Aseptic PET line for liquid dairy manufacturer
Known for its chocolate milk drink, Yotvata Dairy by Strauss Group in Israel manufactures extended shelf life (ESL) white milk in PET bottles. The company recently redesigned the packaging format of its 2 L ESL milk bottle from HDPE to PET and installed a second aseptic complete PET line from Sidel.
Despite having only 8.5 million inhabitants, Israel was ranked 15th globally for per capita spend on dairy in 2016. Many of the country’s dairy producers are bottling their products in HDPE and carton. Therefore, Yotvata’s adaptation of PET provides a point of difference in the market.
PET was chosen as a packaging alternative by the company due to various design possibilities for the bottle, alongside its lightweighting potential and recyclability qualities. PET can also provide environmental benefits in the form of lower transport costs and reduction of raw material use.
Founded in 1962 and located in a kibbutz in the heart of the desert, approximately 40 km north of the Red Sea, Yotvata Dairy has demonstrated — against all odds — the feasibility of milk production under desert conditions. The company has been able to create a variety of rich tastes, including its well-known chocolate milk which has been sold at the small inn at the entrance to the kibbutz since the 1960s.
Long-term business partner Sidel supported Yotvata’s redesign of its 2 L PET bottle, helping the producer overcome challenges associated with the packaging size format, while enhancing users’ convenience. The design concentrated the material’s tightness in the gripping area to minimise the splashing effect when pouring the product into a glass. The bottles also counterbalance the vacuum effect, which may impact products distributed via the cold chain.
Yotvata purchased a second aseptic complete PET line from Sidel, as the technology would allow them to produce UHT and ESL milk in PET bottles. “This new packaging line will allow us to increase the production capacity on existing products while reducing our environmental footprint, mainly due to the switch from HDPE to PET and the bottle lightweighting potential offered by Sidel’s integrated dry preform decontamination system,” explained Achiraz Horesh, COO at Yotvata.
The PET line currently produces 1- and 2-litre bottles for flavoured, UHT and ESL milk. The PET line features Sidel’s Aseptic Combi Predis, complemented by Capdis, combining preform and cap sterilisation, flowing and sealing functions in a single enclosure for a sterile filled and capped PET bottle. The Aseptic Combi Predis does not consume any water and very few chemicals, and allows unlimited bottle lightweighting, which is claimed to have contributed to saving seven billion litres of water and 57,000 tonnes of PET, while producing 46 billion bottles. The blower oven activates the sterilising effect of the hydrogen peroxide vapour without additional heating of the preforms; the same technology is used for cap sterilisation, providing a dry aseptic PET packaging solution.
The line also includes Sidel’s RollQuattro, a high-speed roll-fed labeller that can handle lightweight containers with thin labels and conveying and end-of-line equipment. Able to run at 13,500 bottles/hour, the line also includes EvoFilm, a shrink-wrapping system, and a PalKombi, an automatic palletiser suitable for crates, cartons, trays and shrink-wrapped packs, designed for medium- to high-speed lines.
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