Germany, a traditionally strong beer-producing and -drinking country, where selecting a beer brand is often an emotional choice, has numerous regional breweries and microbreweries that produce speciality beers. Founded in 1791 by a nearby Benedictine monastery, Rothaus has been brewing high-quality beers that have been helping them become the most well-known regional brewery in Germany’s Black Forest. With the preference for regional, traditional and high-quality beer projected to drive the growth of premium beer options in Germany, breweries like Rothaus are perfectly established to succeed.
Gebo Cermex, a strong, long-term partner in line engineering
As a case in point in their continuous investment strategy into modern brewing facilities, Rothaus decided to work together with Gebo Cermex to replace an ageing bottling line – which in the medium term could no longer guarantee the high hygiene and quality standards of the brewery. Additionally, they were receiving many returnable glass bottles from other producers that they could not process according to the top productivity control routines they have, potentially compromising the high efficiency target of their new filling line.
The Gebo Cermex team supplied the integration services for setting up a sorting line – the first one in the plant – and a new bottling line. Working closely with the customer, they managed to fully integrate 30 different machines from more than a dozen different suppliers, creating a new line that can sort an impressive 3,200 crates per hour and bottle up to 76,800 bottles per hour. Additionally, Gebo Cermex provided the conveying components, including pallets management within the brewery, with the crown feeder installed as part of the filling line.
Remarkable performance fuelled by high line engineering expertise
The patented sorting system solution is controlled at the line level: the central automation program regulates the speed of the machines, for continuous and seamless running of the whole line, leading to maximum uptime for the customer. As a result, the Gebo Cermex solution is able to deliver reliability and efficiency nearly regardless of the percentage of irregular returnable bottles. This means the crates can contain, on average, 40% and in peak times up to 80% of bottles from other producers without causing issues. In addition, the sorting line can run at 85% efficiency in twelve different modes to sort bottles and crates, fill used or new crates – with used or new bottles – and create stocks of empty crates. All of that contributes to the high performance of the new bottling line, working at 90% efficiency, but also contributes to the other lines of the plant. This impressive result is largely driven by the sorting line, as it only feeds empty sorted bottles into the filling plant, thus guaranteeing a high degree of operating reliability.
With their new sorting and filling line, Rothaus remains true to its mission of achieving the best efficiency through smart use of state-of-the-art technology, thus securing a top position in the German brewery landscape.