As Disney’s “Toy Story 3” movie portrays, children’s interests in toys change as they grow up. Similarly, as the beverage can industry matures, its interest in packaging sizes changes. These changes have a domino effect on the equipment that fills and seams these cans.
Years ago, the word “flexibility” carried a different meaning in the filling systems space — it might have referred to different packaging formats and beverage categories. Today, proliferation of SKUs and the increasing number of particle-filled beverages have stretched the word’s definition in the beverage industry.
As the saying goes, “variety is the spice of life,” and for beverage-makers, package variety also can be a tactic to spice up sales. In the aluminum category, packaging manufacturers have gone beyond the traditional 12-ounce can and now offer a range of shapes, sizes and closures to help beverages stand out on store shelves.
Filling machines address beverage trends, flexibility and hygiene
November 16, 2011
As beverage-makers continue to develop new and exciting beverages, manufacturers of filling machines also continue to develop technology and products to accommodate the industry’s new directions.
Italy-based SIPA sees the importance of flexibility for beverage manufacturers. Through the years, it has advanced the technology of its products to address the demands for flexibility and fast changeover. “Flexibility is one of the key elements of the bottling lines of today and tomorrow,” the company says.
It’s one of the largest independent bottlers in California, but Nor-Cal Beverage Co. Inc., Sacramento, Calif., is more than just a contract packager. In addition to its successful co-packing business, which operates production facilities in Sacramento and Anaheim, Nor-Cal also is an Anheuser-Busch distributor in Northern California and markets its own Go Girl line of energy drinks. The family-owned company was started by Roy G. Deary in 1937 as a franchise of Hires Bottling Co., explains Deary’s granddaughter and current president and chief executive officer of Nor-Cal Beverage, Shannon Deary-Bell. The franchise bottled and distributed Canada Dry, Dr Pepper and RC Cola brands in the Sacramento area.
To continually improve its capabilities as a contract packager, Nor-Cal Beverage Co. Inc., Sacramento, Calif., has made investments exceeding $100 million in its two facilities in California. The improvements have placed the third-generation family-owned company on track to produce 45 million cases of product in 2011 for companies such as The Coca-Cola Co., Hansen’s Natural and Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons.
Filler technology must be flexible in addition to reducing downtime, product loss and energy use. Filler manufacturers have been tasked to develop new machinery that can run the gamut of products required in demanding beverage plants.