Introduction to Sidel Group

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Packaging and bottling equipment manufacturing company Sidel Group was at ProPak Asia 2018. The leading provider of equipment and services for packaging liquid, food, home and personal care products in PET, cans, glass and other materials is one of the three industry groups forming the Tetra Laval Group, together with Tetra Pak – a world leader in liquid food processing and packaging – and DeLaval, a full-service supplier to dairy farmers.

Leveraging more than 170-year’s experience in the packaging industry, Sidel Group’s three business units, Sidel, Gebo Cermex, and Novembal, have a presence in 190 countries around the world. Sidel is an innovative solutions provider for all types of non-alcoholic beverages, Gebo Cermex primarily handles alcoholic drinks, and both companies also serve customers active in the food, home and personal care (FHPC) markets. Novembal, an independent subsidiary predominantly based and operating in North America is a leading supplier of closures for the bottled liquid food market. The Sidel Group’s successful 2017 performance was primarily due to non-alcoholic drinks (accounting for 60% of the Group’s equipment net sales), followed by beer, wine and spirits (26%), and FHPC (14%).

Mr. Dominique Martin, Sidel’s Sales Vice President South East Asia Pacific cited a Euromonitor International report, saying that the Asia Pacific region is the world’s fastest growing market, contributing to 41% of the global beverage production turnover.

Beverage production in the region is expected to post a 3.7% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) in the timeframe 2016-2025. To surf this positive trend, teams from Sidel and Gebo Cermex now share a common competence platform by working in the same office facilities in Bangkok. The Group had a presence in the region for 16 years before establishing its Southeast Asia and Pacific headquarters fifteen years ago in the Thai capital to monitor all countries east of Bangladesh to Oceania, except China. Their five biggest markets are Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Dominique who was previously based in Dubai as Sales Director of Africa before moving to Asia this year notes that both regions are fast-growing markets across all segments, PET penetration has increased, and glass is starting to become more popular in selected markets.   

Mr. Guido Ceresole, Zone Vice President Gebo Cermex South East Asia & Pacific, is charged with creating successful, highly automated solutions for his customers. “We can see that some markets are more mature like Japan, Korea, Australia, and then there are markets that are developing very fast. With this mixed picture as a background, the opportunity for us is to provide top-level technology and cost-efficient solutions – combined with a good service portfolio – to help wrap up production and operations in a very effective way. High automation is typically advancing production line efficiency and reliability by minimizing mistake rates, improving working conditions and allowing operators to handle tasks with higher added value in a safe working environment.”

“Our Group’s slogan, ‘Performance through Understanding’, means that each market and segment like alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages requires specific approaches and technologies. With our longstanding expertise and our global footprint we can satisfy the needs of the largest producers of beverages, as well as supplying successful local companies with tailor-made solutions,” he said. Leading users of automation are Japan, followed by Australia and New Zealand.  

The increasing number of requests for automation along the production lines plays into Gebo Cermex’s strengths given their decade-long innovations in collaborative robotics (cobots). Last year, the Sidel Group launched the award-winning Agility 4.0 program that provides pragmatic answers to the growing demand for low-cost flexible product customization in smart, connected factories. At ProPak, they showed their latest innovation in this field with CoboAccess™_Pal, a cobotic palletizing solution for low-speed industrial applications designed to increase operators’ safety in tight production environments.

Sidel and Gebo Cermex machinery and equipment are manufactured in France, Italy, Portugal, Canada, US, Mexico, Chile, South Africa, India and China.

“The source of manufacturing depends on the required technology and level of customization needed. Because we work around three main segments, our portfolio of solutions is very wide,” said Dominique.

“In France, one of the production plants we have is mostly focused on Sidel PET blowing and packaging expertise, while Gebo Cermex factories manufacture conveyors, material handling equipment, packing and palletizing systems. In Italy, we focus more on filling technology, palletizers, labelling machines, and tunnel machines used to pasteurize products and wash returnable bottles. In China, we can build Combi solutions – integrating blowing, filling and capping – together with some conveying systems and blowers.”

Gebo Cermex has extensive knowledge and expertise around integration and engineering, labor conditions in packaging factories, and setting up plants from scratch. Guido explained: “We help customers determine the business case, whether the investment and time frame is right. We also help with their line integration. If their requirements are not exactly achievable by using only equipment manufactured by the Sidel Group, we can propose a line integration solution, whatever the brand, to ensure that everything is orchestrated in the best way to secure their needs.”