LE HAVRE, FRANCE Sidel Group is making big news in brewing.
The company helped the Dutch maker of Grolsch beer produce a draft beer package for home use that incorporates a 2-liter PET bottle with a tap. Grolsch blow molds the container on Sidel equipment. The package can be resealed and kept inside the refrigerator for up to two weeks after opening.
According to Le Havre, France-based Sidel, PET proved to be the perfect material for a container equipped with a tap valve, to keep beer fresh. PET enables a custom-made bottle neck design, which is necessary for a snug fit between bottle, valve and tap unit. At the same time, PET can withstand the pressure necessary to allow drafting beer without electricity. The bottles are supplied with carbon-dioxide cartridges.
The 2-liter bottle is made from a special PET blend preform. On retail shelves, the beer has a guaranteed shelf life of six months, the same as with all other Grolsch containers, whether glass bottles or cans.
In other beer-related news, Sidel announced the first Combi blow molding machine dedicated to bottling beer. This machine, which integrates blow molding, filling and capping functions, was previously used only for water, carbonated soft drinks and dairy products.
The Combi machine can crank out up to 61,000 bottles per hour.
Sidel also supplied beer giant Grupo Modelo SA de CV of Mexico City with four bottling lines including more than 30 end-of-line robots, more than 20 laser-guided vehicles and warehouse automation. Modelo is building a new brewery in Piedras Negras, Mexico, for shipments to the United States and Canada.
The bottles are not plastic. The can line will run at a rate of 66,000 12-ounce beer cans per hour. Each of the three glass lines can run through 144,000 bottles per hour. Sidel supplied all end-of-line equipment.