Nongfu Spring installs second Sidel Combi 4L PET bottle line
Following the success of the fastest-ever Sidel polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Combi line for 4L water bottles supplied to Nongfu Spring in 2014, the major Chinese bottled water producer has invested in a second Sidel bottling line to extend its production capacity even further.
Nongfu Spring’s bottled water owned a 22% market share in China’s competitive bottled water segment in 2013. In addition to the regular 380ml, 550ml and 1.5L PET bottle formats, the company’s bottled water is also available in a 4L family size, which, until recently, was only available in high density polyethylene (HDPE).
Nongfu Spring wanted to align the production of its bottles across the range by switching from HDPE to PET for its largest bottle size. Early in 2014, Sidel supplied its fastest-ever Combi water line for the 4L PET bottle to the company running at 14,000 bottles per hour (bph), integrating blow, fill and cap functions in a single machine.
According to Sidel, the PET bottle is fully transparent and light, requiring less material to produce and creating less waste compared to a HDPE bottle which lacks clarity and needs more material to manufacture. The line also offers lower total cost of ownership through its capacity for higher production output than a HDPE line.
The Combi, manufactured in the Sidel Beijing plant, was fully tested in-house to ensure a fast installation and ramp-up in the Nongfu Spring production facility.
Nongfu Spring’s first PET 4L bottles were commercially launched in the Chinese market in 2014 and received a positive response from Chinese consumers. They met the growing market demand for such family-oriented packaging in China which registered a growth in sales of 53% in the 4 L bottled water format in 2013.
The company acquired a second line based on the same Combi 14 technology. This second Sidel Combi is now running at 14,000 bottles per hour.