The facility features the two fastest and most technologically advanced bottled water production lines in the world supplied by Sidel. The Gahanna lines will produce at a rate of 108,000 bottles per hour and distribute small-format bottled water to consumers in the Midwest United States.
Visitors to the Open House were able to see the Sidel Matrix™ lines first-hand and had the opportunity to take guided tours of the 12th and latest addition to Niagara’s facilities.
Niagara (celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) has enjoyed annual sales growth averaging 32% over the past five years. During this time, Sidel has supplied the company nine high-speed turnkey bottling lines, helping Niagara to achieve its current position as the one of the industry’s lowest-cost producers. Niagara invested in these latest lines to increase its annual production capability to more than 10 billion bottles in order to sustain its industry-leading position. To this end, Niagara chose Sidel Matrix – the radical, new modular generation of PET bottling equipment – for its cost-effective, sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions, with the aim of lowering energy and material usage, and driving down its total costs of ownership (TCO).
Understanding that Niagara drives the marketplace with its innovative packaging strategies, Sidel collaborated with Niagara to develop the equipment for the new lines to achieve these TCO goals. Sidel engineered and optimized the layout of the lines resulting in a 108,000 bph line compressed into the floor space typically occupied by a 72,000 bph line. Each of the two new lines comprises a dual 24-cavity Sidel Matrix Combi; a single high-speed VersaFilmTM packer capable of 90 packs per minute; three Sidel Matrix Rollfed labelers; new-generation layer-formatting; a high-speed, upgraded palletizer; conveyors; and line-automation to handle the record-breaking production speeds.
Sidel’s commercial and project management teams worked with Niagara’s Engineering Group over several months to tailor the line solutions for the bottler. “We proposed the innovative approach of two Combis integrated into a single production line in order to achieve Niagara’s target of 100,000 bottles per hour,” explains George Kotzeff, Sidel’s Key Account Manager for Niagara. “The competitive TCO of Sidel Matrix gave us a significant advantage and ultimately won us the order. We also collaborated on a fast-track basis incorporating the new, lightweight bottle - developed after the order was taken.”
Another factor contributing to Niagara’s selection of the Sidel lines was the efficiency level achieved during the acceptance testing on two previous Sidel lines installed at Niagara’s Ontario, CA, plant, which surpassed guaranteed line efficiency values by an average of 6.5%. Keith Boss, North America Vice-President for Sidel, commented, “The success of this order was made possible by the team efforts executing the latest projects and supporting the existing lines. The line efficiencies achieved definitely helped Sidel’s case and proved the reliability of our equipment and expertise of our people.”