Sector News

Sidel installs region’s “fastest” PET bottling line in Dubai as UAE’s beverage market booms

July 23, 2022
Chemical Value Chain

Sidel has installed what it says is the “fastest single line” for a PET bottle company in the history of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The line is one of Sidel’s Super Combi solutions, constructed for Mai Dubai, a water bottle producer in the UAE.

Mai Dubai was founded in 2012 and is one of the leading bottled water companies in the UAE. It is wholly owned by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and has also been supplying its products internationally, including Emirates Airlines since 2015.

The Super Combi installation follows Mai Dubai’s recent acquisition of Sidel’s expertise to construct a new complete packaging line. The line fills 86,000 bottles per hour in three different formats (200 ml, 330 ml and 500 ml).

“Our key considerations were the optimal use of space, high consistent quality and efficiency with flexibility. Sidel’s digital capability was very attractive, too, with its Efficiency Improvement Tool (EIT) enabling us to track the performance of every part of the line,” explains Mai Dubai CEO Alexander van ’t Riet.

“Sidel also added extra value by using its design expertise to help us strengthen our 500 ml bottle without compromising its iconic design. Finally, Mai Dubai is a leader in sustainability and Sidel’s solution supports our low energy requirements.”

Mai Dubai
The complete high-performance line provided by Sidel delivers “optimum” water quality. It also includes the all-in-one Super Combi solution for blowing, labeling and filling, with the ground level preform infeed system, EasyFeed, and the top ergonomic cap feeder, Gebo OptiFeed. These pieces of equipment all ensure that production standards are met, including:

  • EasyFeed ensures safe and clean conditions with its UV lamps. In addition, a dedusting system for preforms is integrated into the blower, while a deionizing system on the caps chute further boosts the hygienic conditions.
  • At the labeling stage, quality and efficiency are also met by three labeling stations, all equipped with an auto-splicing system, delivering consistent uptime by ensuring non-stop production.
  • Bottles are scuff- and scratch-free, improving the quality of the end product. This is due to the ease of handling of lightweight bottles, enabled by labeling between the blowing and filling stage, says Sidel.

The accurate, reliable no-contact filler features a reduced enclosure kept in overpressure with high-efficiency particulate-absorbing filters. This results in a protected environment around the filling valves and an easier-to-clean area using less sterilizing agents and time.

These new features are expected to help Mai Dubai cater to a booming beverage market in the UAE. Water makes up nearly one-third of soft drinks sales in the UAE, and sales are forecast to grow by 436 million liters, more than any other category, by 2026.

In addition, buying habits in the UAE are changing, with consumers becoming more concerned about shopping responsibly and demanding climate-friendly packaging and larger pack sizes in response to spending more time at home with family during the pandemic, Sidel notes.

Gebo OptiFeed
The Gebo OptiFeed feature is highlighted for enabling smooth cap handling. Its inspection system improves efficiency by automatically detecting cap quality and color.

The shrink-wrapper EvoFilm is also designed to meet Mai Dubai’s key requirements for maximizing efficiency by minimizing downtime, says Sidel. It manages nested packs – where bottles are offset so they can be closely packed – and gives stability while reducing the pack’s footprint, bringing cost savings in logistics.

Additional features of the new line include the high-speed, high-level pack infeed, PalLinear palletizer. It features a fully robotic layer preparation, RoboSmart, offering flexibility, saving time, and being easier to operate.

Mai Dubai says it was so impressed with Sidel’s EIT, the all-in-one line performance software, that it has now installed it on its other packaging lines.

Edited by Louis Gore-Langton


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