GEA's combined rinser-filler-seamer block rinses, fills, seals and seams cans, glass and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles in very tight spaces. Manufacturers can switch between bottle and can formats without tools in 20-30 minutes.
Carlow will use the new system to produce its own canned beer in response to growing customer demand for the product. Previously, no such machine was available in Ireland via contract packers, making canning a first for the brewery.
Big step for the business
Carlow founder and chief executive Seamus O’Hara said: “Taking canning into our own hands is a big step for us. We only wanted to take this step with an experienced partner. So, in addition to the technology, the track record of similar installations and an established local support, which we now have with GEA Ireland, were very important to us.”
The GEA All-in-One has a capacity for 6,000 containers an hour and will allow Carlow to produce a wider range of products with one flexible line. The brewer hoped the installation would reduce loss and lower water and power consumption.
Carlow also planned to use the system to add nitrogen widgets to cans in the future, creating a ‘head’ when the can is opened. GEA claims Carlow would be the first Irish craft brewer to use such a widget.
Meanwhile, Princes Foods has boosted canning capacity at its Long Sutton site in Lincolnshire with the installation of a new flexible canning line for ready meals completing another phase in an £80m investment programme.
Capable of filling up to 3 million cans a week, the new line is set to increase overall production capacity at the site by more than 10%.