Sanpellegrino turns to Sidel to increase performance, hygiene and production capacity

Sidel has supplied two Sidel Matrix™ Combis to the Sanpellegrino plant in Ruspino, Italy, to help increase production capacity of its famous sparkling mineral water. Sidel Matrix is the most powerful solution to date in terms of performance, flexibility, cost savings and sustainability.

A premium 'niche' product exported to countries around the world

Over the past few years, the global market in bottled water has grown significantly primarily due to the increasing worldwide demand for premium, healthier drinks. The market is forecast to expand at a 6.6% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the period 2016 to 2024, rising from a total value of nearly US$170 billions to over US$307 billions at the end of 2024. Of the different categories of bottled water available - including still, flavoured, carbonated and functional - the segment of still bottled water is dominant and anticipated to remain so throughout the forecast period. Carbonated bottled water is presently the second leading segment of the market and is also expected to grow at a fast pace.[1]

The increased need for production at the Sanpellegrino facility in Ruspino is linked to this growing global demand for both sparkling water and premium products. Promoted as the ‘finest sparkling natural mineral water’ and chosen by top chefs and diners all around the world, S.Pellegrino mineral water - part of Nestlé Waters’ brands - is well renowned as a fine dining water on tables worldwide, both in elegant restaurants and at home. It flows from natural springs in Val Brembana in the San Pellegrino Terme area, at the foothills of the Italian Alps. After an estimated 30-year journey inside the earth that mineralises the water through contact with underground rocks, S.Pellegrino mineral water becomes naturally enriched with salts, including the essential calcium and magnesium. A slightly bitter note completes the drinking experience, making it famous and unmistakable throughout the world.

Long standing, successful partnership with Nestlé Waters

Sidel has worked with Nestlé Waters for over 50 years, a relationship which has resulted in many important and significant developments within the beverage industry. Salvatore Sbriglione, Plant Director at Sanpellegrino, explains: “We wanted to increase output rates according to the different bottle formats we produce in Ruspino. The line dedicated to the bigger formats - 750ml, 1000ml and 1250ml – was projected to grow output rates to 36,000 bottles per hour, while the one used to produce the 0.5 litre bottles was intended to increase speed to 54,000 bottles per hour. In awarding the contract to Sidel – to upgrade our existing PET lines and to increase output rates and speed – we clearly considered the longstanding relationship between Nestlé Waters, the group we are part of, and this supplier. However, what convinced us most, were the high hygiene standards offered by their solutions and the fact that we both share the same, absolute focus on product and process quality.”

The blow-fill-cap solution in a safe, integrated system

As Sanpellegrino wanted to increase performance and production capacity, with no compromises on food safety, Sidel Matrix Combi came as the natural choice. Combining blow moulding, filling and capping processes into a single system, this solution reduces operating costs and uses up to 30% less floor space, compared with traditional standalone equipment. By integrating the different equipment types and production phases into a single system, while eliminating conveying, empty bottles handling, accumulation and storage, line efficiency is improved for a lower TCO (total cost of ownership).

Additionally, using fewer component machines, Sidel Matrix Combi offers 2-4% higher efficiency levels than standalone machines, faster format changeovers, lower energy consumption and a reduction of operating costs by 8-12% as a result of savings on labour, raw materials and spare parts. By handling the bottles by the neck throughout the latter stages of the production process and the elimination of intermediary conveying, it also offers greater freedom of shape and significant lightweighting opportunities. Featuring a unique look&feel, the PET version of the S.Pellegrino bottle was conceived and designed to be enjoyed at home and on the go. It is created in the same Vichy shape to ensure that the effervescence and bubbles of the mineral water’s unique style would be immediately recognisable.

Andrea Lupi, Sidel’s Global Key Account Director, comments – “Both Sidel Matrix Combis installed at the Ruspino facility feature Sidel’s Blendfill configuration, combining carbonator and filler in a single system for top quality sparkling water. This solution contributes to further reducing consumption of CO2 and results in a smaller footprint.”

Both Combis supplied to the Ruspino site are equipped with Sidel's SF300 FM filler, ensuring strict hygiene - via a reduced filler enclosure - fully automatic changeovers performed via HMI (Human Machine Interface), optimum uptime and highest productivity. This solution allows for a reduction in the use of CO2 and, by using servomotors, it minimises the consumption of electrical power. Utmost precision of filling is guaranteed, thanks to magnetic flowmeters and no vertical movement of bottles. This allows smoother handling, minimal foaming and no bottle jams. Moreover, the reduced filler enclosure ensures minimum use of water and chemicals during external cleaning. This is how the Sidel Matrix Combi achieves full food safety - a major priority for Sanpellegrino. 

Proven performance and excellent project management

Throughout the Sanpellegrino project, communication between the installation teams of both parties was regular and efficient and Sidel’s proactive approach resulted in the welcome and timely passage of expert advice to facilitate implementation of the new equipment. “Installation of both Sidel Matrix Combis was performed without affecting our production planning,” continued Sbriglione. He added - “We are equally confident that our collaboration with Sidel will ensure that we quickly attain our top line efficiency objectives and with the company’s ongoing support, we will maintain and maybe even - at some future point - improve them.”

Sanpellegrino is the leading beverage company in Italy, offering a diversified product and packaging portfolio that comprises four still and sparkling mineral water brands - including the country’s leading brand, Levissima - various soft drinks and teas.


[1] Transparency Market Research

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