Smi – Eastern Europe Edition

Smi – Eastern Europe Edition

SMI solutions for Alconor Company

Environment: a precious resource for human health and wellbeing

In Romania, history, culture and traditions are perfectly intertwined with the natural beauties of the environment, which represent a precious resource for human health and well-being.

With a third of the mineral and thermal waters of Europe, Romania boasts the presence of 70   resorts, where it is possible to treat various illnesses. The merit of this wealth derives from the geological structure of its mountains. In the north-western part of the country, the pure water springs of the city of Carei, in the county of Satu Mare, have ensured the development and success of Alconor Company, a leading company in the production of beverages and mineral water. The company has distinguished itself in Romania and abroad thanks to the ability to embrace new challenges, to seize the new opportunities offered by the continuous changes in the market and thanks to the strong collaboration with partners such as SMI. To achieve and maintain high quality levels, within the production lines of the Carei and Voluntari (Bucharest) plants, Alconor uses different types of machines supplied by SMI, such as rotary stretch-blow moulders for the production of PET bottles, within fully automatic bottling and packaging lines which also include secondary and tertiary packaging systems and conveyor lines.

Alconor: a succesful story

Today Alconor is one of the most active and competitive companies in Romania in the production of soft drinks and water and has transformed itself from a family business to an industrial company appreciated at national level.

“A company only writes history when it has valuable people at its side and when it manages to form a team with them. We thank all the people who have joined the large Alconor Company family and our partners for their support” claims Norbert Varga, General Director of Alconor Company.

20 years of transformation and investments

The diversification of the products offered by Alconor made it necessary to install various bottling and packaging lines; furthermore, the objective of environmental sustainability imposed on the Romanian company investment choices that favoured plants and machinery compatible with the best standards for environmental respect and energy saving, as demonstrated by the recent installation of an  SMI SFP 30 ERGON stretch film packaging machine.

“As an innovative company, we are not only dependent on investments in logistics developments, but also on machines with an efficient production system. To achieve and maintain high levels of production quality, within the Carei and Bucharest plants, we use systems supplied by leading companies in the sector, such as rotary stretch-blow moulders for PET bottles and the fully automatic bottling and packaging lines supplied by SMI, who fully satisfy our requests ”, says Norbert Varga, CEO of Alconor Company.

“Alconor constantly invests in cutting-edge technologies, which allow us to reduce human intervention and to have a fully automated production process, from the preparation phase, to bottling, up to obtaining the finished packaged product”.

Currently the company has several production lines in which PET containers of different sizes are bottled: from small formats of 0.33 L and 0.5 L, to standard formats of 1.5 L, 2 L and 3 L, up to large capacity containers of 5 L and 6 L.

“We are constantly attentive to the latest technological trends in the market and, within our factories, we adopt the most efficient solutions that meet the most rigorous international quality standards and requirements to offer our customers high-end products at competitive prices”, continues Norbert Varga, CEO of Alconor Company.

SMI East Europe: The advantages of a local service

An aspect of great importance for Alconor Company is the collaboration with SMI, that, even thanks to the presence of SMI East Europe branch on the Romanian territory, has been able to follow the Romanian company in its rapid development.

The strong collaboration and constant support, provided by the SMI East Europe branch, allowed Alconor to face the strong changes imposed by the market in the 2000s, a period of time in which both consumption habits and the way of communicating changed. The flexibility offered by the bottling and packaging lines supplied by SMI, has allowed Alconor to embrace new market challenges, seize opportunities and adapt quickly to changes.

The SMI East Europe S.r.l. branch, located in Timosoara, provides its services throughout the territory of Romania and the surrounding areas; the headquarters of the SMI Group company occupies an area of ​​approximately 100 m2 and has spaces equipped for sales, after-sales and administrative assistance. SMI East Europe has also a large spare parts warehouse equipped with a vast assortment of basic necessities, so as to be able to respond promptly to the needs of numerous local customers.

