CHALLENGE: Upgrading glass bottling capacity while expanding packaging flexibility
SOLUTION: Complete glass line with Sidel’s EvoFill Glass filler and EvoDeco Cold Glue labeler
COMPANY: Asahi Group Holdings Ltd.’s Birra Peroni
OPERATION: Beer brewing
When Italian brewery Birra Peroni experienced domestic and international market growth as more consumers sought out premium beers, its leaders knew they had to upgrade the brewery’s glass bottling operations to keep up with demand. As long as changes were being made, the company decided to explore more eco-friendly options as well. “Faced with the need to expand our capacity, we used it as an opportunity for rationalizing the handling of returnable glass bottles (RGBs),” says Plant Manager Michele Cason. “Therefore, we chose to enlarge the RGB production in our Bari, Italy, plant.”
With the plant producing various packaging formats — including RGBs and one-way bottles — the new bottling equipment would need to offer versatility and increased productivity while supporting sustainability and reduced resource consumption.
With a new complete glass bottling line from Sidel, these goals became achievable. The EvoFill Glass filler has a hygienic, no-base design and includes level probe electronic filling valves that ensure a high accuracy and a wide range of filling set points without any adjustment or replacement of parts. This was particularly important for Birra Peroni, as the brewer handles five different formats in Bari: 33-centiliter, 50-centiliter and 66-centiliter sizes in both RGBs and one-way bottles; a 75-centiliter one-way bottle; and a 20-centiliter RGB.
In addition, the new EvoDeco Cold Glue labeller ensures fast changeovers through its quick-release, toolless label pallets combined with an automatic label magazine loading system. “Equipped with three stations, EvoDeco Cold Glue ensures a high-precision application of the precut paper labels on our embossed glass bottles,” says Luigi De Liddo, packaging engineering manager at Birra Peroni. To control the label positioning according to the bottle’s embossing, a custom feature was integrated within the labeler. It all came together with a vision system that can correctly orient each bottle at the infeed for a perfect label application.
The turnkey glass line in Bari now is running at 50,000 bottles per hour and has been designed according to an arena layout so that it can be managed by only four operators. This new system also takes into account the various needs of expanded RGB operations. “We also are processing returnable glass bottles here on-site, so we had to design a smart crate circuit regulation,” De Liddo explains. “Sidel stepped in and helped us manage crate accumulations during empty crate palletization. This approach has led to a seamlessly running line and maximum uptime.”
In addition, the integration of the Swing pasteurizer ensures sustainability benefits, cutting energy consumption by 25% and saving water. To date, 77.6 billion containers have been pasteurized worldwide on Swing equipment, which has saved the equivalent of 2,135 Olympic swimming pools of water and as much as 60,000 kilocalories of energy, compared with other pasteurizers.
“By choosing Sidel as our partner, we realized productivity gains and massive flexibility improvements,” says Antonio Martalò, packaging manager at Birra Peroni. “We can now scale our production setup according to market needs.”
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