Central Asia hotfill system brings annual PET savings of 700 tonnes

The first hotfill line with slurry dosing to be installed in Kazakhstan and Central Asia has resulted in annual cost savings of $1.4 million, say Galanz Bottlers.

The new production line, featuring a Sidel SBO heat resistance blower and a Sidel Matrix hot filler, enabled significant lightweighting of the bottle. This achieved a reduction in PET material usage of some 700 tonnes for the year, generating the significant cost savings as well as improving the environmental footprint of the bottler’s production processes.

Galanz Bottlers is a leading name in healthy beverages, drawing on the worldwide trend for healthier living which is being embraced by consumers in Kazakhstan. Sales of products such as hotfilled tea, juices and drinks containing fruit pieces are all increasing and Galanz Bottlers operates extensively in this soft drinks sector, holding the position of Central Asia’s leading producer of iced tea, including its Maxi Tea brand.

Nestlé is another company that has invested in this fast developing sector of the beverage market, with its Nestea range achieving significant sales growth in the region. When Galanz Bottlers was awarded the Nestlé contract to bottle hotfill Nestea in Kazakhstan, it brought about the need to expand production capacity and to rethink the existing production process. Tursengali Alaguzov, owner of Galanz Bottlers, explains, “We didn’t have enough capacity for this production so we turned to Sidel.” Working closely with Galanz Bottlers, Sidel drew on its forty years of experience in hotfilling to propose a production line with the SBO14 Universal2eco HR blower and the company’s latest sophisticated filling system, the Sidel Matrix SF 700 ISD Hot Filler.

This advanced Sidel packaging technology allowed a focus on lightweighting. Working with Sidel, Galanz Bottlers is the first company in Kazakhstan to convert its PET Heat Resistant bottle production to a short neck, as well as redesigning the bottle, ultimately achieving a saving of five grams per bottle for the 0.5 litre format and around 10 grams for the 1.2 litre format. By adopting these much lighter preforms, this results in savings of around 700 tonnes of material a year, equating to $1.4 million.

The combination of these technologies provided the flexibility to accommodate the six different packaging formats of Galanz Bottlers, from 0.45 to 1.2 litres, at speeds of up to 24,000 bottles per hour. It also offers the versatility to handle the different neck sizes of 28mm and 38mm. The line operates with two modes – it can blow and fill non-carbonated drinks, such as teas and isotonic beverages without fruit pieces, and it can also fill a variety of drinks with pulps, fibres, sacs, fruit pieces and Aloe Vera with its integrated slurry dosing system.

With the ISD system for drinks containing pulps and fruit pieces, the filling process is carried out in two stages. Firstly, the fruit pieces are added, with the liquid then filled into the bottle. This is achieved through pistons that manage dual stream dosing to ensure the pulp or fruit pieces are introduced to the liquid accurately and at a steady rate.

During production, the correct flow rate can be controlled from the tank to the filling valve without stressing the liquid beverage, an important factor with such delicate particulates. The filling valve is subjected to constant pressure which leads to high distribution accuracy in the filling process.

Sidel had worked previously with Galanz Bottlers, supplying another bottling line and several pieces of standalone equipment. The support provided by Sidel was an important factor in selecting the company again, with the speed and efficiency of communication highlighted by Tursengali Alaguzov. He says, “The staff were very responsive and we received answers to our questions on the same day. I would especially like to thank the Sidel technicians who were communicative and responsive during the line installation and setup. We often had the feeling that they were installing the line personally for themselves.”