How a Heat Sealing Machine Streamlined One Beverage Company

With the purpose of expanding its activities in Asia, the Japanese conglomerate Suntory is implementing a hybrid heat sealing machine for its line of Garuda Beverage Tea.

The island of Java in Indonesia works as its base of operations, a decision that was based on the country’s economic growth and increasing demand for bottled drinks. Suntory’s Garuda Beverage Tea implemented a new line of hybrid equipment to help with the task of hot-filling and cold-filling the tea and carbonated drinks. This requires the technology of a form, fill and heat-sealing machine with the special feature of handling both hot and cold temperatures.

Special heat-sealing machine for the special needs of the market

Because Suntory’s beverages range from still to carbonated to hot teas, it was important to be able to get these results in the same equipment line in order to save space, money and time. It all boils down this: beverages like Garuda tea, Mytea and Mirai were very delicate drinks that needed to be hot-filled, whereas their carbonated counterparts needed to be cold-filled.

It sounds simple enough, but it was actually a very complicated feat to pull off. For the carbonated soft drinks, there needed to be CO2 pressurization, a settling phase and container snifting. On the other hand, for still beverages the hot-fill function needed to be pressureless. And the final products needed to be thermally sealed with a heat sealing machine.

To properly guide the product into the containers, avoiding turbulence in the liquid film or foaming, a swirl effect was installed in the electro-pneumatically controlled filling valves. These types of filling valves can handle soft drinks, water, and juices, both still and carbonated, including hot-filled beverages and even drinks with pulp content. Using flow meters, the fill quantity can be determined volumetrically, with any surplus product being returned directly into the valve. The filled bottles are then sent to the heat sealing machine for quality protection.

Efficiency up by 300% with hybrid heat sealing machine

The company replaced the previous PET line, which at best could do 10,000 bottles per hour, with a new hybrid line with heat sealing machine, improving performance to 36,000 bottles per hour. What’s more, with the new line Suntory reduced the 450 ml hot-filled bottle’s weight from 26.5 to 21 grams, and they’re aiming at reducing it even more. Overall, the company calculates that they are operating at peak times with 92% efficiency.

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