ALPLA, one of the major Mexican bottle manufacturers, will be supplying 900 million bottles per year to ArcaContinental. ALPLA turned to its long-term partner Sidel to acquire the most innovative equipment and technical expertise. The bottles are produced on 11 SBO Universal2eco blow-molding machines and 1,200 molds.
Over the next eight years, ALPLA Mexico will be supplying 900 million empty bottles per year to ArcaContinental, the second-largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America. ALPLA will join its trade partner in its facilities and produce most of the bottles inline. This reduces shipping operations and stocking costs, optimizes delivery times and ensures optimal bottle quality by limiting the bottles’ exposure to physical constraint.
Small volumes of bottles will be produced in an offline production hall which is also designated for palletizing. “Sidel has practiced good presence in Mexico. And they were able to install the equipment in several locations simultaneously. That really made the difference for ALPLA in selecting Sidel as its partner for such a big contract,” says Martin Stark, Technical and Purchasing Director at ALPLA.
From field-testing to final installation
ALPLA has been working closely with Sidel for over 25 years. In the past three years, the company field-tested some of Sidel’s latest blowing innovations, among them the SBO 20 Universal2eco with a 2,200 bottles per hour output. ALPLA also tested Sidel’s patented format changeover system Bottle Switch™ and the energy-saving new oven configuration: the Ecoven. The positive testing results facilitated ALPLA’s decision for the Sidel equipment: all tested machinery is now part of the new order.
The SBO Universal2eco blow-molders delivered to ALPLA are equipped with 6 to 26 cavities and will produce up to 2,200 bottles per hour. ALPLA will create all the Coca-Cola bottle shapes from 250 milliliters to three liters on the new blow molders. Some of these machines are able to produce up to 21 different shapes and sizes. There are 1,200 molds equipped with Kohlox™, a system made of thermo composite material that helps parts move freely without lubrication and reduces machine downtimes.
ALPLA was looking for a vendor who knows the Mexican market and is available whenever needed. “We have a lot of experience with Sidel in Mexico and the fact that Sidel has a strong organization in this area was essential to us. In case anything happens, we can benefit from very fast and quick solutions in terms of spare parts and technicians,” Stark says. The machine’s overall efficiency, which is also due to faster format changeovers, results in a very good total cost of ownership of the equipment. The order was placed with Sidel in August 2011; shipments have taken place between November 2011 and February 2012. The new machines are due to be installed in six plants across Mexico to start operations in the coming weeks.