StrongPack has been a customer of global packaging solutions leader Sidel, since starting operations in 2018. Benefitting from an experienced, flexible and customer-focused Sidel project management team, StrongPack is now one of Nigeria’s biggest co-packers of non-alcoholic beverages. The new 86,000 bottles per hour (bph) high speed line will be the fastest in Africa. It also marks StrongPack’s entry into the still water co-packing market.
StrongPack is currently one of the biggest producers by volume of Royal Crown (RC) Cola worldwide and is also the biggest and the most diversified co-packer in Nigeria. The company is co-packing products such as malt drinks, teas, regular carbonated soft drinks, fruit juices, juice nectars and fruit flavoured drinks, including some nitrogen pressurised packaging for major global brands. Packaged water is the most consumed soft drink category in Nigeria and has a higher-than-average share of the overall soft drink sector compared to the rest of the region. 
Ensuring the highest efficiency and hygiene standards
StrongPack’s new water line will combine an EvoBLOW Regular blow-moulding machine with filling and capping equipment, integrating these production phases into one compact Combi SF100 solution. The integrated solution includes a state-of-the-art water treatment room and automated cleaning-in-place (CIP), ensuring the highest levels of hygiene and food safety.
StrongPack’s choice of Combi set-up offers material savings, with bottle lightweighting opportunities through bottle neck handling and the elimination of intermediary conveying. Energy consumption is kept to a minimum through the Ecoven’s infrared ceramic lamps. The Sidel StarLITE™ mould base, combined with the SuperVent™ optimised mould venting system, will minimise the blowing pressure and subsequent energy consumption, enabling further lightweighting while ensuring quality and strength on this new complex bottle design.
A team of trusted experts
Eric Thibault, Chairman of StrongPack Nigeria, said: “We have partnered with Sidel right from the start of our operations and we are very happy to have had the same trusted execution project manager, Yasser Seffo, throughout. The Sidel team of experts overcame challenges in designing this high-speed line within the space available. They worked closely with the StrongPack team to find the perfect solution, utilising the compact and optimised Combi layout. We look forward to Sidel supporting our future growth in the water and carbonated soft drinks markets.”
A new resistant and distinctive bottle design
Sidel has designed an iconic new bottle shape inspired by the Nigerian multi-cultural lifestyle. It combines a distinctive shape with a sharp structural design to optimise user experience and bottle resistance, in addition to enhancing bottle functionality and strength. Nitrogen dosing into the bottle headspace at the filling phase prevents vacuum or swelling and offers a lightweighted and high performing bottle – ideally suited to a local distribution chain that demands extremely resilient bottles. The new line will produce 600ml bottles weighing just 11.5g in packs of 12. Sidel has carried out its full feasibility and performance tests on the stretch blow-moulding process.
Sale of 1000th EvoBLOW machine highlights Sidel's leadership in blow moulding innovation
Sidel launched its first commercial PET blower more than 40 years ago, and there are now 7,000 Sidel SBO blowers of all generations still operating worldwide. The company offers the highest level of blowing configurability to ensure that solutions are tailored to specific market needs, for example, in the three complete PET lines integrating Sidel’s Actis™ coating system that have been installed at StrongPack. Sidel experts are continuously working to optimise the blowing process to deliver the best bottle quality and performance for all types of PET resins. This includes virgin and recycled PET (r-PET), one-way and refillable PET (ref-PET), as well as transparent, opaque, monolayer and multilayer.
 source: Global Data, Nigeria Soft Drinks Market Insights 2021