Quality as the base of the keg market leadership

Over the recent years, company THIELMANN PORTINOX has been demonstrating an exiting development dynamics considering both the introduction of advanced technological processes and sales volumes. Having started its operation as a small Spanish plant in 1965, PORTINOX has become one of the key members of THIELMANN CONTAINER SYSTEMS, the Business Unit Containers of the Teka Group. Eventually, it has become the world leader in production of beverage kegs. Millions of kegs being used all over the world are the best proof for the highest level of the designing and producing processes and, inevitably, of the absolute keg reliability.
Guillermo Rueda, Corporate Commercial & Marketing Director of the company joined us to answer current questions on THIELMANN PORTINOX

What is the position of your company in the world keg producers’ ranking?
Due to our production capacity and the strategic location of our production plants, at present we are the biggest producer in the world, with a real production capacity of over 2.5 millions kegs per year.

What plants produce kegs which are then supplied to Russia?
We are delivering from the biggest keg manufacturing plant in the world, which is located in Granada, Spain.

Being a major keg producer you probably have detailed data concerning the damage sources which mostly affect kegs. Do you manage to minimize them by design solutions?
n THIELMANN PORTINOX we put a lot of effort in designing our products for minimizing future damages. The dimple design promotes resistance to impact and compression, and even if the chime is bent, the keg is still valid.

Which technologies are used at your production sites? How important are such processes as pressing, welding and grinding for the product performance and drink quality?
1. Standard Deep Drawn with quick presses to improve stainless steel main features against hits, extending therefore the life of the keg.
2. Two-step deep drawn to be able to produce tall containers with small diameters.
3. Last generation TIG and MIG/MAG welding, always with internal gas protection in order to achieve the best internal keg quality.
4. Final chemical processes guarantee that the beverages won’t change taste even from first filling of the keg.
5. Different laser etching possibilities such as customer branding and logos, matrix and barcodes,…
6. Paint customization of the keg.
7. RFID tags for tracking purposes.
8. Leak detection by Helium test specifically designed and exclusive from us. No other competitor can detect such small leaks.
9. We don’t grind the keg, we immerse the keg in a pickling bath which cleans the keg completely both internally and externally.

Your production is known for control over keg quality. Please, tell us what parameters are controlled, and what they mean for the keg reliability?
Leak detection with Helium provides us with an extremely high reliability. Leakage that we are able to detect and reject wouldn’t even be noticed by our customers as they are very small and would be covered by beer or CO2 molecules. We are seeking new applications for artificial vision cameras which allow us to revise welding in real time.

How much do your technology and the quality control of kegs prolong their in-service life as compared to the average one of other kegs which can be bought on Russian market?
We are strongly committed to improve every day our own internal processes, so we prefer not to talk about others. Our challenge: Permanent research.

Pitfalls what should you keep in mind when buying used imported kegs
– Reliability
– Resistance of the domes
– External image of your product
– Shorter life cycle, what means less value for money.
– Possible branding from different competitors, what means not suitable image in the market.
– Straightness of the neck