Sidel has announced that its dry preform decontamination technology - Predis™ - is now available for the company's latest generation of modular Sidel Matrix™ blowing and Combi equipment. This combines the high level of process flexibility required by beverage producers with the reliability, environmental and cost benefits associated with a technology that has become the industry standard in aseptic production operations.
More natural and healthier drinks in PET
Worldwide, consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious and moving towards drinks with a more natural taste. This has brought a focus from beverage producers on filling methods that protect the quality, taste and vitamin content - without using preservatives or additives. The main drinks currently driving the global growth of the beverage industry are those known as 'sensitive' products, including juices, nectars, soft drinks, isotonics, teas and liquid dairy products, which are expected to grow by a further 6% by 2016.
PET is already the material of choice for this beverage segment and continues to contribute to its growth. Its increasing usage is due to its 100% recyclability, excellent barrier material properties that can extend shelf life, bottle design freedom, lightweighting potential and the greater brand recognition possibilities offered by the package transparency. Sidel has been working in providing aseptic PET packaging solutions for more than 30 years, ensuring the pre-requisite of product safety, integrity and quality.
Predis - the industry standard - now available on Sidel Matrix equipment
Since its launch over 15 years ago, the Sidel Predis dry preform decontamination technology has become the beverage industry standard in aseptic production. Sidel was the first company to recognise that it was simpler and safer to decontaminate the preform rather than the bottle.
Supplied predominantly in a Combi configuration, Sidel's proven Predis technology is now used by many major beverage and dairy companies, with more than 90 production lines equipped around the world. Interest continues to grow, with the popularity of Predis set to increase further with the announcement that it is now available in a configuration compatible with the latest generation of Sidel Matrix equipment.
The objective is to take the benefits of all the innovative technologies in the Sidel Matrix blower - increased production output, consumption reduction, hygienic design and a wider portfolio range - and extend those benefits even further by standardising the new Predis solution for all Sidel Matrix blowers. No specific adaptation was required to connect it with the aseptic filling function because the mechanical interface remains unchanged.
A more competitive aseptic portfolio
The Combi configuration for Predis includes preform decontamination, blowing, filling and capping in one unique and safe environment. Sidel Matrix Predis will be available for production of up to 60,000 bottles per hour (bph), representing an increase in output of 20% compared to when Predis is integrated with the previous Sidel blower generation. This provides a Combi for high speed production, as the proven aseptic filling range also offers a capacity of up to 60,000 bph for on-the-go 0.5 litre bottles.
The Sidel Matrix Combi Predis FMa is more competitive for the same number of blow moulding stations as the output is higher per mould - up to 2,300 bottles per mould per hour. The electrical stretching included in the Sidel Matrix blowing station allows simple, fast and safe changeover with limited manual intervention. This expands the flexibility for beverages producers to handle a wide variety of sensitive beverages aseptically, whatever the recipe or bottle format, ranging from 0.2 to 2 litres at high running outputs of up to 2,300 bottles per mould per hour.
Always simpler and safer
Sidel Matrix equipment delivers a high level of safety and consistency down the complete line. It is based on a hygienic concept, fully compliant with hygienic design standards (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group: EHEDG) and beverage industry regulations. The simplified Sidel Matrix Predis design, with fewer transfer wheels, is more compact and more accessible for easier production and maintenance operations. The decontamination of the surfaces of the transfer wheel is now automatic, further reducing manual interventions in the machine. Only the relevant parts have been retained in the blowing area to improve production environment safety. The oven is equipped with new more powerful UV lamps for external preform decontamination, adapted to higher output production. The air management in the oven has also been improved.
Saving time, money and resources
Compared to traditional aseptic filling systems, the new Sidel Matrix Combi Predis FMa gives producers both the benefits of cost-efficiency and an improved environmental footprint. This ensures full preform sterilisation with no water and using just a minimal amount of chemicals.
The Sidel Matrix Ecoven requires fewer heating modules and lamps, yet reduces preform-heating time and cuts electrical consumption by up to 45% compared to Sidel's previous generation of equipment. In addition, the Combi Predis FMa optimises production simplicity by requiring only one operator, which can also reduce operating costs by up to 30% compared with standalone equipment.
A new record in continuousaseptic production
Alongside developing industry-leading innovative aseptic technology, Sidel has also focused on ensuring that its aseptic equipment is reliable and efficient in daily use. The Combi Predis FMa is designed to offer a continuous production run of 165 hours between two cleaning and sterilising cycles - the longest continuous production time of any aseptic equipment.
This new record of extended production run gives producers the highest aseptic bottling uptime available on the beverage market today. This allows them to achieve higher production levels for bottling of both high and low acidity products. By requiring fewer cleaning and sterilisation cycles, the components are also subjected to less stress, thereby giving them a longer lifespan with less maintenance.
Industry experts are predicting that sensitive products will be the main drivers of growth in the beverage industry in years to come. PET is expected to play a large role in the production of these products with its flexible properties and excellent safety profile. With all the innovations of the Sidel Matrix blower generation, plus the continuous technical improvements on the dry preform decontamination solution in recent years, the new Sidel Matrix Combi Predis FMa offers the beverage industry the fastest aseptic solution with dry preform decontamination on the market. It also provides the best TCO (total cost of ownership), without compromising on its simplicity or on the food safety it ensures.
Further details on the Sidel Matrix Combi Predis FMa are available at sidel.com/predis.