Nanjing Ziquan is a member of The Shanghai Ziquan Beverage Company Limited, one of the country’s leading OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) companies. Established in April 2004 and located in the Nanjing Hi-tech Industrial Development Park on a site covering more than 56,000 square metres, the company bottles products in PET on behalf of leading brands such as Danone, Coca-Cola and others for distribution in Greater China.
As a key OEM company in the region - with a production capacity of 490 million standard bottles per year - Nanjing Ziquan was looking for a solution which was respecting the highest hygienic standards required by its customer, while paying close attention to cost-efficiency so to keep the positive trajectory of its profitability. “The earlier Sidel line had been maintaining an operating efficiency of 95%+ and has even been upgraded recently, so that its output speeds for the 600ml bottle format increased from 30,000 bottles per hour to 34,500 bottles per hour,” comments the management team of Nanjing Ziquan. “As a result of the excellent and reliable performance of this first complete hot fill line, we were happy to award the project for a similar solution once again to Sidel.” Both Sidel lines comprise a Sidel SBO Heat Resistant blower with 20 blowing stations, Sidel Matrix™ SF700 hot filler, conveyors, labeller and packer. They strengthen the installed base of hot fill complete lines in the Nanjing Ziquan plant and increase production capacity of Mizone in PET bottles.
Another key factor driving the supplier’s choice was the reputation built by Sidel in China in terms of hygienic design and food safety. Helped by the company’s success with aseptic production, it established Sidel’s credentials and helped to strengthen its credibility in undertaking other complex applications such as hotfill. Sidel counts on 45 years of hotfilling experience, with more than 1,000 proven hotfill solutions installed worldwide. "Sidel's expertise in PET packaging and its extensive experience in hotfill applications were decisive drivers in our choice of supplier for this new line," states the management team of Nanjing Ziquan. "And having previously had success with Sidel HR blowers on seven lines at our other sites, simply reinforced our belief in Sidel's capabilities of handling the new Mizone line at Nanjing Ziquan," the team adds. The Sidel HR blowers allows management of the complexities typically associated with hotfill production, such as the collapsing of packages, as well as the definition of the most-adapted process possible to ensure bottle quality.
In 2013, when Nanjing Ziquan installed the first Sidel complete hotfill PET line - which featured the very first Sidel Matrix hot filler ever in Greater China - the functional drinks market was significantly increasing. Not surprisingly the first line was installed to increase production capacity for the co-packer, and the most recent line was intended to meet the continuing market growth in Greater China for functional drinks, forecast at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 15% from 2016-2020. This second Sidel line, used exclusively to bottle the Mizone functional drink, was installed in anticipation of substantial market growth for the product. The Sidel Matrix hotfiller, the SF700, featured by the second line, offers the highest standards of hygiene and operational reliability during filling. As such, it meets the production demands of a variety of beverages, such as teas, isotonics and juices, with or without pulps or particles - in formats to match production needs. Its electronic filling valves guarantee precise filling volumes while minimising product waste. To avoid contamination, there is no contact between the filling valve and the bottle neck and all components coming into contact with the product are made from stainless steel 316L. These contactless filling valves, together with the design of the hotfiller, optimise product safety throughout the entire packaging process.
The Nanjing Ziquan management team concludes: “By taking a holistic view of the production line and giving us a complete customised solution, Sidel has helped us to optimise uptime and operating costs."
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 A standard bottle is 500ml or 600ml. A 1000ml bottle is counted as two standard bottles.