A new streamlined layout and production design is now a template for all of Carlsberg’s Chinese sites

KHS has installed two canning lines for Carlsberg in China as part of its long-standing partnership with the brewing giant to implement its strategic vision.

Cutting-edge filling equipment, environmentally-friendly packaging and ambitious sustainability targets: Carlsberg is one of the beverage industry’s technological pioneers. Over the years, the KHS Group has consistently supported the brewery in implementing these strategies. A number of projects have recently been successfully realised in China – including the installation of two canning lines. The focus here was on a streamlined layout and production design that are to act as a template for all of the company’s Chinese factories.

Carlsberg, one of the leading beer companies in China, aims to improve the quality of local beers in the long term and grow together with its partners, suppliers and employees. This is to be brought about by constant modernisation of existing plant equipment and the introduction of new, advanced technologies.

KHS is playing an important role in this strategy; including the two new recently installed canning lines at Carlsberg Dali Brewery (Dali City, Yunnan Province) and at Carlsberg Yibin Brewery (Yibin City, Sichuan Province). “We’ve been working successfully with KHS for about ten years on the Asian market and have developed further together,” explains Paul Kime, asset and projects director at Carlsberg Asia. “This continuity throughout a good number of projects has created a sense of trust between us and makes us feel that we’re all one big team.”

This close partnership is an important factor when it comes to project implementation – as the most recent undertaking illustrates. Despite the restrictions imposed by the corona pandemic, the new canning lines were actually commissioned before the agreed date. KHS says its established policy of regionalisation was central to the project’s speedy realisation.

“In setting up our own sales organisations and increasing our local service proficiency, we provide the regional expertise needed to independently maintain, install and commission our machinery with the help of local teams,” explains Norman Gras, global key account manager at KHS. “With travel restrictions still in force, this is a great advantage.

“We succeeded in quickly implementing an intelligent, space-saving line concept in close co-operation with the customer’s project team,” Gras continues. The heavily reduced number of buffer and conveying segments in the new line design make higher demands of the system control and machine availability – the shorter distances between the individual stations on the line tolerate no faults in the production processes.

However, according to Kime, the reject rate is under 1% and the level of efficiency is over 95% – and is even 100% in Yibin which are fantastic figures.

The heart of the line is the Innofill Can DVD can filler that processes up to 90,000 0.33-litre cans or a maximum of 60,000 0.5-litre cans per hour, ranging from local brands to Carlsberg’s famous products. The concept also incorporates an Innopas SX tunnel pasteuriser and a packaging system comprising an Innopack SP shrink packer at each respective plant plus two wrap-around packers in Yibin and one in Dali, where several years ago KHS installed three returnable glass lines.

With its robot grouping, palletising with the Innopal PB1 RG2 gives Carlsberg the flexibility it needs to also cope with any tasks the future may have in store. The total package is rounded off by a wide range of safety equipment such as a key-in-pocket door safety system and extended protective housing.

Another special feature of the current project was the request for a lubrication-free container conveying concept and a dry production environment. “Normally we work with belt lubrication to minimise wear and keep the coefficient of friction constant,” Gras explains. “But at both plants the beverage cans run dry on the belts.”

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