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Krones opens R&D centre in Neutraubling, Germany

German packaging and bottling machine manufacturer, Krones, has opened a new Process Technology Center in Germany. The Process Technology Center enables customers to “take their products to a new level” using ultra-small production batches to develop, compare and optimise recipes, processes and parameters. The new centre is designed to support Krones’ customers in the product development processes, helping meet the global markets' flavour demands. According to the company: “It makes no difference whether the customer already has a finished recipe for a future product or is still at the start of the product development journey and would like to leverage Krones’ expertise for those first steps”. Krones will use the centre to closely analyse the effects of various process parameters on different products – the results will go into further developing and refining the company’s machines and lines. The technology centre is divided into two sections, process technology and water design. The process technology side will enable process and treatment steps to be realistically simulated on a pilot UHT system, making it possible to compare the thermal impact of indirect heating using a shell-and-tube heat exchanger versus direct heating. For this, customers will be able to choose between two processes, steam injection and steam infusion. For other trials, the facility is equipped with systems for mixing, flash pasteurisation, deaeration (the removal of air molecules from gas or liquid), homogenisation and filling. The results can then be evaluated in-house in Krones’ microbiological and chemical testing labs. In the field of water design, customers are able to fine-tune the flavour of water by adding the right amounts of minerals and flavour compounds – with deaeration, carbonation, electrodeionisation, ionisation, mineral dosing and filling. Customers can also access Krones’ network of engineers in a variety of disciplines including food and process engineering, to collaborate on transforming ideas into real products. The new centre follows Krones’ subsidiary Steinecker’s inauguration of a research brewery at its facility in Freising, Germany, in 2018 that allows customers to create and test recipes for beer and plant-based beverages. Last month, Krones acquired a 90% stake in Ampco Pumps, a US-based company that supplies sanitary pumps and applied products – such as mixing and blending equipment – to the food, beverage, dairy processing, personal care and pharmaceuticals markets.

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