Sidel, the leading global provider of PET solutions for liquid packaging, has announced the creation of new packaging development services to help beverage producers worldwide turn their supply chains into value chains.
“Studies in purchasing behaviour suggest that it takes a consumer just three to seven seconds to choose one beverage over another. A well-designed, attractive and engaging package can help brands win this ‘moment of truth’,” explains Vincent Le Guen, Sidel Vice President for Packaging. “Although very important, however, attractiveness and consumer experience are not the only value that great packaging design can create. Long before the product reaches the point of sale, the design of the bottle can create value throughout the supply chain. Additional value areas, for example, include improved line efficiency, enhanced product safety, greater sustainability, lower fuel costs, faster industrialisation and speed to market, and reduced costs. Great package design can help add significant and genuine value at each phase of the supply chain, from raw materials through to recycling.”
To unlock this value a holistic approach to package design needs to be applied at the beginning of any development project, taking into account brand goals, production capabilities, distribution and storage conditions, among other critical factors. Sidel has now launched a new range of packaging services to help beverage producers of all sizes to achieve this. The four new services are packaging and preform design, packaging optimisation, liquid-package interaction analysis and packaging qualification.
Packaging and preform design
Consumers are engaged by creative and attractive packaging design, interesting shapes and format sizes that fit their lifestyle. As a packaging material PET offers great freedom of shape and can help create a standout brand. It can be moulded into single-serve, multi-serve or extended family formats, all of which offer the convenience, re-sealability and recyclability for which consumers are looking today.
From producing the art and technical designs, preform designs, pilot moulds and prototypes, Sidel can help producers design a package or range of packages that fit the brand and engages consumers. The company uses digital models, technical drawings and 3D-printed physical models to speed up the creative process, helping to get innovative conceptual designs into industrial production and to get the client’s new-look product to market more quickly.
Whether collaborating on an entirely new product or simply re-designing the bottle of an established brand, Sidel can help optimise designs to use less PET and other resources, reduce energy consumption during production, better withstand the rigours of the distribution and transportation process, look great at the point of sale while also delivering a great consumer experience. The contributing factors to that satisfactory consumer experience include the ease with which the cap can be unscrewed and resealed, the feel of the bottle in the user's hand, the elimination of the potential for accidental spillage caused by excessive lightweighting and the flow of the liquid through the bottle's neck. Sidel undertakes optimum lightweighting with a unique approach it refers to as "rightweighting”. A Sidel bottle design that has been produced via this process will weigh and cost less to produce yet will still maintain and protect the quality of its contents throughout the supply chain, saving energy during production and securing an optimum line performance and consumer experience.
Liquid-package interaction analysis
The quality of bottled beverages and foodstuffs can be adversely affected by exposure to light, oxygen or the wrong temperatures. Sidel has two laboratories for liquid-packaging and aseptic analysis in Octeville, France, and two laboratories for filling and aseptic microbiological contamination analysis in Parma, Italy. These are in addition to its five packaging centres worldwide in China, Europe, India, Latin America and North America. The company also has partnerships with universities and other laboratories worldwide. To preserve the integrity and quality of products, the company’s scientists perform laboratory tests under simulated supply chain conditions in order to determine the most effective and safe packaging combinations and solutions, including the most suitable packaging sizes, shapes, closures and PET resins.
Taking the recipe, processing parameters and production conditions of the product fully into consideration, Sidel scientists test the package over time. This is done in essentially two ways: objectively through physical and chemical testing and subjectively by various sensory analysis techniques such as smelling and taste testing. By gathering such detailed information and understanding the different interactions between the liquid and the package, Sidel is able to manufacture and supply equipment that produces packaging that can fully maximise product quality and shelf life.
In order to qualify creative designs for industrial production, Sidel carries out full packaging feasibility and performance studies with pilot moulds and Sidel equipment to help evaluate bottle stability, rigidity and quality before full production starts. This is done according to the technical specifications provided by the beverage producer or by using Sidel’s own in-house specifications.
The company assesses the complexity of each design when compared to the targeted specifications, which cover bottle weight, line output and energy consumption. It then advises the customer what is needed to achieve the desired qualification. This proposed packaging validation partnership aims to get customers’ new products to market faster with less cost, while eliminating production issues in advance of full industrialisation.
From design to reality
Once a new package has been designed, tested and qualified for production Sidel can also determine which high-quality equipment and complete line production solution is right to achieve the desired production specification for that product. It can provide complete new lines, featuring the very latest Sidel Matrix™ beverage production equipment, or convert existing lines quickly and efficiently, with high-quality original moulds that are intelligently engineered for fast production and carefully tested to protect product quality. When combined with the company’s packaging development services this enables Sidel to provide a complete design-to-reality solution for beverage producers who wish to get high-quality products to market faster, more efficiently and with less cost.