The real thing

Coca Cola’s bottling operations are on the heroic scale; reflecting the worldwide popularity of `the real thing’. 40,000,000 hectolitres of drinks are produced for the German market, where Coca Cola has turned to Krohne’s new IFS 5000 F electromagnetic flow meter to provide the measurement accuracy required in its PET bottling plant in Liederbach, Germany. Precise filling to pre-set volumes is critical with this level of production.

Coca Cola makes increasing use of recyclable polyethylene (PET) bottles. Lightweight PET reduces transport costs, and lowers losses due to breakages. With glass bottles, the high speed filling machines used in most bottling operations have always employed either level switches or pressure equalisation as the `bottle correctly filled’ criteria. At the Coca Cola plant, the bottling system employed carbon dioxide as the filling and the measurement gas, with pressure equalisation serving as the `bottled filled’ signal. This method works perfectly for rigid glass bottles. However the lightweight returnable bottles made from recyclable PET respond to pressure with a slight expansion, which makes the bottling process slightly more inaccurate. A new measuring principle was required.

Electromagnetic flow meters offer flexible volumetric filling, and Krohne already had considerable experience with its IFS 5000 hygienic designs, using food-grade ceramic measuring tubes with capacitive electrodes for non-contact measurement. However Coca Cola’s particular requirements for measurement accuracy and the aggressive properties of the product called for a new design.

Krohne’s answer was the new ALTOFLUX IFS 5000, a highly accurate electromagnetic flow meter with a flow shaping ceramic measuring tube fitted with CERMET platinum-ceramic composite electrodes. These fine-grained, barrel shaped CERMET electrodes are sintered in place in the ceramic measuring tube, flush with the tube wall, where they are hermetically tight and absolutely crevice-free.

The ALTOFLUX hygienic flow measurement system now installed at the Coca Cola bottling plant in Liederbach, Germany, works with an accuracy of at least 0.1% by volume.

Krohne Tel: 01933 408500