Sidel has supported Jeddah-based bottler MenaBev in converting its PET lines in its Mega plant.

The plant is said to be one of the largest PepsiCo bottling plants globally, covering 300,000m². The facility serves millions of consumers in the MENA region and is supported by a local distribution centre.

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The collaboration between Sidel and MenaBev ensured that one of the Combi PET line adaptations catered for three new-look formats for the bottled water product Aquafina while the other could run four new formats.

In response to increased sugar taxes impacting the Saudi market, MenaBev also called on Sidel to deliver new formats of the Carolina bottle. Although challenged by market-wide component shortages, the separate Combi PET lines were both adapted in one week.

In addition, the Aquafina line is reportedly capable of running up to 60,000 bottles per hour (bph) compared to its previous figure of 54,000 bph. Meanwhile, the Carolina line has maintained its speed of 48,000 bph.

To maximise the lines’ sustainability, the new design’s technical development included a full feasibility study, laboratory checks and performance tests on the stretch blow-moulding process.

This approach was applied to the 330ml, 500ml and 1.5L Aquafina bottles. The new Aquafina design has delivered a lighter-weight 330ml bottle, benefitting from a 10% reduction in raw materials.

Sidel service manager Karim Abdel Wahed commented: “Our ability to adapt and convert existing Sidel lines enables customers such as MenaBev to rapidly respond to global changes and market needs.”

Recently, Sidel aided dairy company Yili Group in installing an aseptic lab filler in its facility.