In December of the last year I was invited by the Krones company to participate as a guest author on their craft beer blog and since then I have been collaborating and writing some articles in English. You can find all of them at the following link: Craft Beer Blog. Guest Author: Emily Vegas. For me, it is an honor to be part of the team of this blog in an “indirect way” and I am very pleased and grateful for the opportunity they have given to me to continue contributing to the beer culture around the world. Thanks again.
I received recently an invitation to visit the Company. On August 29th I traveled to Neutraubling, Regensburg where the main headquarters of Krones are located. Regensburg is a wonderful city, I was short of time but I was able to visit some of its most emblematic places. It is located in the east of Bavaria, approximately 2 hours away from Munich. I was able to visit part of the historical center of the City, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site. I walked across the stone bridge over the Danube river and I could take advantage of the summer heat to enjoy a delicious lemon ice cream while I was waiting to return to Munich.
The first stop of the visit was: The Krones Museum. It all began in 1951 when Hermann Kronseder – the founder- built in Neutrabling, Regensburg his first labeling machines inspired by his own designs and he had a lot of success, because of that, in 1967 he began to produce the first packaging and filling machines and in 1984 he created what is now known as Krones AG, a Global Company with a family heritage that has been growing from generation to generation. In 1990 they created the first inspection machine for the packaging process. Between the years 1997-2001 they began with the production of packaging lines for PET bottles (an Innovation at the moment). In 2010 they designed some machines with the advantage that they could occupy less space without losing the functionality of the previous ones, and at that moment is when the Block-technology was born (all in one). Nowadays, Krones AG is something more, Krones AG can offer complete factories, lines for process technology, filling and packaging lines, intralogistics, IT solutions, PET recycling facilities, adhesives, lubricants, cleaning and disinfecting products and something that I love the most is that they also offer a service for selling second-hand machines and repairing all of them too (Ecomac). Krones AG, not only satisfies the demand of the brewing industry but also of the entire beverage industry. And at the end, KRONES GROUP is divided into KIC Krones, Evoguard, Syskron, Kosme, Milkron, HST, Ecomac and System Logistics.
We went into the plant …
It’s really impressive!
Krones designing all the machines to meet their customer’s requirements, therefore every machine is unique. All the process could take from approximately 3 to 11 months to build a machine – depending on the characteristics of the machine -.They manufacture all of them by modules, and because of that, they require highly qualified and trained personnel to produce with excellence and quality. During my tour I was also able to witness the construction of the Ergobloc L machine – for PET bottles – with their respective modules: stretching-blowing, labeling, filling and capping. I was also present at the construction of the VarioFlash used in the pasteurization process.
Ergobloc L belongs to the generation of block technology machines for PET bottles.
But, what does that mean?
The block technology consists in the construction of a set of machines integrated all in one, which allows a significant reduction of space, a main and only control – a single control panel and because of that, the machine requires a qualified operator-. It is an energy saving machine that requires a minimal operation, delicate treatment of PET packaging and much more. This machine does blowing, labeling, filling and capture 81,000 bottles per hour. It features: Contifeed RS preforms, Contiform 3 blow molding machine, and modular filler. It is sold worldwide as the rest of the Krones equipment.
For sales, questions and more information in your country, you only have to locate the closest contact point through this link: SALES KRONES and I assure you that you will receive the best attention.
We continued our way…
I was able to witness the construction of the labeling modules, filling machines and the VarioFlash pasteurizer.
The VarioFlash pasteurizer is responsible for the pasteurizing process of the finished beer, to ensure packaging with microbiological protection and a longer duration of it. A very important detail is that this pasteurizer is not only used in the production of beer. It adapts to the needs of the customer. Its performance is up to 60,000 liters per hour, it also offers high energy savings, process flexibility, hygienic design, space saving and is one of the most frequently manufactured equipment by Krones.
And we continue to visit the facilities…
At the end, I arrived at the building where the main offices are. There, I met some of the employees and I interviewed Maria Seywald – Social Media Manager by Krones – and here I share the extracts of the interview with all of you:
1. How many employees does Krones currently have?
Maria: Around the world, we are more than 14,000 people working for Krones. We have five factories in Germany – alongside Neutraubling, head office; Nittenau, Rosenheim, Freising and Flensburg – we have more than 10,000 employees between men and women. We mainly produce in Germany, but we are also present in the countries where our customers work. We have a network of approximately 80 sales and service subsidiaries around the world.
2. What are Krones plans for the future?
Maria: I think the biggest challenge we have and we are betting on, is globalization and the digitalisation, which allows us to work in shorter times, with greater technology around the world. At Krones, we are developing many digital solutions that allow our customers to work more efficiently, for example, the Smart ReadyKit.
3. What is the market with the highest Krones presence today?
Maria: You can find Krones in every corner in the world, however, one of our most important markets is China, and we even have our own ErgoBlocLC KT machine designed in China.
4. Can you tell me in a single sentence what Krones means to you?
Maria: For me, Krones means: “All in one” because with Krones, our customers can get everything they need in just one place.
5. And what do you think makes Krones different from the rest?
Maria: Krones is a big company but 100% familiar and that has been conserved during the time.
6. How does Krones face the recent boom in the craft beer market? When and why a craft beer blog?
Maria: Well, Our plant in Freising, is responsible for creating breweries for all our customers around the world and we even have a recent demand for our compact breweries that can satisfy all the needs of the craft market. The craft beer blog was born in 2015 and the idea was to create a platform much more informal in which we could convey the passion that characterizes the craft brewers. We started writing it only in English and currently, we have it available in German because the German beer culture is also changing
And at the end, we enjoyed a typical German lunch: Schweinebraten (pork roast) with Kloß:
DRINKTEC 2017 – the largest beverage industry event in the world – is taking place this week in the German city of Munich. And of course, Krones has its Stand in Hall B6. I invite all of you to attend it because it is an experience you can not miss!. I had the opportunity to go there on Tuesday, September 12th, and it was such a wonderful experience. Thanks once again to all the Krones team for the invitation and for all the incredible work you have always made. Then I will let you know in detail my experience there. Meanwhile, I would like to share some photos.
PS: If you visit the Stand, do not forget that you can have your own photo in the Krones magazine.
Special thanks to Charles Schmidt, Maria Seywald, Hannah Arnal, Katharina Putz, Luise Deschl and all the Krones employees.