Reliable adhesive application

Peterstaler Mineralquellen was founded in 1926, and expanded in 1941 to a second production facility in Bad Rippoldsau, Germany. The family-owned company bottles not only mineral water but also lemonades, spritzers, and sports drinks. The beverages are filled into glass or PET bottles of different sizes, both disposable containers. In all, about 80 different products make up the product line of Peterstaler Mineralquellen.

Over the last three or four years, there has been a kind of renaissance for mineral water in glass bottles. The general trend towards healthy eating and regional products has given glass a new life in beverage packaging. So at the beginning of 2015, Peterstaler made a decision to purchase a new glass filling line to be installed at its plant. At the same time, the company invested in a new logistics centre.

A complete rebuilding of the glass filling lines was included in the plan, since the existing equipment at the Bad Rippoldsau plant was showing signs of age. Various engineering companies were evaluated, and Peterstaler Mineralquellen decided on KHS as a provider as it was capable of delivering the entire system from a single source, including the conveyor belts and labeller.

“We wanted to purchase another system with a capacity of 30,000 bottles per hour. The system would have to consume significantly less power, be operated by no more than two people, and fit into the close quarters of 600 square meters on the third floor. Short tooling times were extremely important for us, because on average the system has to be changed over to a different format every three to four days,” said technical lead Wolfgang Sum, Peterstaler Mineralquellen.

KHS installed its modular ‘Innoket Neo’ labelling machine. Machines in this series can handle self-adhesive, cold glue, roll-fed and hot melt adhesive labels with a throughput of up to 60,000 bottles per hour. Five different glass containers are processed on the Bad Peterstal machine: 0.5-litre GDB, 0.7-litre GDB, 0.25-litre restaurant, 0.5-litre restaurant, and 0.75-litre restaurant bottles.

The German Mineral Water Ordinance requires mineral water to be sold only with an originality guarantee. This can be executed by using a screw cap with a tamper-evident seal, or by a seal using a label. Peterstaler Mineralquellen has always used label sealing, and wanted to stick with that solution. The shoulder label used for this purpose has a strap pointing up, which is applied to the twist top using a hot melt glue point. When the bottle is opened, the paper label tears between the cap and the shoulder of the bottle, making it visible that the bottle has been opened. To apply the hot melt to the seal, KHS relies on technology from Robatech AG, headquartered in Muri, Switzerland.

Left to right: Wolfgang Sum from Peterstaler Mineralquellen, Andreas Felder from Robatech

A Robatech Concept B5/2 melting system melts the hot melt adhesive, which is conveyed to the SpeedStar Diamond application head using a water-resistant heated hose. A single application head is used.

“With the SpeedStar, KHS rotary labellers now apply two hot melt points to the cap. Since the aluminium screw caps also have a thread on the outside, using a single point runs the risk that the hot melt could fall inside a thread. Using two points guarantees that at least one thread ridge gets glue, which is necessary to ensure the secure hold of the sealing label,” says Andreas Felder, sales lead Southwest, Peterstaler Mineralquellen.

The glue points are also inspected for presence by an infrared sensor. Bottles without a sealing label glued in place are sorted out. Application control is completed by the Robatech AS 50 AK control unit, which is connected to the KHS system controller by Ethernet. This allows the customer to adjust its pattern control from the KHS touch screen.

Sum from Peterstaler Mineralquellen is extremely satisfied with the adhesive application system from Robatech: “I was already familiar with spray adhesive technology from Robatech and really wanted to have that kind of system in our new glass filling line again. So we were excited to find that KHS already recommends an adhesive application system from Robatech in their Innoket Neo. Our field of operations corresponds well with solutions from Robatech, and the signal interchange works perfectly. Unless the customer explicitly has other wishes, adhesive application systems from Robatech are our first priority,” said Cornelius Adolf, product manager labelling technology, KHS.

“The quality of Robatech adhesive application technology offers us high reliability in production. Contact with Robatech service technicians is also competent and direct. If we run into even a small problem, it gets solved immediately. We are also satisfied with the sustainability of the system, because it lets us reduce not only power consumption, but glue consumption as well,” said Sum.

The new glass filling line was opened in February 2016, and has run problem-free since.