygienic and innovative solutions - gained from extensive cooperation with leading water brands - help producers to optimise uptime and operating costs. The portfolio includes a range of modular equipment and components, able to increase line efficiency and speed while ensuring food safety and hygiene.

    The Sidel Matrix™ Combi, offering blowing, filling and capping processes in one machine, optimises the production line layout with a smaller footprint. It efficiently combines the benefits of the Sidel Matrix blower with those of the SF100 FM filler for still water or the SF300 FM filler for sparkling water. By eliminating intermediate conveyors and reducing the volume of the production environment to be kept under control, hygiene and food safety are improved. Additionally, the Combi offers faster changeovers with savings in power consumption, labour, raw materials, maintenance time and spare parts, lowering operating costs by up to 12%. More importantly, Combi systems offer high performance with efficiency levels up to 4% better than standalone machines.

    Integration of carbonating and filling processes
    The Sidel Matrix Combi also features Sidel’s Blendfill configuration, combining carbonator and filler in a single system for top quality sparkling water. Utilising the Sidel Matrix Carbonator SM100 beverage tank as a shared tank with the filler, the configuration avoids redundant pressure and level control functions, while reducing consumption of CO2 as well as the footprint of the equipment.

    Optimised cleaning while saving resources
    Smart cleaning technology also reduces energy and chemical use by up to 70%. Sidel’s compact Integrated Cleaning System (ICS) is a simple and hygienically designed solution that, combined with the filler skid, ensures quick preparation of cleaning agents so that all equipment parts that come into contact with the water are effectively cleaned.

    Reduced waste for improved safety and hygiene
    As many factors can affect the amount of product splashing within a filling process - speed, bottle shape, neck dimensions, fill-level to name but a few - Sidel uses all its expertise and in-house simulation tests to help producers overtake the issue. Virtual modelling and real-life testing help avoid any splashing and maintain safety of the filling environment, especially at very high speeds.

    Giving the final package a memorable look
    Labelling is an essential factor to ensuring a product stands out on supermarket shelves. Roll-fed technology uses plastic labels, which have physical and functional qualities making them very attractive to consumers and beneficial for beverages producers. The Sidel Matrix SL70 efficient roll-fed labelling station delivers precise and controlled handling and application for containers of any shape. It is capable of outputs of up to 60,000 bottles per hour. With shorter changeover times for containers of different shapes and dimensions, this ergonomic and reliable system maximises operator safety, uptime and productivity by reducing maintenance time by 40%, while enhancing sustainability as it uses up to 40% less power.

    Flexible pack configurations, quick changeovers and optimised transportation
    The secondary packaging - the finished pack that the consumer sees at the point of sale - represents a strong opportunity to reinforce brand recognition and so needs to be appealing, durable and functional to catch attention. Carrying the labelled bottles onto the secondary packaging process, Sidel’s smart conveyors can be automatically adjusted to handle different formats. Gently feeding the bottles to maintain consistency and quality, the packers also protect them from elements such as weather, pressure and temperature change. To minimise overall costs, they also optimise the use of heat, glue, cartons and film. All Sidel’s packers ensure quick changeovers for flexible handling of multiple stock keeping units (SKUs).

    Sidel palletisers allow easy changeovers in layer formation to organise the right number of single bottles onto - for example - trays, dollies or packs onto pallets. In this way they achieve smart pallet patterns of various sizes and formats of bottles, in order to optimise efficiency during transportation and storage.

    Maximum uptime and minimum TCO
    Once a line is up and running, Sidel Services™ offers a tailored portfolio to help maintain, regain and even improve performance throughout the equipment’s lifetime. From customised maintenance, through to line improvement, to spare parts and logistics services, the company combines customer proximity with global experience to shorten lead times and improve customers’ efficiency.

    However, it is difficult to improve what is not being measured. The market is looking for systems with “built-in intelligence” capable of translating raw data into actionable information. Sidel's Efficiency Improvement Tool (EIT™) handles production issues to meet ongoing challenges and also anticipates them through trends and forecasts based on historical and multi-plant analysis.

    “By taking a global view of the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and the entire working life of a production line, as new technologies and solutions are developed, Sidel offers existing line owners options and upgrades, line conversion and training services to ensure that installed equipment does not get left behind, while strengthening operators’ skills. In this way the company is always working to help producers optimise operating costs and reach the lowest possible TCO" adds Simone Pisani.
    (Sidel International AG)
    24.01.2017   FATwater - a revolution in refreshment    ( Company news )

    Company news Extracted from the most potent part of the coconut, Brain Octane® oil enhances cognitive performance and puts your brain on full blast without weighing you down!

