Oman Refreshment Company (ORC) has launched three new formats for PET bottles to meet consumer demand changes. Due to outstanding teamwork and flexibility, Sidel, its trusted OEM, completed the line conversion within a reduced lead time. These formats are now operating with improved rated speed to satisfy consumer demand in Oman.
Established in 1974 and currently employing more than 900 people, ORC is one of the pioneers and market leaders in the Omani manufacturing sector. As a franchisee of PepsiCo International, the company’s headquarter is located in Al Ghubra, and it operates in different food (Lays, Cheetos, and Quaker Oats) and beverages (Pepsi, Topfruit, and Aquafina Water) sectors. It has an overall annual beverage production capacity of around 500 million liters. The company is expanding its manufacturing and distribution capabilities to meet the growing demand for its products and respond to diverse consumer preferences.
International companies highly consolidate the carbonated soft drinks (CSD) market in Oman, and it is dominated by PepsiCo, whose sales volume and value in 2018 reached 84.7% and 84%, respectively. Although Oman is known for its high CSD consumption, changing lifestyles and introducing an “excise tax” (50% tax on CSD) has slowed demand. To maintain market share and adapt to healthier consumer habits, ORC approached Sidel to launch three new PET bottle formats (0.25 L, 1 L, and 1.5 L).
Meeting deadline through planning & collaboration
ORC has operated a Sidel Matrix Combi12 line since 2015, and Sidel’s project was to adapt this very same line. When the order was received in June 2019, a 14-week lead time was established to meet the market launch date. However, it was initially assumed that the parts could be delayed because of the August summer break. The key to success was, therefore, seamless planning and execution.
As a complete solution provider, Sidel achieved its goal by leveraging its production expertise and closely cooperating with suppliers. From shipping to execution, approximately 15 experts from Sidel participated in the project. To ensure smooth operation, the original line efficiency was inspected by Sidel’s team before site execution. With Sidel consultancy, some adjustments were made, and Sidel was supported by optimal logistics and 3rd party equipment suppliers to accelerate progress. ORC also played a crucial role by providing full in-house support from the maintenance and warehousing teams to ensure that all activities went to plan. Despite tight time constraints, Sidel displayed close teamwork, liaising with both the partners and the customer.
“Sidel’s challenge was to finish the project within a very tight schedule. Sidel took swift action in manufacturing the required adaptation kits then shipping them in the fastest lead time possible. Installation, testing, and commissioning are the most challenging activities of the project wherein Sidel was able to excel by sending the best team,” says Youssef Ezzikhe, chief executive officer at ORC.
Flexibility & service exceed expectations and result in a strong customer relationship
A flexible approach to project execution and on-going support from the product division to reduce the equipment lead time were the key factors contributing to an overall well planned and executed service project. Sidel finished the line conversion project at the end of August 2019, allowing ORC to fulfill its market commitment. Moreover, the filler’s rated speed on each format was increased: 0.25 L to 24,000 bottles an hour (bph), 1L – 22,500 bph, and 1.5 L – 22,000 bph. According to the company, the project was completed in record time, and new package sizes were launched onto the market with the production line proving to be highly efficient. “I appreciate Sidel’s flexibility and proactiveness,” says Ezzikhe.
“With Sidel’s excellent history of service support, we are proud that ORC selected Sidel for line conversion service. This proves that we are fully trusted by customers and our outstanding service is key to their loyalty,” says Samuel Gobbe, vice president of Services for the Middle East and Africa region at Sidel.