Turkey’s leading brand of mineral water, Erikli, is planning on a return on investment of only two years partnering with Sidel (www.sidel.com). Like so many other bottling companies currently, the Turkish company wanted to switch its production to PET bottles with shorter necks. By doing so, it is possible to reduce the quantity of raw materials employed in the manufacture of preforms and caps. This can bring about substantial economies and savings in post-consumer waste. The move can also help producers to boost efficiency, to stay competitive in the marketplace and to reduce carbon emissions.

Whether it is lightweighting bottles or launching a new product before the high season, the stakes are similar. The new products have to reach the market at the right time and under the best conditions with regards to both production and distribution. There was no exception for Erikli. Turkey’s leading brand of mineral water faced the challenge to adapt its three bottling lines as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Sidel in the best position

Sidel was therefore tasked with carrying out the conversion of three bottling lines at the company’s Bursa plant in northwestern Turkey. From the planning phase through to full completion of the work took just seven months, just in time for the client’s peak production period. The operation involved three complete lines equipped with a Sidel SBO 20 blow moulder, a Sidel Combi 20 and a Combi 34, as well as two Series1 blow moulders. “Having originally supplied most of the site’s equipment, Sidel was in the best position to provide technical support and fit-for-purpose skills,” says Volkan Esmeray, project manager.

‘Sublime’ taste of essential minerals

Erikli is part of Nestlé Waters Turkey and a subsidiary of Nestlé Waters, the world's leading bottled water company. The group is a leader notably in Europe and also in the Middle East, with a presence in 130 countries around the world and a portfolio of 75 brands. In Turkey, Erikli has its own means of distribution, to ensure that its products are readily available through the country’s two main networks - that is, via retail outlets and home/office delivery. With a total daily consumption by nearly 3 million people, Erikli is a still, natural spring water of inimitable purity and mineral richness. Its unique taste originates 30km away at the peak of Uludağ (Turkish for "Sublime Mountain"), the highest mountain in the Marmara region of northwestern Turkey. The geological strata formed thousands of years ago in Uludağ, imparts the soft, distinctive flavour of healthy, essential minerals.

Sublime savings

Running production at a rate of 200,000 bottles per hour to meet the constant demand, the company could see significant potential in switching to bottles with shorter necks. The resulting bottles after conversion, in 1.5, 0.5 and 0.33 litre formats and with neck heights typically decreasing from 18.5mm to 12.6mm, achieved reductions of 1.42 grams on the preform neck and 0.6 grams on the cap. Providing a complete solution for Erikli, Sidel drafted the technical specifications, validated the preform drawings with the customer, handled project management on the complete line and adapted parts for the new neck (blow moulder, filler, rinser, cap feeder, capper and bottle inspection). Sidel also managed the technical and operating warranty.

 Sami Bulut, Technical Director for Erikli, is pleased with the company’s projected return on investment, estimated at less than two years. Erikli also plans to release further lightweighted bottles for its smaller 0.33 and 0.5 litre formats and for the 1 and 1.5 litre sizes, looking to new designs to enable even lighter preforms.