Much has changed technologically since Unilever South Africa installed its first Sidel case packer more than 20 years ago. Nevertheless, that first unit is still working well, with some upgrades. So when the company was looking to increase production capacity at its Maydon Wharf plant in Durban, it decided to install the Sidel SF39 bottom-loading vertical case packer.
During the design and installation phase there were some start-up issues that were easily and quickly overcome when Sidel joined the company on site for a week, identifying the causes of stoppages and listening to concerns, suggestions and expectations. The SF39 is one of seven machines that make up a new packaging line and it has enabled the plant to increase its specific line capacity by 30%. The new machine boasts a speed of up to 15 cycles/min over three format sizes, packing Vaseline petroleum jelly in 50,100 and 250ml formats in six fragrances.
Unilever team members provided valuable insight into the practical aspects of the machine’s operation, recommending engineering improvements and sharing learnings through many discussions during the design and build phase and the installation. By purchasing this additional case packer – the ninth one supplied by Sidel – Unilever South Africa has cemented its relationship with Sidel and is enjoying the increased productivity the new equipment has brought.
"“Sidel is one of three global machine suppliers to Unilever. Since this factory was built in 1996, the business has tried to standardise its case packers. However, this is not set in stone – after-sales support, machine quality and reliability, OEM flexibility and cost are all important deciding factors.”"
Plant’s Project Delivery Engineer