Sidel: How to evaluate CAPEX and OPEX for your next packaging line

Through its partnership with Bareilly-based manufacturer of edible oils, BL Agro Industries, PET packaging specialist Sidel explains how several trends are shaping the manufacturing environment of edible oil producers with product diversification and cost savings driving the industry.

22 Aug 2020 | By WhatPackaging? Team

(L) BL Agro's Khandelwal: Sidel has greatly supported us in our edible oil journey

Today, edible oil is a competitive market category, essentially driven by product and brand differentiation as well as competitiveness through packaging cost savings, production efficiency and permanent asset optimisation.

“Product diversification is bringing more product shapes, sizes and SKUs to handle for the producers, therefore, the need for more flexible lines and equipment is rising,” says Francesca Bellucci, marketing director for the food, home and Personal care market categories at Sidel, “regardless, whether we are talking about capital expenditures (CAPEX), operating expenses (OPEX) or total cost of ownership (TCO), all that nowadays matters to edible oil producers.”

“Built into our very roots, our holistic approach to the edible oil industry contributes to delivering the right level of performance our customers need. At Sidel, we genuinely believe that achieving optimum quality and safety levels while lowering costs and optimising assets along the line lifecycle is most easily achieved with a one-stop-shop partner,” explains Francesca Bellucci.

The complete packaging production 
In-line PET bottle blowing is a promising approach to boost edible oil producers’ productivity from the beginning to the end of the line due to a coherent process and flow management, says Sidel. Its partnership with which has installed three packaging lines to a produce a range of bottles with different sizes, shapes are a classic example of the PET packaging specialist’s holistic approach as mentioned by Bellucci.

“Sidel greatly supported us along the whole journey,” says Ashish Khandelwal, executive director at BL Agro. “Relying on a single supplier who takes the full line responsibility including packaging, was a great help, especially because whatever we produce must adhere to the highest quality standards,” he adds.

For Sidel as well as for BL Agro, line control and automation are at the heart of the system, ensuring the continuous running and the overall performance of the line. “In terms of efficiency, we are now reaching 98.5% on our first line, running at 24,000 bottles per hour (bph) with our small format bottles and 97.6% on our second one at 6,000 bph for the big containers. Our third line is currently being ramped up, but we fully trust to achieve efficiency up to 90% in two- or three weeks,” explains Ashish Khandelwal.

On the wet part of the line, capabilities in blowing, filling, capping and labelling has to be available for every need or speed to address the various market demands. This has also been the case for BL Agro over the past years: From stand-alone blowers being able to manage small bottles at high speed or large bottles with the creation of notches for the insertion of a handle, up to Combi blowing, filling and capping solutions to reduce space and minimize the risk of cross-contamination, Sidel has expressed the breadth of their blowing capability at BL Agro packaging facility.

Flexibility at all levels 
The end-of-line capabilities of Sidel – packing, shrink-wrapping and palletising, are also a critical part of the complete line, especially when it comes to SKU multiplication and the flexibility required to pack them. “For our 200ml, 500ml, and 1L bottles, we use American boxes (RSC), while for our 2L and 5L bottles, we use Wrap-Around blanks,” explains Ashish Khandelwal.

Sidel has been able to install a case erector, a vertical robotic packer and a case gluer, answering the need of RSC, while for the two other lines with two drastically different levels of speed, BL Agro chose Cermex WB46 intermittent case packer for the low-speed line and VersaWrap continuous packer for the most recent high-speed line.

Equally significant next to answering the operational needs with the right level of technology, Sidel has been able to adapt and support BL Agro with the expected level of investment or CAPEX.

“We are happy to have found a complete line solution under one roof. Our production costs have been drastically reduced. Perhaps we are one of the most efficient in the industry in terms of hygiene as well as operational efficiency,” concludes Ashish Khandelwal.