December 22, 2009
by Canadian Packaging Staff
On December 3, 2009, at its Laval facilities, Sidel Canada held an open house to showcase its latest product offerings as well as to educate prospective customers.
With 25 attendees—20 from Ontario and Quebec, with the rest from the northeastern U.S.—the event featured a variety of technical seminars discussing everything from lightweight solutions, to sustainability and productivity in packaging.
“We are quite happy with our turnout—especially with those from Canada,” explains Stephane Banville, general manager at Sidel. “Our presence in Canada has not been overly great this past decade, with our Canadian customers only accounting for about three per cent of our turnover.
“We didn’t think it usual for a Canadian company to have 97 per cent of its business outside of Canada, so our main goal was to host this open house event and get more exposure with our prospective Canadian customers.”
While part of Sidel’s plan was to showcase its products, it also wanted to offer prospective and current customers a chance to expand their knowledge of the industry. To that extent, Sidel’s own Robert Nantel, Eng., manager, EIC – productivity specialist and Dean Armistead, manager, EIS – productivity specialist offered an informative discussion on line audits, and how start-ups, commissioning, line and machine replacements are all key factors to maintaining an efficient production line.
“The reduction of MTTR (mean-time-to repair) can often have the largest impact on cost reductions,” says Nantel explaining that the MTTR is the average time a piece of equipment or an entire production line will take to recover from a failure due to system repair or replacement. He says that the equipment users need to ensure proper maintenance of the equipment.
Banville told Canadian Packaging that at the open house, Sidel showcased its latest innovations—the same ones that were just recently premiered at the drinktec 2009 tradeshow held in Munich, Germany this past September.
“Our guests got a chance to check out first-hand some of Sidel’s latest equipment, like the AQ-HC accumulation table; our new ALS guide system featuring a brushless motor that allows automatic lane system adjustments, and; our new pressureless combiner for lightweight PET bottles.
Pierre Simon, director of Sidel’s business development – engineering and conveying (see photo above) ran the plant tour showcasing the AQ-HC high capacity low pressure accumulation table that allows a maximum compactness of the bottles with very low pressure and a minimum foot print requirement. It also works on the FIFO (first in/first out) principle meaning products do not stay idly on the table, and are moved along the production line quickly.
Sidel says that the table, which can easily accommodate both round and non-round, liquids, food, non-food products in wide range of packaging materials, does not place any significant pressure onto the products or the guide rails because of a multi-lane natural mechanical regulation of the containers.
At the demonstration, the AQ-HC featured the new SEW-Eurodrive red Movigear drives that along with enabling the accumulation table to rotate between one to 2,000 turns per minute, also minimizes the amount of electric cables needed while also reducing the workspace required with a smaller electrical cabinet.
Controls used on the line include Rockwell Automation’s Allen-Bradley Compact Logic PLC (programmable logic controller) and a Panel Vision Plus 1500 screen. The conveyor system, which ran at a speed of 1,100 bottles and utilized JohnsonDiversey’s Dry Tech H1 lubricant for a nice clean operation.
A second conveyance system configuration showed off a multi-lane adjustable guide rail—ALS Guidance—powered by a DC encoder motor manufactured by Schneider Electric—it reduced changeover times while increases accuracy on start-ups.
“It’s a very good system that eliminates congestion on both the upstream and downstream conveyors,” notes Simon.
According to Sidel, its innovative lane conveying system perfectly guides bottles into multi-lanes and automatically adjusts lane width. Featuring two guides for each lane—one is fixed, and the other mobile—both are fixed on the conveyor table from the bottom requiring no bridge for fixing guides on the top.
As well, thanks to the total width of each transfer being reduced, the risk of jams is greatly decreased while providing smoother and more efficient bottle handling.
Summing up, Banville states, “All in all, we are quite happy with the event with the guests showing a keen interest in the latest Sidel innovations. I’m sure we’ll do it again soon.”
For more information on Sidel, visit www.sidel.com.