Author: Joerg Roeder
Admittedly, it’s provocative question. But, at BLEFA, quality is not a coincidence at all, but the culmination of over 50 years’ experience in manufacturing stainless steel kegs. We pay particular attention to design features and the reason for that is relatively easy to explain. Our customers expect a container to get their beverage to their customers safely and without any impairment to the flavour.
In the following, we’d like to show you what BLEFA invests in achieving reliable quality.
Every product is only as good as the people capable of making it. BLEFA has been manufacturing kegs for the beverage industry since 1968. This long history is the guarantee that our long-standing employees – both in production and consulting – have acquired deep, well-founded knowledge about kegs and the daily demands they have to meet. These employees are in constant contact with each other, which can only be an advantage for you, our customers.
Technical knowledge is passed on to sales and in return, challenges faced in daily use are reported back to our technicians. This provides the incentive on a daily basis to make only the very best keg.
High-grade stainless steel for the best quality
Another quality criterion, especially for the flavour neutrality of our kegs, is the stainless steel we use. Our kegs are manufactured from high-grade stainless steel 1.4301 (AISI 304). We only use stainless steel coils from reputable manufacturers with certified quality assurance systems. We then supplement this with our own quality checks. This strategy guarantees that we have first-class input materials to make our kegs durable and particularly robust.
Unique product features that focus on safety
Making kegs is our passion, because we want to manufacture reliable, safe, long-lasting kegs which you can trust 100% in daily operation. That’s why we place special emphasis on designing BLEFA kegs to perform safely and reliably throughout their 30-year service lives.
Our TIG welding process ensures that the top and bottom chimes are firmly connected to the keg body with a continuous, uninterrupted weld seam to guarantee maximum stability.
A further special feature is the protection provided by the top and bottom chimes across the keg “shoulder” so to speak. This is an overlapping contour which wraps protectively around the curvature of the keg body at the top and base and distributes the point loads evenly over the chimes.
When it comes to the neck, safety is also a high priority. Because this component is welded onto the upper section of the keg, we go that one step further and secure it with a weld seam that’s applied both internally and externally. This guarantees much greater stability than a single weld seam.
Another advantage of our welding process is that we only pickle the keg on the inside. We do this to make an active contribution to environmental protection, as we then only need a small amount of the picking solution to remove welding residues.
There is, however, another benefit to this process – polishing the keg gives it a brilliant shiny finish that is unique on the market. A final safety feature is the safety bursting point which is incorporated into the base of all our stainless steel kegs. This guarantees that any build up of excess pressure can be concentrated and release from the keg safely.
Automated production and reliable processes
Our ultra-modern facilities permanently enable us to produce constant, reliable quality of a consistently high level, without leaving anything to chance. Regular quality controls during production make sure that your keg is manufactured precisely to the specifications you require.
On top of that, we also document the production of every single keg completely and transfer this information to an internal CAQ system, which can tell us at any time which keg was produced on which day by which employee using which materials.
And we even go a step further. As an integral part of our production process, we test all our kegs to make sure they are 100% water tight and that all fittings are correctly and securely mounted.
All these process steps – both on the production and the sales side – are documented in detail and have ISO 9001 certification. And as the only manufacturer worldwide, BLEFA can boast three more certifications:
a) for the protection of the environment and its resources:
– ISO 14001 for environmental management systems
– ISO 50001 for a modern energy management system
b) for the protection of our employees:
– OHSAA 18001 for health and safety at work
BLEFA leaves nothing to chance – that’s what we mean by Kegs “MADE IN GERMANY”!