Sales of cola carbonates in South Africa recently reached 1,800 million litres annually, and the popularity of carbonated soft drinks shows no signs of slowing down.

To capitalize on this growth and increase market share, South African bottler Coca-Cola SABCO needed a new PET production line that could increase their product supply and quality. They also wanted to invest in equipment that could help them reduce their environmental impact. Sidel's Matrix™ Combi line fitted the bill on all counts.


A first-mover

The company's Polokwane Plant can now boast of being the first on the continent to install the new Sidel Matrix system. The line is used to produce Coca-Cola SABCO's larger formats, including its two litre bottles and it is capable of speeds of up to 32,500 bottles per hour.

By investing in a complete Sidel Matrix line, Coca-Cola SABCOenjoys all the benefits of this advanced technology. Their new Sidel Matrix Combi line is equipped with 20 blowing stations, 165 filling valves, as well as a Starblend mixer, a Sidel Rollquattro roll-fed labeller and a palletiser.

Sabco AfricaWith these functions combined into one machine, they can achieve greater consistency in production, faster changeovers and reduced maintenance. Furthermore, this new equipment is also designed to minimise the resources used, which means Coca-Cola SABCOuses less energy, water and chemicals - yet can still produce ultra lightweighted bottles.


Thinking ahead

An investment of this kind is never something undertaken lightly and the team at Coca-Cola SABCO looked at all the options before making their decision. They could see that the Sidel Matrix line would meet their needs for increased production and quality, while giving them a good return on their investment. The Sidel Matrix equipment can be scaled to meet individual business needs and market demands and can incorporate technological advances as they happen, in effect making it future-proof.

"The criteria we followed to make the decision to buy the Sidel Matrix Combi was the capital cost, lead times, maintenance and running costs, the technical capability of the equipment and training and after-sales support," says Rob Webster, Southern Division Supply Chain Manager at Coca-Cola SABCO.


Off to a great start

The equipment was purchased in February 2013 and installed and commissioned in December 2013. Due to the competent installations and commission team, the line passed the Customer Acceptance Validation test first time with an impressive 95% for the two litre format at filling plant output level.

Rob Webster is looking forward to seeing more of the benefits of the line in action. He comments, "After successful commissioning, the line will help us meet our objectives in the market and achieve operational excellence."



Coca-Cola SABCO- from gloves to South Africa's favourite beverage company

The company was founded in the South African town of Port Elizabeth in the 1930s so its American founder William Donald Hyde could purchase sheep skins for his glove manufacturing company. However, by 1938 his South African interests had expanded considerably and he had numerous agencies for American goods - including Coca-Cola. 

In 1940, the S.A. Bottling Company (Pty) Limited, began the first bottling operation in Port Elizabeth with a Dixie unit capable of producing 75 cases of regular six ounce bottles of Coca-Cola per hour. Since then the company has grown and today it employs over 8,000 people in nine countries and has 21 hi-tech bottling plants throughout Africa and also Asia.

Coca-Cola SABCO is one of the continent's leading bottlers and it continues to pride itself on staying ahead of trends in production excellence.



Sidel Matrix

The Sidel Matrix™ system is designed to challenge the conventions of PET production and meet and exceed the requirements of beverage producers everywhere. Because of its modular system, Sidel Matrix can match virtually any configuration customers want, with a higher level of performance and a lower environmental footprint. The new system includes Sidel Matrix blowers, Sidel Matrix fillers, Sidel Matrix Combi and Sidel Matrix labellers. More than just a new product range, it revolutionizes the way Sidel's complete solutions contribute to line performance.



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