For 60 years now, Kandhari Beverages has been bottling the complete range of Coca-Cola products in India – with a workforce that now totals more than 400 people at five locations. Of those, they've been working with Krones for the past 30 years. "Our partnership with Krones is very strong," says Anil Kumar Sharma, supply chain director for Kandhari Beverages. The company already has eight Krones lines up and running. Soon the ninth will go into operation. And for the first time, it will be an aseptic line. It's new ground not only for Kandhari Beverages but for all of India: It will be Coca-Cola's very first aseptic line in the country.
The Coca-Cola bottler has been an innovator since the very beginning. "In 1997, for instance, we were the first bottler in the country to use PET bottles," says Anil Kumar Sharma, supply chain director for Kandhari Beverages. Krones delivered the line that made it possible, and that same equipment continues to operate reliably today. In the intervening years, a loyal, trusting relationship has developed between the two companies and Krones remains Kandhari Beverages' top-choice technology supplier. That held true when it came time to order a line for cold aseptic filling of sensitive beverages into sterilized containers. In this process, the product is heated only very briefly, thus ensuring minimal-to-no impact on quality and taste.
Investing in the future
Besides high product quality, this type of filling yields other important benefits. For example, it uses less energy and less material compared with hot filling. That, in turn, means lower total cost of ownership and a better ecological footprint. Wet aseptic is also extremely versatile, allowing for filling of high- and low-acid beverages alike, with or without fruit particles, fibers, or pulp. As such, the line for Kandhari Beverages is an excellent investment in the future. The line can also accommodate an expanded product portfolio at any time.
For round bottles and – for the first time – square ones, too
Kandhari Beverages uses a block for aseptic filling featuring peracetic-acid bottle sterilization and an integrated stretch blow molder. The line also provides flexibility in terms of container shape and labeling: For the first time, Kandhari Beverages is filling not only round but also square PET bottles – each in three sizes: 200 up to 1500 milliliters. Downstream, the Contiroll and Sleevematic labelers outfit the containers with wrap-around labels or sleeves, respectively.
The line is currently being installed at the company's Jammu site, which lies in India's northernmost union territory, which in turn borders both Pakistan and China and is home to a burgeoning industrial center. Beginning in the spring of 2023, the company will fill 36,000 PET bottles per hour for Coca-Cola – aseptically for the first time.