Expo Pack Mexico 2018 returned to Mexico City from June 5 to 8 at an opportune time for exhibitors as Mexico’s demographics enter a new paradigm, resulting in a shift in consumer demands as well as economic growth. This year, the most important forum for Packaging and Processing Technology for Latin America brought together over 25,000 packaging and processing professionals from food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, cosmetics and other industries to discuss the latest trends and innovations.
In the past decade, sales of soft drinks have performed at an incremental rate, especially driven by increasing demands for convenience and healthy products. Thanks to the many benefits they carry – together with lower costs of raw material – PET bottles remain the most-utilised container material for soft drinks and bottled water, expected to contribute to the majority of additional sales in the liquid packaging industry.
The global health trend in the beverage sector has also hit Mexico. This attracts consumers that are concerned about their sugar intake and are looking to decrease their consumption of carbonated beverages to buy smaller sized packs than they previously did. In this rapidly evolving industry, brands and manufacturers need to adapt swiftly to these ever-changing requirements from end users.
Enhancing the brand experience while lowering the TCO
At Expo Pack Mexico 2018, Sidel highlighted its 165+ years of experience. The company promoted its new Sidel EvoDECO labelling solutions, available as a modular multi-technology or as dedicated-technology equipment, which are designed for total flexibility and optimised for unmatched performance. This allows producers to choose systems based on their specific labelling needs and output levels, without compromising on flexibility, efficiency or sustainability.
Sidel Super Combi was also showcased at Expo Pack Mexico. By integrating five process steps into one single system – preforms feeder, blowing, labelling, filling/capping and caps feeder – and encompassing equipment intelligence, it is the ideal solution for maximising water and carbonated soft drinks (CSD) production and increasing line efficiency, while reducing TCO. As such, it proved particularly interesting for Mexican manufacturers visiting Sidel Group’s stand, as sales of soft drinks in the country are expected to witness sustained growth until 2021, with convenience being a major attribute valued by consumers.
During the show, Sidel promoted its portfolio for sensitive products, which includes the Aseptic Combi Predis™, the unique blow-fill-seal solution with dry preform sterilisation validated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This achievement makes it the world’s first aseptic PET filler with dry preform sterilisation approved for low acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the U.S. market.
Marcos Pilati, Sales Director Mexico and North Hispanic zones at Sidel, explained, “As it is vitally important for producers in Latin America to stand out from the crowd in today's competitive market, we placed a strong focus on our latest achievements like the Super Combi and the EvoDECO labelling solutions. Top priorities today are faster product and format changeovers, simple operations and optimised processes that use the same equipment for different products, ensuring consistent uptime together with a more sustainable production. Our equipment can meet all these market demands”.
Maximising flexibility and operators’ safety, with no compromises on compact footprint
At Expo Pack Mexico, Gebo Cermex – global leader in line engineering and material handling solutions – featured its comprehensive conveying and end-of-line expertise for the very demanding requirements of the food, home and personal care industries. Visitors had the opportunity to learn more about AQFlex®, a breakthrough product handling technology able to accommodate any product, whatever the application, in all container materials, formats and shapes, full or empty, while ensuring contactless conveying and accumulation. Patrick Piraveau, Managing Director at Gebo Cermex Mexico, underlined the unprecedented packaging line performance delivered by AQFlex, “The solution can operate at any speed, from 1,000 to 100,000 containers per hour, while allowing energy savings of up to 60%. All of this, without compromising on high efficiency and ensuring the best accumulation/space ratio on the market. Its compact design provides up to 40% space savings compared to traditional solutions and, as a result of its small footprint, AQFlex is easily integrated into existing production lines.”
Alongside AQFlex, Gebo Cermex showcased its new CoboAccess™_Pal, a robust palletising cell that greatly improves working conditions. Leveraging the advantages of cobotic solutions in terms of compactness, flexibility, production line efficiency, and reliability, CoboAccess_Pal embeds top safety and industrial standards to perfectly match the needs of very demanding production environments. As a proof point of the company’s 360° approach to wrap-around mechanization, visitors to the Sidel Group stand at Expo Pack Mexico also had the opportunity to give a look to Gebo Cermex’ WB46. This wrap-around case packer offers excellent performance in terms of flexibility, hygiene and ergonomics, mainly due to a new automation platform, thermoplastic polyurethane timing belts and quick-release system for easy format changeovers. Additionally, thanks to its new on-the-fly robotic product loading station, the overall footprint of the machine is significantly reduced, as the need for a pre-collating system is no longer present.