“Within our headquarters – explains Claudio Begnis, manager of the SMI East Europe branch – there are five people who deal with the sale of machines, spare parts and equipment and provide on-site support for any request for technical assistance. Thanks to our direct presence on the Romanian territory, we are able to respond immediately to the needs of many companies interested in purchasing modern bottling and packaging systems made in Italy by SMI. “

The Timisoara branch has been operational since 2003, to respond quickly to the requests of an increasing number of customers located throughout Eastern Europe.

Alconor Company, thanks to the positive experience found in the supply of the first bottling line in 2007 – explains Claudio Begnis – has relied on SMI to face the growth of the market and to invest in new production lines, both for the headquarters of Carei and for the new Bucharest plant.

The development projects of recent years have involved the technical teams of SMI and Alconor, for the study of efficient and performing layout solutions, which represent the premise for the continuous growth and competitiveness of the Romanian company.

SMI solutions for Alconor

Year after year, from 1999 to today, Alconor has managed to improve its performance, both in the financial development and in the product range, enriching the product portfolio with new beverages, new bottle formats and new packaging solutions. The Romanian company has acquired an undisputed position of leadership in the field of beverage production, a sector that requires special services and high standards, as well as precision in absolute and constant control over product quality.

As part of these development projects, it was essential for Alconor to equip itself with advanced technology, flexible and efficient machines, which allow it to move quickly and easily from one production to another. In fact, within the company, innovation is also achieved by installing new machines with high technological content, which increase total production efficiency and make it possible to quickly meet the changing demands of the market.

To this end, Alconor has been collaborating with SMI for years, which, thanks also to the presence of a branch in Romania, has been able to follow the company in its rapid development, allowing it to equip itself with cutting-edge machines to be successful in a highly competitive market.

Plant in Carei

• 3,600 bph PET bottling line including EBS 3 HC ERGON rotary stretch-blow moulder for the production of 5 and 6 L high-capacity containers

• 24,000 bph end of line for PET bottles from 0.5 L to 2 L consisting of a SK 800F ERGON shrink wrapper, HA 80 handle applicator, PACKSORTER divider, APS 3090P ERGON automatic palletizing system and conveyor belts

• 10,800 bph PET line, consisting of SR 6 rotary stretch-blow moulder, SK 300F shrink wrapper, SFP 30 ERGON stretch film packer, DV 200 divider and conveyor belts for the production of 0.33 L / 0.5 L / 0.75 L / 1 L / 2 L and 3 L PET bottles

• SK 450 T shrink wrapper and conveyor belts for the packaging of 0.25 L slim cans, 0.5 L cans and 2 L PET bottles

Plant in Bucharest

• 12,00 bph PET bottling line consisting of SR 8 rotary stretch-blow moulder, SK 400 F shrink wrapper, HA 40 handle applicator, APS 3050 P palletizer and conveyor belts for the production of 0.5 L, 2 L and 3 L bottles.

Main advantages of SFP 30 ERGON packer

• For the secondary packaging of 0.5 L, 0.75 L, 1 L, 2 L and 3 L PET bottles, the SFP range uses the cold “stretch” of stretch film and meets the needs of flexibility, versatility and environmental sustainability

• Less use of packaging material (-30 / -40% vs. traditional shrink wrappers): stretch film with a thickness of 10 microns is used for packaging

• Energy saving: no heat-shrinking tunnel operating with electric resistances

• Stable and resistant packaging: thanks to the double crossed wrapping of the film around the group of containers to be packed

• Easy machine access: ergonomic system design, typical of the ERGON range

• MotorNet System® automation and control based on Sercos field bus

• 7” interactive “touch-screen” operator panel in 32 languages with simple, intuitive commands

• Motors equipped with digital servo-drive (driver) integrated on the motor: a solution that generates less heat inside the electrical panel, reducing the energy consumption of the heat dissipation and air conditioning systems installed on the machine

• Fewer CO2 emissions: greater benefit for the environment

• Aesthetic advantages: the “bull’s eye”, typical of packs in film only, is small and appears on the short side of the pack

• The use of brushless motors in the film unwinding phase, ensures precise tension adjustment

• The double film wrapping system guarantees resistant and long-lasting packs: the first reel wraps the pack clockwise, while the second wraps it counterclockwise, creating a crisscross wrapping around the containers in transit.