Sector News

Sidel equips Yili Group with Aseptic Lab filler to advance R&D in dairy and soft drinks

May 27, 2023
Chemical Value Chain

Asian dairy company Yili Group is strengthening its partnership with Sidel by installing the equipment provider’s Aseptic Lab filler to research and test product designs. Sidel’s Aseptic Lab filler is said to be compact and customized to meet Yili’s R&D needs for test runs consisting of a small number of bottles with different shapes and sizes, helping Yili maintain a strong hold in dairy and expand its presence in the soft drinks market.

“The official launch of the PET versatile Aseptic Lab filler in Yili’s Shanghai innovation center represents the further deepening of the strategic partnership between Yili and Sidel, from equipment supplying to all-round cooperation in packaging development, product development, resource and knowledge sharing,” says Filippo Fu, Sidel’s regional sales director in China.

“In relying on Sidel’s new PET versatile Aseptic Lab filler, Yili will not only continue to consolidate and expand its leading position in PET dairy packaging but also lay a foundation for further expanding its popularity and influence in the beverage industry.”

Sidel shares that the delivery of its versatile Aseptic Lab filler, along with a new EvoBlow eHR with six cavities, benefited from a combination of global expertise of the two companies.

Customized flexibility
Sidel’s Aseptic Lab filling machine allows Yili’s developers to customize any element of the test projects, ranging from the overall product to the specific neck, bottle format or capping.

In addition to the several types of aseptic filling processes for both still and carbonated drinks, this lab line can perform other types of filling processes, such as hot filling. Additional benefits include flexibility, simplicity of operation, comprehensive maintenance and troubleshooting.

Moreover, its EvoBlow eHR blowing machine replaces traditional mold heating with oil for the bottle body with electrical resistance creating a temperature increase that is three times faster. It can reach mechanical output of up to 2,000 bottles per hour per mold.

“By eliminating hot oil altogether, the design of the Sidel EvoBlow eHR blower prevents hazards caused by the leaking of oil, such as operators’ slipping and the contamination of filled bottles. With electrical stretching, there is no need for lubrication above the neck of the bottle, removing the risk of contamination,” the company states.

Working together since 2017, the ongoing strategizing partnership between Yili and Sidel aims to deliver innovation and environmental sustainability. With the newly-installed versatile Aseptic Lab filler providing the means to develop designs and products which maintain an existing level of sustainability, Yili will also be able to experiment and attempt breakthroughs in energy conservation, in addition to consumption and emission reduction.

The companies worked to overcome challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during the assembly of the line. The installation and technical assistance were delivered fully through professional guidance, conducted remotely via virtual calls by Sidel and executed on the ground by experienced engineers based in Greater China.

Filling machine advances
Recently at the Interpack 2023 trade show, Sidel presented its Evo-On software suite, designed to supervise and optimize performance lines through a cloud suite with built-in intelligence.

“Agility is more important than ever when facing constraints and challenges. Sidel’s range of digital solutions enables its customers to turn data into smart decisions,” the company shared.

PackagingInsights also spoke to packaging and processing solutions providers Balluff, Schubert and Sidel on the show floor to highlight how upheavals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to industry innovations for remote access and virtual reality solutions.

Meanwhile, Oguz Karcier, product manager at Ampack, a Syntegon company, told us that dynamic markets and ever-changing consumer needs are challenging for the entire packaging industry, with filling machines also being impacted.

“Besides highly automated machines that help manufacturers tackle the issue of skilled labor shortages, flexibility and [environmental] sustainability are two major trends in liquid food packaging,” he said.

By Radhika Sikaria


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