FIRST HIGH-SPEED ASEPTIC BOTTLING LINE IN THAILAND
Although new to the beverage industry, the ambitions of the General Beverage Company Ltd. are anything but small.
This new company has started out with the region's most advanced and eco-friendly manufacturing plant - including Thailand's first complete high-speed aseptic production line.
Senior managers first experienced Sidel technology following a visit to Anuga, the world's largest food and beverage trade show, in Germany in 2012. Having seen first-hand the potential of aseptic filling, General Beverage started talks with Sidel about equipment that could produce a broad range of high-grade beverages, including coffee, tea, milk and fruit juices. Following these discussions, Sidel was chosen to design, manufacture, supply, install and commission a full turnkey aseptic PET packaging line.
The region's most advanced plant
General Beverage's purpose-built plant offers innovative packaging facilities for safe, high-grade food products. It is located on the outskirts of Bangkok and is being built at a cost of nearly 120 million Euro (160 million dollars) in three distinct stages. The first stage has already been completed and now boasts the country's fastest production line of PET aseptically filled bottles. Equipment includes a Sidel SBO20 Universal2eco blow moulder with the energy reducing Ecooven and the firstever Sidel aseptic Sensofill FMa filler to handle production of particulates sized 5 mm x 5 mm x 5 mm connected to an Aidlin Eco cap feeder.
With a production capacity of 40,000 bottles per hour, this is the most advanced, eco-friendly, manufacturing plant in the region. The second stage of the factory development will follow in mid-2014, while the third and final stage will be completed over the coming five years.
High quality, high integrity products
The company has already started supplying various packaged products including coffee, tea, milk and fruit juices to beverage producers throughout Southeast Asia. Due to its advanced aseptic PET filling services, General Beverage has wasted no time in becoming a high technology co-packer for major players in both domestic and nearby international markets. The company's decision to bottle such sensitive products reflects its level of ambition. Not only does this type of bottling require specialist technology, it also requires specialist knowledge to set up and maintain the most stringent standards of food safety to protect the integrity of the products.
The new aseptic line can handle large volumes of high quality beverages of low or high acidity, including even the most sensitive products. It is currently set up to produce a nutritional drink with high dietary fibre (white grape juice with pieces of aloe vera), yoghurt and milk in a 280 ml format, as well as green tea and juice in the larger 350 ml format.
This is the first Sidel aseptic line of any kind to be installed in Thailand, where the tropical conditions and humidity make aseptic production even more challenging. Aseptic production maintains the smell, taste and nutrients of a sensitive beverage produced and distributed at ambient temperature. A tropical climate provides the perfect conditions for microorganisms to develop. Therefore operating an aseptic filler in these conditions requires both reliability from the machine and the highest standards of hygiene.
Well positioned in a fast growing market
In spite of being a newcomer to the bottling industry in Southeast Asia, General Beverage has quickly built up a reputation for innovative packaging strategies and high quality, high-grade products. Today the company is in the perfect position to continue to meet customer demands for convenient, hygienic packaging.
The increased popularity of PET in Thailand
Within the region, the juice drinks, teas and sports drinks sector is forecast to grow by 4% per annum over the next four years. PET is playing an increasingly important role in this market, with market share expected to grow by 6% as consumers increasingly recognise the material as more convenient and lighter than glass, and more hygienic than HDPE.
ASEPTIC BEVERAGE PRODUCTION AND HUMID CONDITIONS
Aseptic production is better able to maintain the smell, taste and nutrients of a product compared to other ambient distribution technologies. However, a tropical climate provides the perfect conditions for microorganisms to develop. Therefore operating an aseptic filler in these conditions requires both reliability from the machine and the highest standards of hygiene.