“The best hybrid filling line in all of Arca Continental South America.” That is what a top executive from Arca Continental, one of the region ’s largest Coca-Cola brand bottling companies, calls a new line from PET technology specialist SIPA for bottling a wide range of products at its plant in Salta, Argentina.
The line is blowing and filling PET bottles in sizes from 300 mL to 2.25 L with carbonated and still drinks, using hot and cold filling techniques. Brands running on the line include Coca-Cola, Aquarius and Powerade sports drinks, Cepita fruit juices, and Fuze “new age” drinks with added vitamins.
Hot-fill drinks are being bottled at a rate of up to 30,000 bottles per hour (300-mL Cepita for example), while 500-mL bottles of cold-filled Aquarius and 600-mL bottles full of Coca-Cola come off the line at a rate of 40,000 per hour.
“The SIPA system provides us with the highest flexibility of any filling line in South America,” says Alejandro Molina Sánchez, Executive Technical and Supply Chain Director with Arca Continental. “It’s great that we can bottle so many different types of drinks in such a wide range of sizes, so quickly, on a single line.”
The line in Salta is one of fourteen production units that Arca Continental operates in South America. It has two more in Argentina, in Tucumán and Formosa, three in Ecuador: in Guayaquil, Quito and Santo Domingo and eight in Peru.
SIPA supplied Arca Continental with a turnkey operation for the filling operation in Salta. Based around a SincroBloc system that incorporates an SFR 20 EVO rotary blow molder and an Isotronic HR 100-20 isobaric filling section into a single, fully integrated unit, the line stretches all the way from a syrup room to a SIPA Genius PTF palletizer with Fastlayer robotic layer preparation and SPF/E pallet wrapper. Along the way, it takes in such sections as fill level and closure control, laser bottle coding, an automatic cooling tunnel, sleeve wrapping, and shrink packaging.
Says Ezio Magagnin, SIPA’s account manager responsible for Arca Continental in South America: “This line is not only highly flexible in terms of the bottles it can blow and fill, and the drinks it can handle: with its filling valves controlled by magnetic flow meter, the Isotronic HR unit provides very high performance and accuracy.”
Arca Continental is a long-standing customer of SIPA’s. At its plant in Guayaquil, Ecuador,for example, it has two SIPA SFR 12 EVO rotary blow molding units, as well as a complete blowing and bottling line based on an SFR 16 and an Isotronic SC isobaric volumetric filling Monobloc. In Quito, there are three stand-alone rotary blow molders—an SFR8, an SFR 12 and an SFR 12 EVO—as well as an SFR 12 EVO feeding a line producing hot- and cold-filled bottles using a SIPA Stillfill HR gravity filling monobloc.