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Sidel: Strong focus on the factory of tomorrow


2019-10-24

A leading provider of equipment and services solutions for packaging beverage, food, home and personal care products in PET, can, glass and other materials, Sidel has nearly 170 years of proven experience, with a strong focus on the factory of tomorrow with advanced systems, line engineering and innovation.

Sidel currently has over 40,000 machines installed in more than 190 countries, making it a global player with wide-ranging experience and an eye on new developments. Speaking recently with AMEFT about emerging trends, Guido Ceresole, Director of Sales Food, Home & Personal Care, SEAP, at Sidel reports that the trend toward offering larger ranges of food products is driving a number of developments on the equipment side, such as the need for much more flexibility, greater use of SKU convenience packages, selling products in smaller sizes, transparency in both product packaging and labelling, and sustainability, an approach to manufacturing which is rapidly gaining momentum in Asia.

In addition to the above trends, total cost of ownership is a major consideration for Sidel when developing new products. Its engineers target easier reconfiguration and greater flexibility, combined with reduced energy and water consumption. For example, its new range of fillers for cans and glass bottles feature labellers which use plug-in modules to make changing from one type of label to another easier than ever.Another major trend in machinery is versatility. With manufacturers needing to launch more and more new products to keep up with the competition, their production lines also have to be flexible. Touching on the subject, Ceresole explained that with labour costs being low in the Asia-Pacific region, the move to automated systems for cost savings is currently not a pressing issue for many manufacturers, although wage levels are rising fast. Instead, the main focus when making the switch to automation is the ability to improve product quality while offering employees better working conditions.

Since 2009, Sidel has implemented more than 100 complete aseptic PET lines in Greater China. PET offers great benefits in terms of physical product and food barrier protection, therefore preserving nutritional and sensorial properties of dairy products such as yoghurt at all stages – from production, storage, and shipment to distribution. Moreover, the closure tightness adds to PET’s convenience even without the use of aluminium foil. Since 2016, Sidel has been working together with the Yili Liquid Dairy Division to produce high-quality PET bottles for the company’s Ambrosial Yoghurt. Thanks to its attractive look and feel and unique texture, Ambrosial Yoghurt bottled in PET has performed very well, and it is now dominating global sales of shelf-stable yoghurt packaged in PET after only two years since its launch. To meet Yili’s needs for additional capacity around this product, Sidel has installed multiple complete aseptic PET lines, each equipped with its cutting-edge dry preform sterilisation technology, Predis.

Traditional aseptic solutions use peracetic acid, which requires bottles to be rinsed with chemicals or hot water. In contrast, the Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis system sterilises the preform by injecting hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) vapour into the preform, right before the preform heating stage in the oven. This allows manufacturers to reduce waste and resource consumption – and improve their sustainability report card ‒ while benefitting from a competitive, cost-efficient solution. With no water and almost no use of chemicals for preform decontamination, it also addresses one of the most difficult challenges manufacturers are facing today when it comes to an optimal environmental footprint. In addition to greater production sustainability, it provides high levels of efficiency and bottles’ light-weighting potential, as these bottles do not have the thermal constraints associated with the traditional bottle-rinsing process. As Yili plans to diversify its portfolio through the addition of more value-added products, it needed a versatile production line to vary the recipes of their products. This is why the dosing valves on the Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis that are integrated into their lines have a wider diameter and a low-high speed control system to put the company in a position to meet future market requirements.