Sidel supports PepsiCo bottler MenaBev in converting PET lines for a fast transition to new bottle design and formats

Renowned PepsiCo bottler, MenaBev, has utilised Sidel’s extensive expertise to deliver seven new bottle formats across two PET lines. Sidel worked closely with MenaBev to convert two Combi PET lines in just one week at its vast MEGA Plant. The quick, efficient and sustainable transition resulted in improved line performance, with deliverables including a new lightweight design for the iconic Aquafina brand.

MenaBev, based in Jeddah, is the leading bottling operator in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The company’s MEGA Plant is one of the largest PepsiCo bottling plants globally, covering 300,000 square metres. This facility fulfils production needs to serve millions of consumers in the region, with the plant supported by a local distribution centre. 

With over 40 years of experience in designing and implementing customised complete PET line solutions, Sidel supported MenaBev in efficiently reaching its product release dates on the market. Both projects entailed a wide scope of work to ensure that one of the Combi PET line adaptations catered for three new-look Aquafina formats, while the other could run four new Carolina formats. 

Quick Adaptation and High Line Efficiency

Having worked closely together for more than three years, Sidel and MenaBev experts benefited from a close partnership with streamlined project management. In response to increased sugar taxes impacting the Saudi market, MenaBev also called on Sidel’s expertise to deliver new formats of the Carolina bottle. Although challenged by market-wide component shortages, these two line conversion projects resulted in an optimised workflow and the fast delivery of the parts required. The separate Combi PET lines were both successfully adapted in just one week respectively. In addition, Sidel’s engineers were able to maximise production performance. The Aquafina line is now capable of running up to 60,000 bottles per hour (bph) compared to its previous figure of 54,000 bph, while the Carolina line has maintained its optimised speed of 48,000 bph. 

Lightweight and Sustainable

As part of the design process for Aquafina, Sidel focused on supporting MenaBev’s sustainability goals, including delivering a lightweight, high-performance bottle for the iconic brand. The technical development of the new design included a full feasibility study, laboratory checks and performance tests on the stretch blow-moulding process. This approach was applied to the 330ml, 500ml and 1.5L Aquafina bottles, to ensure high performance. The new Aquafina design has delivered a lighter weight 330ml bottle. Benefiting from a 10% reduction in raw materials, the bottle’s industrial performance is optimised, while delivering a great experience for consumers. 

“Our ability to adapt and convert existing Sidel lines enables customers such as MenaBev to rapidly respond to global changes and market needs,” says Karim Abdel Wahed, Service Manager at Sidel. “The Aquafina bottle has always been iconic in its design. Sidel is proud to have been able to utilise its expertise in packaging design to support with the technicalities of creating a new bottle for this recognisable brand. It has not only maintained high performance, it also provides the same enjoyable experience for consumers and helps MenaBev strengthen its commitment to sustainability.”

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