Sidel helps PepsiCo bottler MenaBev adapt its PET lines for a change of bottle format


PepsiCo bottler MenaBeve used Sidel’s expertise to implement seven new bottle formats in two PET lines. Sidel has worked closely with MenaBev to convert two PET Combi lines in just one week at their vast MEGA plant. The fast, efficient and sustainable transition led to an improved performance of the line, with products including a new lightweight design for the iconic Aquafina brand.

MenaBev, which is located in Jeddah, is the leading bottler in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The company’s MEGA plant is one of the largest PepsiCo bottling plants in the world and covers more than 90,000 square meters. This factory meets the production needs of millions of consumers in the region, with the support of a local distribution center.

With more than 40 years of experience in the design and implementation of complete customized PET line solutions, Sidel assisted MenaBev to reach the release dates of their product to the market. The works of both projects were wide-ranging, to ensure that one of the PET Combi line adaptations would serve three of the Aquafina formats with its new look, while the other could supply four new Carolina formats.

Fast adaptation and high efficiency of the line

Having worked closely together for more than three years, the experts from Sidel and MenaBev benefited from a close partnership with functional project management. In response to the increase in sugar taxes affecting the Saudi market, MenaBev also used Sidel’s specialized knowledge to supply new formats of the Carolina bottle. Despite the challenge presented by the shortage of components throughout the market, these two line conversion projects resulted in an optimized workflow and the rapid delivery of the necessary parts. Both PET Combi lines were separately adapted in just one week, respectively. In addition, Sidel engineers managed to maximize production throughput. Now, the Aquafina line has a capacity of 60,000 bottles per hour, when previously its maximum speed was 54,000 bottles per hour, while the Carolina line maintained its optimized speed of 48,000 bottles per hour.

Lightweight and su stainable

As part of the Aquafina design process, Sidel focused on supporting the sustainability and MenaBev objectives, among others, to supply a lightweight and high-performance bottle for the iconic brand. The technical development of the new design included a complete feasibility study, laboratory verifications and performance tests of the blowing and stretching process. This approach was applied to the 330 ml, 500 ml and 1.5 L Aquafina bottles to ensure a high yield. The new Aquafina design features a lighter 330 ml bottle. Thanks to a 10% reduction in the raw material, the industrial performance of the bottle is optimized, while providing an excellent experience to consumers.

“Our ability to adapt and convert Sidel’s existing lines allows customers like MenaBev to respond quickly to changes and market needs,” says Karim Abdel Wahed, Sidel’s service manager. The Aquafina bottle has always had an emblematic design. Sidel is proud to have been able to use its specialized knowledge in packaging design to support the technical aspects associated with the creation of a new bottle for this renowned brand. It has not only managed to maintain its high performance, but also provides the same pleasant experience to consumers and helps MenaBev demonstrate its commitment to sustainability.”