Filling equipment

The story behind FLEXSPEED

FLEXSPEED trebles the capacity on the same space as a traditional filling plant. It is an extremely simple system that increases the accuracy in filling, check-weighing, leak testing etc. and at the same time reduces maintenance to a minimum.

Mr. Bent Lindrup, Technical Director of The Kosan Crisplant Group (today known as MAKEEN Energy), is excited when he tells about the unique features of FLEXSPEED:

“A colleague of mine is in the beverage business and knows the dynamic bottle feed systems.” explains Bent Lindrup. This became the source of inspiration for the system.

The goal for the team of developers was to fill 3,600 gas cylinders per hour. Defining the top level this high (the capacity at traditional filling plants is 1,200 cylinders per hour) it was imperative to think out of the box.

Inspired by beverages

For the last 20 to 30 years the beverage industry has used the technology for conveying bottles, cans and casks. It is an efficient and well-tried technology and so Kosan Crisplant’s team of developers visited a few beverage companies in Denmark in their quest for an answer.

“It gives you peace of mind to work with existing technology”, Bent Lindrup adds and says that Kosan Crisplant also approached a design agency that is well-rooted in the beverage industry to assist in transferring the principles from filling beverages to those that apply for the future world sensation in gas filling plants.

The wheel is the star

The stars or star wheels that are used for distributing the gas cylinders from one process to the next became the solution that makes FLEXSPEED unique and dynamic. The star wheels ensure a constant flow of gas cylinders from the first to the final processing unit without stopping the movement of the gas cylinder at any one point.

A simple and perfectly innovative solution was the spark that started the inventiveness of the involved technicians.

The gas cylinders were not only to be refilled, but also tested for leakage. “Why not maintain the grip on the cylinders from the ejection star wheel over to the next process?” the team of developers asked themselves.

In traditional gas filling plants the actual handling of gas cylinders takes a lot of time. Two thirds of the time is used for moving the gas cylinders leaving only one third for processing. With FLEXSPEED it is the other way around.

The gas cylinders dynamically enter a star wheel with six positions and which revolves 180 degrees before the cylinders are delivered to the next process.

“This gives us the luxury of having three seconds for, say, leak detection instead of 0.8 seconds on traditional filling plants because three to four gas cylinders are inside the process module at the same time.”

The Technical Director explains it this way, “This means that even when we run the system at three times the speed we did before, we now have two to three times the time needed for performing the test and so a much better opportunity to perform a perfect leak test, cap application etc.”

Learn more about FLEXSPEED