Bottle washers are one of the most cost-intensive pieces of equipment in a line, and so their running and maintenance costs are vital considerations for plant managers. Krones claims its Variotherm transfers heat about five times better than countercurrent exhangers, which are often used by multi caustic bath systems. The system, which prevents evaporation and re-uses steam thermal energy, can reduce energy costs from between five and thirty percent against competing products, Krones claims. The system has two plate heat exhangers, the first of which heats a caustic bath using steam. The hot liquid is then re-used to heat a second treatment zone, and a third if required. The first caustic bath does not necessarily have to be heated by the machine's primary circuit. For example, the machine can run the second caustic bath at 80C and the second at 65C. Conventionally operated bottle washer systems have a 'serious' design disadvantage as the means of controlling temperature can result in 'steam shocks' on the condensate side, leading to re-evaporation, according to Krones. The company claims to have solved this design problem by designing the Variotherm so that its energy requirements are controlled on the "condensate side" of the system. This design gets rid of the re-evaporation problem by 'almost 100 per cent', the company claims. The design also allows the downstream pipes and fittings to act as a water piping system, cutting the capital investment costs 'significantly', Krones claims.. Krones, headquartered in Germany designs and manufactures machines and systems in over 40 facilities across the world.