Packaging equipment and services provider Sidel has upgraded Emirates Refreshments Company’s (ERC) production line with its new PET packaging solutions.

The upgrade includes a blower, a filler and a combi, as well as packaging and line improvement services.

With the upgrade, ERC aims to save 25% in production costs for its PET bottling line every year.

ERC also intends to lighten its packaging with the Sidel StarLite base and shorter bottlenecks, which will increase the company’s efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and save raw materials.

Short necks are said to provide huge economic gains and reduce post-consumer waste by cutting down the material used.

The Sidel StarLite base is expected to provide the bottles with additional durability, stability and overall resistance, without affecting safety standards.

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ERC has also introduced Sidel ECO lamps to the PET line to provide more precise and efficient heating, and reduce the line’s electricity consumption.

"We were able to produce attractive new designs that weigh considerably less."

The lamps will reduce costs and improve the PET line’s sustainability.

Sidel noted that the beverage sector is expected to continue growing in the UAE across various categories.

Last year, the consumption of water stood at around 1.13 billion litres, and is forecast to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% to reach 1.48 billion litres by 2019.

ERC plant manager Muhammed Elgharib said: "By changing the design of the PET bottle and shortening the bottle neck to adopt a Short Neck 29/25 closure, we were able to produce attractive new designs that weigh considerably less."

Image: ERC aims to lighten its packaging using the Sidel StarLite base and shorter necks. Photo: courtesy of Sidel.