The company expects that capital investments in the project will exceed $21.2 million (€17.7m).
A new production site was constructed and engineering and communication capabilities were expanded at Depsona. High capacity pre-fabricated PET-bottling equipment for juice and juice based drinks was also installed. The company said that the equipment is based on aseptic cold filling technology - something that is still not in widespread in the region.
The production line comprises six main sections: preform blow moulding, natural concentrated juice feed and storage, product preparation, preparation of aseptic environments, filling and sealing, packaging and palletizing. The equipment was designed and supplied by Siprotech of Italy. Furthermore the line has been designed so as key machines on the production line are connected on-line through the Internet with a support centre.
The capacity of the bottle blow moulding and filling line is 20 thousand bottles per hour or 333 bottles per minute. Every two minutes the line produces a pallet of finished products packed in stretch film. The company says that the technological characteristics of the equipment and packaging will make it possible to fill bottles with preservative-free pure juice with a shelf life of 4-11 months. The line also allows setting up for a new product without extensive downtime and furthermore a continuous bottling cycle can run for up to 120 hours.
Using this equipment, the company will produce juices, nectars and new products under the J-7 trademark in 0.425L, 0.947L and 1.325L formats.
Dmitry Kolokatov, Head of WBD -Juice Division, emphasised the significance of the new equipment launch: "The biggest benefit is the new freedom and flexibility that the PET bottle brings to the company. The first-ever launch of this state-of-the-art technology in Russia represents a new stage in the development of our business. With the launch of our leading J-7 brand in PET packaging, we are creating a new consumer product category and, accordingly, a new market and additional sales opportunities."
The bulk of investment was made in 2003 as part of the general equipment upgrade programme aimed at the company's existing and recently acquired production facilities. The company says that its key programme objectives are to meet consumer demand, increase operating efficiency through applying advanced manufacturing technologies, and boosting productivity, while adhering to international quality standards.
SIPA is known globally as a major supplier of machines and systems for PET container production, offering both one-step and two-step technology. The company has offices in the United States, Poland, Romania, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey, China, Japan and Thailand. In addition, after-sales service and supply of spare parts are conducted by 18 local offices located around the world.