GEA Vipoll‘s filling block All-in-one fills PET and glass bottles and cans according to the highest safety and quality standards (Photo: GEA)
11 February 2021

Compact packaging line from GEA expands capacity for Irish brewery

Flexibility | For Carlow Brewing Company GEA Vipoll, Križevci pri Ljutomeru, Slovenia, will install Ireland's first Visitron All-in-one line. Looking for a multifunctional filling system, the craft brewer chose GEA's combined rinser-filler-seamer block, which offers brewers maximum production flexibility and reliability.

The All-in-one rinses, fills, seals and seams cans, glass and even PET bottles with just one machine in the smallest possible space. Manufacturers can switch between bottle and can formats without tools in just 20 to 30 minutes.

Carlow Brewing produces the award-winning O'Hara beers (Photo: Carlow Brewing)

The family-owned brewery produces the O’Hara’s craft beer brand range, Falling Apple cider plus a range of canned and bottled private labels for international customers. To meet growing customer demand and interest in canned beer, Carlow Brewing, Muine Bheag, Ireland, decided to invest in a fundamentally new facility. Canning is a first for the brewery. However, no Irish contract packer could provide the required capacity.

Taking lean bottling solution in own hands

“Taking canning into our own hands is a big step for us”, recalls Seamus O’Hara, founder and CEO of Carlow Brewing Company. “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.”

Having already installed a GEA beer separator in the past, the brewery was familiar with the technology group’s expertise in the market; and, during the BrauBeviale exhibition in Nuremberg in 2019, became aware of the GEA Visitron Filler All-in-one which won the comparison with competing technologies. “We reviewed the available technologies intensively. The design, construction quality and reference list of the filler clearly led us to GEA.”

With a capacity of 6,000 containers per hour, the new filler will enable the brewery to produce a wider range of products on one highly flexible line, which will ensure beer quality, reduce beer loss, and lower water and power consumption.

“We plan to use the All-in-one to add nitrogen widgets to cans in the future”, reveals O’Hara. These nitrogen widgets activate when the can is opened, creating the coveted creamy foam. Carlow Brewing would be the first Irish craft brewer to use such a widget.

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