Second Sidel complete PET line solution for Lithuanian bottler

New design contributes to 30% improvement in lightweighting

BMV invested in the second Sidel complete PET bottling line solution to produce the ‘Vytautas’ brand at the Birštonas plant

Sidel, the leading provider of production equipment and services for liquids in PET, has supplied two complete line solutions to BMV (Birštono Mineraliniai Vandenys) in Lithuania in less than two years. Following the success of its original PET bottling Greenfield project, the company ordered a Sidel line with a very similar scope of supply again. Sidel also collaborated on the design of BMV’s new eye-catching and product-differentiating PET bottle shapes to boost sales of the client’s water brands. The new design contributed to lightweighting the bottles by up to 30%.

Making the most of a natural resource

BMV, a well-known and leading provider of mineral water in the Baltic States, sells three water brands – ‘Vytautas’, ‘Birute’ and ‘Akvile’ (the latter is suitable for baby food). The company’s beverages are widely exported, including to neighbouring Baltic countries, as well as further afield including to the UK, the United States, China and the Gulf region.

In 2008, BMV began bottling natural mineral water under the ‘Akvile’ brand. Some years later, the company intended to update one of its production lines with new equipment and so approached Sidel for the first time. The Baltic producer asked Sidel to support with a technical and financial proposal for a new complete packaging line solution for bottling ‘Akvile.’ This was a Greenfield project to increase PET water production capacity to meet market demand.

Sidel Combi

As product safety and integrity – along with production efficiency – were important priorities for the water producer, the original Sidel Combi FMc was perfectly matched with the producer’s expectations. Its single production enclosure – including the three main integrated functions configured with the positive, filtered air-pressure – ensures a very hygienic and safe production environment. The hygienic design of the filling valve, with no mechanical parts in contact with the filled water and a filling process controlled by a pneumatic membrane valve, ensures safe filling. Additional hygienic options have been implemented in the Combi configuration to further optimize food safety, including air filtration and overpressure area protection.

The Combi also offers efficiency levels that are up to 4% higher than standalone machines. The magnetic flow metres, which control the filling volume, ensure an accurate dosing while the filling parameters of each filling valve are controlled directly from the operator panel. The automatic dummy bottles to close the filling circuit during the internal and external cleaning of the filling valves (cleaning in place, or ‘CIP’ as it is commonly known) contribute to fast and safe product changeover. Based on the performance of the newly installed bottling line producing Akvile, a second Sidel line was installed.

Second complete PET line solution

BMV renewed its confidence in Sidel only seven months after the order for the initial equipment, investing in this second Sidel complete PET bottling line solution to produce the ‘Vytautas’ brand at the Birštonas plant. This line features a very similar scope of supply, therefore ensuring that the advantages and benefits of the Combi would be realized again. However, the installation of this second line was more challenging because the footprint of the layout was 20% more compact than the original bottling line. The new complete line solution comprises a Sidel Combi 8 FMc; a cap air rinser; UV lamps on the infeed rail of the preform feeding rail; a Sidel Rollquattro Evolution labeller; a cap feeder for sport and flat caps, coder, packer, handle applicator twin pack, bottle conveyor, pack conveyor, and palletizer.

Re-branded PET packaging

Sidel picture BMV Baltics Vytautas
The new bottle shapes were
designed by Sidel to boost both the
‘Vytautas’ and ‘Birute’ brands, with
the ‘Vytautas’ bottle design targeted primarily at male customers and ‘Birute’ at female customers

The new bottle shapes were designed by Sidel to boost both the ‘Vytautas’ and ‘Birute’ brands, with the ‘Vytautas’ bottle design targeted primarily at male customers and ‘Birute’ at female customers. With elegant curves and elongated shoulders, the body of the bottle is engraved with the brand logo and its mineral content. The same shape was adopted for both still and sparkling water, with just differences in the bases, and deployed for a complete family of four bottle formats.

Although the main format produced on the line is the 1.5 litre bottle, the new line has the flexibility to produce either still or sparkling water in the four different PET bottle formats – 0.5, 1.0, 1.25 and 1.5 litres, to a maximum production output of up to 16,000 bottles an hour. This production level represents an output three times faster than the previous BMV line it replaced. This significant increase in production capacity assisted BMV in serving its national market, as well as providing opportunities for expanding exports in Poland and Russia.

Lightweighting, recycling

As a means of showing gratitude for the natural resource from which the company profits, together with a sense of responsibility to the environment, society as a whole and future generations, BMV is firmly committed to contributing to the maintenance of ecological balance. Consequently, the company determined to meet several sustainability targets and the introduction of the complete line, coupled with the new bottle designs made a significant contribution. One of the important environmental concerns is the amount of plastic used to produce the bottles and BMV is strongly committed to reducing this as much as possible.

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