Covap’s first complete aseptic PET line from Sidel

New pet bottle to ensure product integrity and safety

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Covap’s first complete aseptic PET line from Sidel
Covap’s first complete aseptic PET line from Sidel

With the help of Sidel’s end-to-end complete aseptic PET line, UHT liquid dairy products (LDPs) from Spanish milk producer Covap are now also available in PET bottles for the very first time. This new PET bottle opens the door to meet changing market demand and ensures product integrity and safety.

Covap, a Spanish cooperative, is one of the major milk producers in Spain. The company has one of the most technically advanced dairy plants in the whole of Europe and has been a family of farmers for over 60 years. With a large operating area of 22,650 m2, Covap can produce 400 million liters of milk per year.

Traceability is the key to sustaining high-quality products. By implementing strict control from animal feed to the production process, they can keep their commitment to bringing a range of high-quality LDPs to consumers.

Covap also produces ready-to-drink dairy products for other retailer brands in Spain. Although LDPs are dominated by carton packaging, major supermarket players have decided to sell them in PET bottles based on market preference. 

To meet demand, Covap partnered with Sidel for the first time on a complete aseptic PET line with the Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis at its heart, after visiting various dairy plants using Sidel’s equipment in Spain and Italy. The line was installed not only for Covap UHT dairy products but also for retailer brands from the hotel, restaurant, and café channels.

Covap’s PET bottles designed with sleeve labels attracting its customers

Sidel experts worked in close collaboration with Covap from bottle design to line start-up. The new PET bottles were designed with a sleek shape, providing a similar look and feel to glass bottles. Because of the PET barrier properties, the shelf life of milk drinks has been extended by four months to retain their fresh taste.

All three bottle formats – 225 mL, 1 L, and 1.5 L – can be labeled with sleeve or roll-fed labels based on different brand positioning. Due to these great 40 years of aseptic packaging expertise, the safe and simple aseptic PET line requires only a few operators.

It thus facilitates a smooth and efficient production, running at up to 13,200 bottles per hour. As a result, Covap is now producing 30 million PET bottles annually. Furthermore, Sidel provided intense training for operators to ensure successful production on the line. 

“Since PET packaging is a new territory for us, Sidel is the right long-term partner to advise us in every phase and to provide end-to-end solutions,” commented Vidal Madrid, Director of Operations and Digital Strategy at Covap.

“After the launch of new PET bottles, consumer reaction has been quite positive, especially regarding the sleeve label, which enhances the attractiveness of the LDPs. Additionally, the retailer’s brands have also been receiving high acceptance and satisfaction with the new packaging,” concluded Vidal.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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