Argentinian beverage producer Refres Now expects to make considerable savings in its use of energy and water, after investing in a $12 million expansion to its beverage plant in La Matanza, Buenos Aires.
The company behind the Manaos brand of beverages has installed a new line, which includes a blow-fill-cap solution that can deliver comparable savings of 45% on energy consumption, a decrease in water consumption, and a 40% improvement in the plant’s total production output.
The expansion also includes a new warehouse for storing finished products, and was welcomed in an official ceremony by Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri. The blow-fill-cap line was provided by Sidel.
Refres Now operations director Walter Canido said: “We celebrate the start-up of our line number nine, and for us every new line means a great success. Sidel has an impeccable trajectory in technology for the bottling industry, but above all, the magic ingredient for the equation to work is its people and for us that is more important than the machine itself. Our next step is line number ten, and the future… is infinite.”
Refres Now already has the largest bottling plant in Latin America and one of the largest soft drinks production sites in the world. The company manufactures the Manaos brand in five different flavours: cola, orange, lemon-lime, apple, and grapefruit. With a daily production output of over 3.5 million litres, it also produces many other products, which include sodas, waters and flavoured waters.
Its latest investment follows a significant spend in 2011 on what was, at the time, the world’s largest Sidel Combi ever built for filling carbonated soft drinks. It was a high-tech solution for bottling family pack sizes, which were in great demand locally, Sidel said.
Marcos Pilati, sales director for Mexico and North Hispanic zones for Sidel, commented: “Refres Now has benefitted from the performance of our integrated solution. The resulting top quality bottles were better suited to withstand the pressures of transportation and the challenges of the entire supply chain. Despite the difficult economic situation within the South American country over recent years, the equipment we have installed has been helping Refres Now overperform their objectives. As a result, they now see Sidel as a strategic partner in their bottling operations.”
The new Sidel Matrix Combi installed at the Manaos plant marks two milestones. Thanks to savings made possible by the Sidel Matrix blower, it will allow Refres Now to cut energy consumption by 45%, which is both significant in terms of cost and sustainability but also imperative, given the country’s energy issues. The line also features a Sidel Matrix SF300 FM filler with 162 valves – one of the biggest electronic fillers in the world that boasts an output speed of 32,000 bottles per hour. The integrated solution also includes Sidel’s Blendfill configuration, combining mixer and filler in a single system for high-quality carbonated soft drinks.
Utilising the mixer’s beverage tank as a shared tank with the filler, the configuration avoids redundant pressure and level control functions, while reducing consumption of CO2 as well as the footprint of the equipment. The line can produce multiple bottle sizes ranging from 600ml to 3 litres.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019