The corks were popping at leading Brazilian foods packaging producer Castelo Alimentos when a new design for its vinegar bottles picked up a top prize late last year. The Grandes Cases de Embalagem awards, which honor excellence in Brazilian packaging, are sponsored by Embalagem e Marca magazine, a leading packaging trade magazine based in São Paulo.
The 750-mL vinegar bottles were designed by Castelo Alimentos in collaboration with SIPA, and they were produced on a SIPA high-speed single-stage ECS HS 12/32 EVO injection-stretch-blow molding machine. The elegant designs, with their delicate “engraved” swirling patterns, are light, strong and sustainable, and they are helping Castelo Alimentos make a quick return on its investment.
The company installed the “Evo” version of the ECS HS at its plant in Jundiaí, São Paulo, in 2014, after eight years of successful operation with its original ECS HS system. It invested some 6 million Reais in the new production set-up.
The new line of vinegars came onto the market last year. The 750-mL bottles are lighter than the previous versions—down from 17 grams to 16—and yet they are 40% more resistant. This has a considerable effect on overall productivity along the supply chain: Castelo Alimentos has been able to halve its losses caused by bottle damage during transport. Overall productivity is up 20%. The ECS HS is an extremely robust and reliable system, producing very high quality preforms and bottles at a highly attractive price point.
The two systems at Castelo Alimentos operate in a facility very close to the filling line, feeding an intermediate buffer zone so that supply is constantly available for the filling lines. The company is currently bottling around 70 million liters of vinegar, in various flavors, every year. Each ECS HS system produces up to 11,500 bottles per hour.
Both systems can produce the bottles of different sizes: Castelo Alimentos also packs vinegar in bottles sized 750 mL for other brands and 520 mL Vinegar Castelo. The packaging company has chosen to use the same 16-g preform for all sizes, so that product changeover is extremely fast—only the blow molds need to be changed.
“SIPA is unique in the market with its complete know-how about both PET injection and blowing under the same roof,” says Marcelo Cereser , Castelo Alimentos director. “Our new bottles are an example of the synergy of dedicated preform design, bottle and packaging development. The result is the lightest and the most attractive bottle for vinegar by far in the markets we serve.”
Says Pablo Fiorentini, Account Manager at SIPA: “Single-stage technology for this kind of container is the preferable technology since it guarantees the most effective output and the needed flexibility. Furthermore, the SIPA HS, and its sister, the ECS FX, are for sure the most reasonable choices in single-stage systems when volumes are quite high.”