From June 26 to 29, Fispal 2018 returned to São Paulo Expo in a favourable setting as the Brazilian soft drinks industry is showing signs of recovery despite the overall current economic situation in the country. In its 34th edition, Fispal reassured its position as one of the biggest and most complete trade events for the food and beverage industry in Latin America, successfully creating an exclusive environment for over 440 exhibitors to showcase their expertise and share information on the latest packaging innovations, trends, and solutions.
With the World Cup hosted in Brazil in 2014, soft drinks sales saw a peak in volume; however since then they have been plummeting. The sales have only recently recovered from this. Brazil experienced some difficulties in 2017 on both economic and political fronts. With these crises looming, packaged food posted a reasonable performance; however, during this period, the snack and dairy product categories were affected the most.
A shift in the consumption habits of Brazilians and their ability to accommodate preferred products into their budgets reflected on the market as sales showed signs of recovery in 2017. Consumers started trading down and reduced their purchase frequency while pursuing economic pack sizes, looking for bigger packs at attractive prices per unit. This preferred consumption at home contributed to faster recovery of retail volume sales.
Ensuring line efficiency while lowering the Total Cost of Ownership
At Fispal 2018, Sidel highlighted its 165+ years of experience. While promoting its complete line solutions expertise, the company focused on the latest introductions like the new Sidel EvoDECO labelling solutions, available as a modular multi-technology or as dedicated-technology equipment, which are designed for total flexibility and optimised for unmatched performance. This allows producers to choose systems based on their specific labelling needs and output levels, without compromising on flexibility, efficiency or sustainability.
Sidel Super Combi was also showcased at this year’s Fispal. By integrating five process steps into one single system – preforms feeder, blowing, labelling, filling/capping and caps feeder – and encompassing equipment intelligence, it is the ideal solution for maximising water and carbonated soft drinks (CSD) production and increasing line efficiency, while reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). As such, it proved particularly interesting for Brazilian manufacturers visiting Sidel Group’s stand, as soft drinks volume sales are expected to show positive growth rates from 2018 onwards. This is largely supported by the recovery of both the Brazilian economy and the consumer confidence at large.
During the show, Sidel promoted its portfolio for sensitive products, which includes the Aseptic Combi Predis™, the unique blow-fill-seal solution with dry preform sterilisation validated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This achievement makes it the world’s first aseptic PET filler with dry preform sterilisation approved for low acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the U.S. market.
Jose Priante, Vice President of Sales Latin America at Sidel, explained, “As it is vitally important for producers in Latin America to stand out from the crowd in today's competitive market, we placed a strong focus on our latest achievements like the Super Combi and the EvoDECO labelling solutions. Top priorities today are faster product and format changeovers, simple operations and optimised processes that use the same equipment for different products, ensuring consistent uptime together with a more sustainable production. Our equipment can meet all these market demands.”
Maximising flexibility and operators’ safety, with no compromises on compact footprint
At Fispal 2018, Gebo Cermex – global leader in line engineering and material handling solutions – featured its comprehensive range of conveying and end-of-line solutions, suited for high and low output markets. Visitors had the opportunity to learn more about AQFlex®, a breakthrough product handling solution able to accommodate any product, whatever the application, in all container materials, formats and shapes, full or empty, while ensuring contactless conveying and continuous flow of the line.
Denis Malterre, Vice President Latin America at Gebo Cermex, underlined the unprecedented packaging line performance delivered by AQFlex, “The solution can operate at any speed, from 1,000 to 100,000 containers per hour, while allowing energy savings of up to 60%. All of this, without compromising on high efficiency and ensuring the best accumulation/space ratio on the market. Its compact design provides up to 40% space savings compared to traditional solutions and, as a result of its small footprint, AQFlex is easily integrated into existing production lines.”
With the packaging industry facing increasingly sophisticated consumption trends that present various challenges to the production and distribution of goods, the unique packaging line performance offered by AQFlex represents a significant first step towards bringing the factory of the future to life: a commitment the Sidel Group is taking very seriously. The company’s Agility 4.0™ programme is helping manufacturers and brand owners shift from mass production to mass customisation, and gain the many benefits of Industry 4.0, while boosting Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and sustainability and minimising TCO.
Alongside AQFlex, Gebo Cermex showcased its new CoboAccess™_Pal, a robust palletising cell that greatly improves working conditions. Leveraging the advantages of cobotic solutions in terms of compactness, flexibility, production line efficiency, and reliability, CoboAccess_Pal embeds top safety and industrial standards to perfectly match the needs of very demanding production environments.
As a proof point of the company’s 360° approach to wrap-around mechanization, visitors to the Sidel Group stand at Fispal also had the opportunity to learn more about Gebo Cermex’ market leading WB46. This wrap-around case packer offers excellent performance in terms of flexibility, hygiene and ergonomics, mainly due to a new automation platform, thermoplastic polyurethane timing belts and a quick-release system for easy format changeovers. Additionally, thanks to its new on-the-fly robotic product loading station, the overall footprint of the machine is significantly reduced, as the need for a pre-collating system is no longer present.