    There's purified water and then there's deionized water. It's an entirely new level of purity. Add B vitamins for mental focus and natural flavors and you're ready to go.

    You don’t need sugar to get energy. A better fuel for your body is the unique high-energy fat from coconuts in Bulletproof Brain Octane® oil. Sugary sports drinks spike insulin levels, leaving you tired, cranky and craving more. That’s no fun. And, unlike sugar, studies show that the high-energy fat in Brain Octane® supports weight management.

    Brain Octane® increases athletic performance by giving your body sustained energy, without the crash. The fats in Brain Octane® are easier to digest than the more common long chain triglycerides. The fat in Brain Octane® helps you perform by giving you immediate and sustained energy that lasts rather than crashes.

    Clean burning energy from quality fats, purified water, and natural flavoring with only 15 calories. Staying hydrated is key to health. FATwater™ is a revolution in refreshment. We made water fun.
    (Bulletproof 360 Inc.)
    24.01.2017   The Czech Republic: Sale of Plzeňský Prazdroj to Asahi Group questioned by Pilsen-based ...    ( )

    ... association Právovarečné měšťanstvo

    The Pilsen-based association Právovarečné měšťanstvo is questioning the sale of the Czech brewery Plzeňský Prazdroj to the Japanese company Asahi Group Holdings, the news site has reported.

    The group has appealed to European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestagler, asking her to suspend the sale, arguing that it has been leading a legal dispute over the ownership of part of its property. Karel Svoboda, the head of the Právovarečné měšťanstvo association, told the news site that they were very concerned about the issue.

    Právovarečné měšťanstvo is demanding its property rights for the Měšťanský pivovar brewery in Pilsen, which was built by the association back in 1842 and which is today part of the Plzeňský Prazdroj company, are recognised.

    Asahi Group Holdings, Japan’s biggest brewery group, has won the bidding competition to acquire the biggest Czech beer producer in December 2016.

    The Group has provisionally picked up the Czech brewer as part of a package of Central European beer makers put up for sale by the multinational SABMiller. This also comprised breweries in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia with the price tag for the job lot put at 7.3 billion euros (around 197 billion Czech crowns).

    The sell-off was forced on SABMiller by the European Commission as part of the price for its takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which Brussels feared would create dominant positions and curb competition on a series of European markets while commanding around 27 percent of the world beer market.

    If the Japanese offer completes the course, then Asahi Group Holdings would, according to sources, appear to have comfortably outbid a rival offer for the brewery by the richest Czech, Petr Kellner, of the PPF group in partnership with the Czech-Slovak bank J&T.

    Asahi earlier picked up some of SABMiller’s assets as part of the group divestment, for example, the Italian beer brand Peroni and Dutch brand Grolsh. This was already seen by analysts as a indication that Asahi was willing to spend freely and pick up European assets as part of its worldwide expansion.

    In the past, Asahi was reported as one of the potential bidders for Prague’s Staropramen brewery, the second biggest in the country, when it was put up for sale in 2012. The eventual winner of that contest was Molson Coors. Staropramen though is licensed to Asahi dry to sell on European markets, it’s one of the Japanese brewery’s biggest and best selling brands.

    Asahi is reckoned to have exhausted most of the beer market possibilities on its Japanese domestic market by the late 1990s. It has since expanded into drinks, snacks, and food in Japan, and has expanded abroad through an aggressive merger and acquisition policy. It began life in 1889 after borrowing largely from German beer know-how and technology.

    Plzeňský Prazdroj’s profits for last year, ending in March, rose five percent to 3.7 billion crowns with turnover climbing slightly slower to around 14.4 billion crowns. SABMiller had pinpointed Plzeňský Prazdroj to become one of its major brands worldwide, though many analysts believed that all the promotion and marketing promises were only partially fulfilled.

    The Plzeň brewer has been in Japanese hands before, though these are not likely to be happy memories. Plzeňský Prazdroj’s majority owner was at one stage in the hands of the investment group Nomura, though it always openly admitted that this was never a long-term strategic investment and that it would quit once the price for getting out was right. The latest transaction should be completed by December 2017.

    Buyers' Guide:
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