Sidel creates new solutions for PepsiCo

Renowned PepsiCo bottler MenaBev has drawn on Sidel's extensive expertise to deliver seven new bottle formats on two PET lines. Sidel worked closely with MenaBev to convert two Combi PET lines in just one week at its huge Mega plant. The fast, efficient and sustainable changeover resulted in improved line performance, including a new lightweight design for the iconic Aquafina brand.

Based in Jeddah, MenaBev is the leading bottler in the Middle East and North Africa region. The company's 300,000 square metre Mega Plant is one of the largest PepsiCo bottling plants in the world. This facility meets the production requirements to serve millions of consumers in the region, with the plant supported by a local distribution centre.

With more than 40 years of experience in designing and implementing customised complete PET line solutions, Sidel helped MenaBev efficiently meet its product launch dates. Both projects involved extensive work to ensure that one of the Combi PET line adaptations could handle three new-look Aquafina formats, while the other could handle four new Carolina formats.

Having worked closely together for more than three years, Sidel and MenaBev experts benefited from a close partnership with streamlined project management. In response to increased sugar taxes affecting the Saudi market, MenaBev also called on Sidel's expertise to supply new formats of the Carolina bottle. Although challenged by market-wide component shortages, these two line conversion projects resulted in an optimised workflow and rapid delivery of the required parts. The separate Combi PET lines were both successfully converted in just one week. In addition, Sidel engineers were able to maximise production performance. The Aquafina line is now capable of running at up to 60,000 bottles per hour (bph), up from 54,000 bph, while the Carolina line has maintained its optimised speed of 48,000 bph.

As part of the design process for Aquafina, Sidel focused on supporting MenaBev's sustainability goals, including delivering a lightweight, high-performance bottle for the iconic brand. The technical development of the new design included a full feasibility study, laboratory checks and stretch blow moulding performance tests. This approach was applied to the 330ml, 500ml and 1.5l Aquafina bottles to ensure high performance. The new Aquafina design has resulted in a lighter 330ml bottle. A 10% reduction in raw materials optimises the bottle's industrial performance while delivering a great consumer experience.

Karim Abdel Wahed, Service Manager at Sidel, said:

Our ability to adapt and convert existing Sidel lines enables customers like MenaBev to respond quickly to global changes and market needs. The Aquafina bottle has always been iconic in its design. Sidel is proud to have been able to use its expertise in packaging design to assist with the technical aspects of creating a new bottle for this recognisable brand. Not only has it maintained high performance, but it also provides the same pleasurable experience for consumers and helps MenaBev reinforce its commitment to sustainability.