Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Refillable bottle washing process saves water and energy

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Refillable bottle washing process saves water and energy
Bottleguard can reduce bottle wear, ensure water and energy savings, and cut waste disposal costs for beverage manufacturers
In Use – Launched November 2010, this technology is in use in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company have facilities in the UK and can provide stock as required.

Benefits
Resource efficiency (e.g. filling line efficiency), Reuse, Water Usage

Product Categories
Drinks

Relevant Materials
Glass

Relevant Packaging Formats
Bottles and jars

Supply Chain Phase
Filling

Details

A new modular programme from Ecolab called Bottleguard can reduce the wear and tear on bottles, ensure water and energy savings, as well as helping to cut down on the costs associated with waste disposal for beverage manufacturers. Using this innovation, cost savings of up to 11 per cent were achieved by a leading German beverage manufacturer. There are three pillars to the new programme:
1) Energy savings through temperature reduction in the bottle washer and reduced exposure to caustic concentration as primary objective;
2) Water savings through the dry lubricant based process optimisation;
3) Extension of a returnable bottle’s serviceable life via a refinishing coating.

The special cleaning additives by Ecolab can ensure a significant lowering of the cleaning temperature plus a reduction in the caustic concentration. The first phase of the process also enables water savings due to the fact that there is a significant reduction of rinsing water required.

Conveyor lubrication is critical for a more effective bottling process, and the cleaning, maintenance and sanitizing product supplier's DryExx range can be used for contact-free lubrication dosing for all material combinations. The optimal coefficient of friction values reduces the mechanical wear on both the bottle and the chain. Hygienic conveyor conditions are still guaranteed despite the reduced water quantities at and under the conveyor.

With the look of the bottle paramount for branding in the beverage sector the company's Scufex can be employed in the third pillar of the BottleGuard progamme. This coating reduces investment costs for drink makers by masking signs of wear, with no residue in bottle cleaning and waste water. It does not affect labelling conditions.

Potential Benefits

The special cleaning additives by Ecolab can ensure a significant lowering of the cleaning temperature by up to 12 degrees plus a reduction by over 1 per cent in the caustic concentration which in total allows for energy savings of around 11 per cent. The first phase of the process also enables water savings due to the fact that there is a significant reduction of rinsing water required. For conveyor lubrication, water savings are in excess of 85 per cent using this approach.

Intellectual Property

This technology was developed by Ecolab, but no patents have been granted or applied for.

Consultant View

Refillable beverage bottles have a relatively low market penetration in the UK compared to other countries in Europe. A major barrier to uptake is the financial cost of operating refillable systems. Innovations such as this, which lower the costs of washing processes, may help to make refillables a more attractive option in the future.

Contacts and Further Information

Company details:
Ecolab
Main Office
Reisholzer Werftstraße 38-42
40589 Düsseldorf
Germany
Telephone: 49-211 9893 0
 
Technology contact details:
Paul Brougham
Marketing Manager F&B - UK & Ireland
Ecolab
Duke Avenue, Stanley Green, Cheadle, Cheshire SK8 6RB
Tel: +44 (0) 161 485 6166
 

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