Sokpol installed combi line from Sidel

Presently the company's production is mostly undertaken on behalf of smaller private labels within the Polish marketplace. The company does produce some of its own products and brands, but over 75% of output is for those discount chains. President, Roman Sobczyk commented: "In the beginning we have produced in cartons and then we started production in glass bottles. Finally, in 2009 we started production in PET."

With the installation of its first Combi Predis FMa machine to replace bottle rinsing, the company was amongst the first to benefit from aseptic dry preform decontamination technology.

The cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative

The Combi system is suitable for all liquids packaged in PET and it is a competitive alternative to traditional lines. It integrates the blow molding, filling and capping processes and therefore reduces the number of machines needed. By eliminating conveying, empty bottle handling, accumulation and storage, Combis optimize the production line creating a smaller overall footprint of the total equipment.

The system is designed to increase packaging hygiene and ensure food safety - a single enclosure and different options keep hygiene under control. It is further improved when the system is configured with Sidel's dry preform decontamination technology: Predis for preforms and Capdis for caps. Cleaning and sanitation levels of the machine surface are adapted to suit the requirements of the end product.

Answering growing concerns about the use, cost and availability of clean water, Predis FMa technology replaces water in the bottle rinsing process with dry decontamination. When the preforms are initially fed in, dust is removed using ionization and UV decontamination. They are cleaned and sterilized instead using only hydrogen peroxide vapor (H2O2). This guarantees decontamination without using any water whatsoever and only a small amount of chemicals. Evenly distributed on the preform walls by condensation, the hydrogen peroxide is activated by the passing of preforms through an oven and a thermal conditioning process. This ensures complete decontamination. Filtered air (0.01 micron) is used for bottle blow molding and bottles are transferred by the neck under a controlled atmosphere to maintain sterility throughout for a totally secure production process of the bottles. Transferring the empty bottles by the neck and the absence of thermal stress during the Combi process, means that the bottles have the potential for light-weighting and freedom of shape in their design.

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The Sidel Group designs, manufactures, assembles, supplies and sells complete packaging lines for liquid foods packaged.