Sidel Matrix™ System is Fully Operational at Coca-Cola SABSO Plant in SA

Coca-Cola have created an innovative solution, the first in the entire African continent, to increase Coca-Cola SABCO market share in the booming African demand for cola, by achieving 95% line efficiency in its validation trials for a two-litre bottle.

Sidel, a global provider of liquid packaging solutions, today announced that its first installed Sidel Matrix™ system in the entire African continent has achieved 95% line efficiency in its validation trials for a two-litre bottle at the Coca-Cola SABCO's Polokwane plant located in South Africa.

Coca-Cola SABCO needed a new PET production line to capitalize on a growing domestic demand for cola carbonates, as it aims to expand product supply and improve quality in order to increase its market share. Total annual sales in the country recently reached 1,800 million litres and the popularity of the drinks currently shows no sign of slowing down. The company was also looking to reduce the environmental impact of its production.

With Sidel Matrix solution, the company's Polokwane plant can now boast of being the first in the entire African continent to feature the new modular generation of PET bottling equipment from Sidel.

"The criteria we followed to make the decision to buy the Sidel Matrix Combi included capital cost, lead-times, maintenance and running costs, the technical capability of the equipment, training and after-sales support," said Rob Webster, Southern Division Supply Chain Manager at Coca-Cola SABCO.

Coca-Cola SABCO's investment in the complete production line for the plant in Polokwane featured a Sidel Matrix Combi, equipped with 20 blowing stations and 165 filling valves, as well as a Starblend mixer, a Sidel Rollquattro roll-fed labeller and a palletiser. It offers a higher level of performance, very fast changeover times, greater oven efficiency and improved uptime. It is designed to minimise the resources used which means that Coca-Cola SABCO is using less energy, water and chemicals while offering the possibility to produce ultra-lightweighted bottles. The Sidel Matrix system can be installed in any configuration required by customers, thereby revolutionising the way Sidel's solutions can contribute to overall line performance.

"The line will help us to meet our objectives in the market and achieve operational excellence," Webster added.

Established in 1940 in Port Elizabeth in South Africa, the South African Bottling Company (SABCO) has since gone on to become a major player in the CSD bottling industry. With 21 production sites throughout a total of nine countries, the company currently supplies some 240 million consumers. Its vision is to become the "best Coca-Cola bottler in the world". In South Africa, the company has five manufacturing sites located throughout the country in Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Polokwane, Nelspruit and Port Shepstone. It already has several Sidel lines in operation at the plants in both Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.

The new Polokwane line is used to produce several of the company's larger formats, including its two-litre version, and is capable of achieving production rates of 32,500 bottles per hour. The line passed its Customer Acceptance Validation at the first attempt with an impressive score of 95% for production of the two-litre bottle at filling plant output level.

The innovation solution, originally launched by Sidel in 2013, is gaining a foothold in many other countries throughout the world.

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