With real craft!

Truly craft-ful:  no one has to miss out on a full container inspection on a HEUFT level – the new HEUFT ONE is going into series production!  The compact stand-alone device with its angular clear design paves an affordable way to genuine high-tech for a sustainable in-line quality assurance especially for smaller producers of artisan beer specialities.

Authentic, extraordinary and away from the mainstream:  the craft is experiencing a comeback!  There has been a growing trend for some time now for skilfully produced specialities which inspire with unconventional taste sensations particularly when brewing beer.  And the fascination is continuing:  a new craft beer is launched on the market almost every day in Germany alone.  More and more start-ups in this sector are setting new records regarding the concentration of breweries:  there have never been so many breweries in this country as today since the German reunification.  The magic 1,500 mark could already be exceeded this year.

And the picture is not very different elsewhere:  in the USA, the country where the boom originated, there were almost 1000 breweries more in June 2017 than in the previous year in which the craft beer sector already made a turnover of more than 68 billion dollars and provided over 450,000 full-time jobs.  In the meantime 98 per cent of all US brewing companies are small, independent craft breweries.  The total number of breweries in Great Britain over the past five years alone has climbed by more than 64 per cent – to over 2000.  And on average 20 new microbreweries spring up every week throughout the EU.  Their number has tripled since 2010.

Genuine craft in the brewing process

They want to do things differently to the big players.  Quite different.  The craft beer nerds create special aromas and types of beer beyond standard flavours with an avant-garde, extravagant and innovative flair:  extraordinary raw materials, stunning recipes, unique brewing processes and above all a great deal of craft – this results in true delicacies which stand out from the rest.  "Craft" really has to be taken literally in this case:  it should be original, authentic and genuine – the brewing process.  Not completely automated and standardised but creative and skilful – simply different.  It is "the skill" of the experienced brewer and not complete mechanisation and rigid principles which determines the individual flavour of the special beer packaged in stylishly designed bottles or cans.

This is the only way to achieve the quality for which the hip craft beer freaks are prepared to pay a little more.  However what appears to be really smart and consistent regards the brewing process does not necessarily apply to quality assurance when filling the unconventional beer specialities.  When business is booming and production continues to climb it will no longer be possible at some point to manually check the quality of the freshly filled end product.  The line performance soon becomes too fast for a simple visual inspection.  And a manual fill level measurement with a special template is also no more than a rather inaccurate, random individual check.

Genuine high-tech for checking the quality during the filling process

Could this be enough?  No way!  After all underfilling, for example, is real fraud against the demanding customer because he gets less than he paid for – not good for the cool image.  The situation is similar regarding incorrectly sealed or unlabelled containers.  The trend-conscious craft beer fan simply takes the rival product in a quality-minded and flexible way when shopping the next time – after all the choice is increasing all the time.  Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which fill themselves also need a full container inspection sooner or later which checks each individual container in order to prevent this.  In fact very precisely.

Does an entry-level device even exist for this which is state of the art and fits the budget and into the often confined bottling hall of craft breweries?  An incorruptible, extremely space-saving full container inspection of the highest level which is also suitable for less large businesses and keeps pace with growing production?  A smart thing which is simply different – multifunctional, with touchscreen, top usability and secure connection to the web?  And with a stylish clear design with more of an edge which reduces the hipness radiated by the craft scene to the essentials?

Clear edges against quality defects

No!  That was the answer to these questions until recently.  Such a slim solution which combines innovative detection technologies with perfectly matched hardware and software as well as proven tools for precise product tracking and real-time data transmission was not available prior to us presenting our newly developed all-rounder at the drinktec 2017, the world's leading exhibition for the beverage sector.  But now premium is becoming standard:  the HEUFT ONE is going into series production!  Therefore craft brewers can focus their skills completely on producing beer.  The slim stand-alone device carries out a 100% inspection of the filled quality and the accurate sorting out of the bottles and cans where the quality is not right completely automatically and extremely reliably.  Simply on a HEUFT level!
It checks each individual product in-line for this.  High frequency detections or X-ray modules with innovative X-ray receiver technology are available for a precise fill level detection depending on the product and the packaging.  Underfilled containers are therefore rejected just as reliably as those which are too full.  Even if residual foam is sloshing over the fill line.  In addition the device checks the presence and position of the closures or labels using sensors.  The full containers can only get past the connected rejection system if everything is in order.  On the other hand the HEUFT ONE shows freshly filled cans and bottles with quality defects a clear edge – and removes them consistently.

Utmost performance in a confined space

This also applies to incorrectly marked full containers.  Because an in-house developed colour sensor camera with real-time picture evaluation for the reliable verification of best before dates, barcodes, part and serial numbers can be integrated as an alternative to a fill level detection – or even a metal detection in the food sector. One more sophisticated detection unit can be combined in the modular devices of the new HEUFT ONE series with simple sensor technology in each case.  In fact extremely space saving and in a confined space:
the slim modules assembled directly at the conveyor not only detect faulty craft beer containers but also carry out a complete fault analysis at the same time.  Only the signal "good" or "faulty" is then transmitted in real time to the compact control unit with its distinctive diamond shape – the smart detection unit takes care of the rest.  In this way the elaborate terminal with the self-explanatory touchscreen can be accommodated everywhere very flexibly even far away from it.  The network-compatible solution which makes online remote maintenance as well as test container logs and permanent production data acquisition possible is therefore simply different and even fits into the smallest hut!

ONE for all:  a true all-rounder

Therefore young, dynamic craft breweries no longer have to miss out on the production quality which only big players with lots of room and a corresponding budget normally have to offer.  The HEUFT ONE also safeguards it in smaller businesses sustainably!  The compact complete solution continues to keep up when output and line performance increase:  it checks up to 72,000 containers per hour with ease.  This makes the in-house development more than just a particularly affordable entry-level device.  A true all-rounder to be exact:  a full container inspection on a HEUFT level is safeguarded in the long term even when the craft beer business is booming and increasingly larger amounts are being filled.  Genuine craft when brewing and genuine high-tech for a craft-ful quality assurance during the filling process – together this results in an exceptionally produced, perfectly packaged beer speciality in original top quality.