The water bottler Nera Kritis – as the name indicates – is headquartered on Crete. Its trademark: a multiplicity of different bottle shapes, the more eye-catching the better. A diamond look, figures from Star Wars, the Justice League or Disney, for instance, or private-label products for airlines, hotels or supermarkets.
The company has now launched another product, called “Nera Makedonias”. This water is produced at a new plant in the north of the country. Because Nera Kritis had already been more than satisfied with the ErgoBloc L wet-end block on Crete, the client opted once again for a block solution from Krones. The new line went into operation in June 2019.
This time, the machine chosen was an ErgoBloc LM. This compact variant of the ErgoBloc L has been designed specifically for bottling still water in the low output range. The line at Nera Kritis can handle up to 25,000 containers per hour, and thus ranks among the smallest sizes available. A Contiform 3 Pro stretch blow-moulder, a Contiroll wrap-around labeller, and a Hydrofill filler have been integrated.
Probably the biggest challenge faced by the planning team for the new line was the four bottle shapes, which have to be produced and filled simultaneously. In order to assure a stable production operation, the handling parts had to be precisely matched to the four different containers. Some tinkering was needed at the Checkmat inspector, too: depending on the bottle shape involved, the fill levels differ – even if only by a few millimetres. Since, however, the containers do not pass over the conveyor in a defined sequence, the inspector had to programmed so as to ensure that it is not misled by these visually disparate fill levels, and can nonetheless be relied upon to check by means of infrared radiation whether the fill quantities – between 0.5, 1.0 and 1,5 litres, depending on the bottle size involved – are being complied with.