Budweiser Budvar prefers HEUFT

To increase production capacity and at the same time to protect the traditional quality and typical taste of their world-famous beers. This is the goal which Budweiser Budvar N.C. pursues by continually investing in the most up-to-date technical equipment. This also includes two new HEUFT InLine empty bottle inspectors. They replace the devices of another supplier which no longer met the high standards of the Czech brewery.

Budweiser Budvar N.C. (Budějovický Budvar) is one of the big players of the Eastern European beer countries with a total output of more than 1.3 million hectolitres per annum and the highest export share (over 45%) of all the major Czech breweries.  The filling technology there is constantly being modernised in order to maintain this position and to further develop it.  "We have been continually replacing production machines since 2005 in order to increase the production capacity of each of our two filling line from 36,000 to 40,000 bottles per hour" explained Dalibor Čáp - engineer and technical manager of the brewery.


Top priority given to clean and undamaged empty bottles


The company has also invested in two new empty bottle inspectors within the framework of these modernisation measures.  Mr Čáp:  "because the existing ones fulfilled neither the qualitative nor the performance requirements".  Foreign and non-production bottles were not identified and rejected.  In addition operation was not reliable due to weaknesses with regard to fault detection and false rejection rates.  "The inspectors must be designed to identify and reliably reject a foreign bottle due to its different shape and colour" is how Mr Čáp described the requirement profile for the new systems.  Apart from this they should detect "contamination on the base and the sidewall of a bottle, finish faults, foreign objects, residual liquid, lye and residual chemicals" and only remove such empty containers from the production flow which are really faulty.  "We guarantee that our beer has a shelf life of one year and therefore a clean and undamaged bottle is one of our priorities".


Reliable rejection with the HEUFT DELTA-K


A decision was made in favour of HEUFT SYSTEMTECHNIK GMBH in Budweis when looking for a supplier of efficient alternatives.  "We gave preference to the HEUFT company when choosing a supplier for this project because of its many years of specialisation in the inspection of packaging" explained the Budweiser technical manager.  "Furthermore the HEUFT DELTA-K rejection system, which also guarantees a reliable rejection at higher speeds, was a powerful argument for the investment in two new HEUFT InLine systems". 


Highest precision during the inspection of empty bottles


The new inspectors and an upstream module in each case for sorting foreign and non-production bottles have recently been performing their duties along the two filling lines of the world-famous Czech brewery.  They supervise the quality and safety of four different types of empty glass bottles (0.5 litre non-returnable and returnable, 0.33 litre non-returnable and 0.33 litre ale).  These are individual bottles with logo embossing at shoulder height which are filled with seven different beers.  The most well-known and popular amongst them are Budweiser Budvar Premium Dark Lager, Budweiser Budvar Premium Light Lager, Pardál Echt, Budweiser Budvar non-alcoholic and Bud Super Strong.  The HEUFT InLine systems each equipped with a double camera-based sidewall and base inspection, the new finish fault detection, the HEUFT reflexx high-performance image processing system as well as the HEUFT mono and HEUFT DELTA-K container rejectors are convincing due to utmost precision when detecting and rejecting empty faulty / non-production bottles.  The inspection system demonstrates its true qualities particularly in the high speed section.


High standard for the inspection of empty bottles


"Our requirements have been completely fulfilled" confirmed Mr Čáp.  "Checking the inspectors using test bottles during the precise acceptance test proved a 100% rejection reliability".  The engineer is also extremely pleased with the integrated HEUFT reflexx technology and the possibility of ordering spare parts via an Internet connection directly from the device.  "The acquisition and evaluation of production data at an external PC is also of a high standard" he added.


Professional project planning by the HEUFT team

Mr Čáp´s assessment of the co-operation between the HEUFT team and Budweiser was also positive:  "We encountered a professional approach during the planning and realisation of the project.  It was clear to the employees of the HEUFT company, especially during implementation, that the wishes and requirements of the customer had priority".  So it was only possible to install both devices over a weekend due to the high capacity of the large brewery and commissioning had to be carried out over two shifts - in other words the old devices were dismantled on Thursday evening and the two HEUFT InLine devices put in place and on Monday the modernised lines each ran again at full capacity of over 40,000 bottles per hour.