Since its founding in 1977, Almarai has grown via strategic investments to become the largest producer and distributor of food and drink in the Middle East. The company’s main objective has always been a commitment to consumer satisfaction, maintained by a drive for constant innovation. When Almarai reached out to Sidel, it was seeking to increase the production capacity of its single-serve orange juice in 200ml PET bottles, handled via cold chain distribution.“The key challenge was to find a solution to ensure greater efficiency, strengthen profitability and optimise Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). All of this without compromising top product quality, a must-have for Almarai considering the great sales performance of its orange juice,” explained Anurag Sharma, Sidel Sales Manager in Saudi Arabia.
Almarai decided to install two new Sidel PET complete lines featuring the Sidel Combi. The two Combis are equipped with a Sidel SF100 filler, ensuring optimum uptime and the highest productivity. Sidel’s proven and versatile RollQUATTRO Evo labeller complements the Combi. Primarily using wrap-around Roll-Fed technology to apply either paper or plastic labels with hot glue, it delivers all the flexibility needed to match Almarai’s needs when processing lightweighted containers and extremely thin labels at very high speed. Benefiting from Sidel’s expertise as a full solution partner, Almarai went for solutions that would optimise its end-of-line performance. Two shrink-wrapping systems have been installed to manage three different pack configurations: 6x4, 2x3 and 2x3 bottles as clusters. To guarantee greater energy savings and up to 10% TCO reduction, the shrink-wrapping systems are combined with two EvoFlex® palletisers, offering unparalleled flexibility and efficiency even with high-speed applications. Both PET complete lines at the Al Kharj plant also feature Sidel’s EIT® (Efficiency Improvement Tool).
Each complete PET line handles 54,000 bottles per hour. Integrating blow moulding, filling and capping processes into a single system, the Combi reduces operating costs and uses up to 30% less floor space compared to traditional standalone equipment. Using fewer component machines, the solution offers up to 4% higher efficiency levels than standalone machines, on top of lower energy consumption and faster format changeovers. This results in a reduction in operating costs of up to 12%, saving labour, raw materials, and spare parts. In addition, the Sidel EIT® automatically records 24/7 raw production data, calculates a wide array of KPIs to help measure performance, analyses production issues, detects efficiency loss sources and performs root cause analyses. As an additional bonus feature, the EIT version leveraged by Almarai comes with the ECO module, monitoring and measuring energy and utility consumption at equipment and line level. On top of providing energy cost per produced unit, the system establishes correlations between consumption trends (including power, water, steam or compressed air) and line events or production phases for improving performance over time. Given the remote location of the plant, Almarai benefited from Sidel’s fast reaction time and expertise, a key factor for replacing spare parts and solving technical issues. Based on this positive experience, Almarai established monthly technical visits to control and monitor the line’s performance.