Lion has teamed up with packaging automation company Foodmach to bring a new filler to the Australian market.
The filler technology was released by Vipoll at Drinktec late last year, and is believed to be the first in the world to be able to run glass bottles, aluminium beverage cans, and PET bottles through the one machine.
Foodmach will supply one of Lion's craft breweries with the Vipoll Visitron, which will be installed as part of a major line upgrade.
The filler is a monoblock rinser/filler/capper/seamer and delivers Lion the flexibility to run both bottles and cans in less than half the footprint separate fillers would have required.
The use of universal grippers allows for fast changeovers from cans to bottles (less than 30 minutes), and between bottle sizes as required.
The filler will be one of the first of its type installed globally and will be in operation by the end of the year.
Lion’s capital projects director Paul Woods said much of its craft beer range is produced in small, bespoke breweries, which are both historic and space-constrained.
"We had been looking for a solution to give customers a choice of our small-batch brews in both bottles and cans," he said.
"Foodmach’s introduction to Vipoll was perfectly timed, and provided a solution that exactly matched our needs. Foodmach have then worked with us to deliver an incredibly compact and flexible full packaging line. We’ve had many years of successful projects, both large and small with Foodmach, and it’s great to see an Australian company understanding our needs and actively looking for solutions.”