Yet another modernization stage of Budweiser Budvar’s filling room has been finalized, as a unique system for storing crates and cartons with ready made beer has been put into operation. The newly installed machines have replaced the original and technically out-of-date parts of the bottle filling line (in specific the appliance for putting bottles into crates, the palletizing machine and the wrapping appliance). The technological unit contains several special appliances, the most interesting being its robot arm to place the individual layers of crates or cartons onto the pallets. The new concept of transporting the ready made products using a spiral conveyer and storey arrangement significantly increases the storage capacity of the bottle filling line, therefore being instrumental in its more free flowing operation. The new system supplied by the German company “KHS Dortmund “represents Budweiser Budvar’s this year’s largest investment worth CZK 41 million.
“The new machinery is of significantly higher output - up to 54,000 bottles an hour. The noise level is lower and there is no attendance needed. Due to its modern technical design, the time necessary for converting the appliance when changing packaging formats has now substantially decreased. Furthermore, the new system saves flexible packaging foils worth CZK 500,000 p.a.,” reflects on the main benefits Dalibor Čáp, Budweiser Budvar’s technical and energy department manager, adding: “The robot arm, which got the name EMIL by our employees, is very attractive spectator-wise. It is the first robot of such type used in the Czech beverage industry and its work can be observed from the tourist gallery by the brewery’s visitors as well.”
As Budweiser Budvar’s bottle filling lines cannot be taken out of service for a longer period than 14 days, a gradual change has been taking place in stages since 2005. As a part of this process, the previous years saw the bottle washers changed (2005), pasteurizers modernized (2006), new labelling machinery purchased (2007) as well as the bottle filling appliances (2008) and the crate palletising machinery (2009). The ultimate aim of the modernization lies in increasing the capacity of the bottle filling room, which has been becoming the most compressed place of the production process owing to the ever-growing demand for beer from Budweiser Budvar Brewery in the long-term.
Budweiser Budvar is planning a total investment of CZK 330 million for this year. Most of the funds will make for finalizing the project of renovation and increased capacity of the bottle filling lines as well as for decreasing the specific consumption of water, CO2, heat and electricity during the brewing process, IT technologies and the expansion of commercial centres within the Czech Republic.