New Krones Ergobloc line at Shepley Spring

New Krones Ergobloc line at Shepley Spring

Shepley Spring has been bottling business growth for 23 years. Its ongoing partnership with Krones UK has been key to its success

Shepley Spring was founded in 1996 and in its first year the company produced 100,000 bottles: today the figure exceeds 250 million. This extraordinary growth has been supported in no small way by the strong relationship developed between the Smith family and Krones UK, who have had a major part to play in the five production lines at their two sites in Shepley, near Huddersfield.

At the drinktec show in Munich 2017, the contract was signed for a 60,000 b.p.h. 500ml Krones Ergobloc line. The timescale was tight as Shepley wanted the line in before the summer of 2018 got under way, which as we now know was the hottest summer in the UK for 42 years.

A lot of preparation had to be done prior to the line coming in to their Brookfield site, which is about two miles from their Head Office location in Shepley. A new 10-inch plinth had to be laid to take the weight of the new line, this was completed just as the line began to arrive from Krones in Germany. The installation which began before Easter 2018 set something of a record, taking only five weeks with two teams of electrical and mechanical engineers from Krones in Germany. It had originally been planned to take at least 8 weeks. Within two weeks of start up the line efficiency was 97 percent. Throughout the summer months the line was running 24/7 reducing to 24/5 in the winter months and runs with only
three operators.

Charles Smith, Operations Director of Shepley Spring said: “We have had an excellent and close relationship with Krones UK over the years, who have been really supportive during the period of constant growth since we started in 1996. We knew it was going to be tight when we placed the order, we made room for the new line by taking a line out and we could not have been happier with the end result. We had to put up temporary warehousing, which is now being replaced with a new warehouse and we are also creating a new area to put in another new 35,000 b.p.h. line this year. Based on the recent success it will be another Krones line.”

Charles added: “We liked the simplicity of the Krones Ergobloc, which has a blower/labeller/filler and incorporates an auto splice on the labeller where we need a reel change hourly. To achieve these efficiencies and speeds with only three operators is excellent for us as it helps enormously to keep overheads in check for what is now a challenging market. Our plan is to continue to invest with the best equipment available so that we can remain a low-cost producer, not only for our own brands, but also for our private label customers.”

Shepley Spring are heavily focused on sustainability and have already produced a 100 percent rPET bottle that received good reviews from customers. The new Ergobloc produces bottles with minimum 25 percent rPET and uses a superlight preform exclusively designed for Shepley Spring. They are using lighter caps and smaller labels to minimise the environmental impact of all of their products.

The full line specification is as follows:

• Ergobloc-L comprising:

– CONTIFORM 324 PRO stretchblow moulder

– SOLOMODUL 1.200-40 modular labeller

– MODULFILL VFJ 2.160-78-87 modular flow meter filler with clean room

– Preform and cap feed systems for flat and sports

• CHECKMAT 731 FEM-X inspection

• VARIOPAC PRO film shrink packer

• ROBOGRIP 4A palletiser

• Pallet stretch wrapper

• High efficiency conveyor systems

• Full turnkey installation and integration

Mark Heath, Sales Director of Krones UK said: “It has been a remarkable journey for both Krones UK and Shepley Spring. They started with us initially buying labellers and then some Kosme equipment was added and now this latest Krones Ergobloc line. I believe it demonstrates that we can successfully develop a relationship with small independents that in turn become much larger companies. Having put in so many large lines for the major producers we have a huge amount of knowledge in-house to help our clients make the right choices.”

For further details on Krones equipment please contact mark.heath@krones.co.uk

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