GERMANY – International manufacturer of filling and packaging equipment KHS Group is revolutionizing kegging with its Innokeg AF-C Transversal kegging line which has capacity to wash and rack up to 500 kegs an hour.

The Innokeg AF-C Transversal features a central conveyor segment which is a deviation from the conventional transversal conveyor setup which has separate belts for infeed and discharge upstream and downstream of the actual machine.

This innovative design saves on space on the production floor. Given that there are no conveyors separating the operator from the machine, the stations are freely and much more easily accessible for maintenance and repair.

KHS further notes that its modular design is highly flexible and can allow for fully automatic adjustment to different formats.

“A machine can be configured with up to four blocks with two modules each. This is equivalent to 16 treatment heads that can function as a pre-, main or combined washer or filler respectively,” explains Roger Daum, keg product manager at KHS.

This flexibility provides plenty of scope when configuring the overall line: twelve washing stations can be combined with eight racking stations, for instance, to balance the different cycle times.

KHS notes that individual modules in the block can initially be left empty and simply fitted with further processing stations at a later date should the necessity arise.

Additionally, the KHS Innokeg AF-C Transversal can process practically all standard market container sizes and formats.

The optional system also recognizes whether the incoming kegs are returnable or one-way containers: the latter is directed to the filler through the deactivated washing machines without any conversion or treatment.

For the returnable kegs, the washing machine has height control unit makes sure that slim kegs especially aren’t downed by the high-water pressure of the cleaning nozzles.

Overall, the setup washes and racks up to 500 kegs an hour, making it one of the most powerful and highly efficient systems in the market, according to KHS.

“With the Innokeg AC-F Transversal, when it comes to efficiency and flexibility KHS scores on the washing and racking of kegs right down the line, so to speak,” concludes Roger Daum, keg product manager at KHS.

Meanwhile, filling is precise and regulation-compliant – thanks to the KHS Direct Flow Control filling system and gross/tare weighing that complies with the European Measuring Instruments Directive.

Quality control devices are also put in place to ensure that substandard kegs such as the ones incorrectly filled or faulty kegs are moved from the line.