Sidel has created an end-of-line packing solution for Famille Perrin, one of France’s largest wine producers. The new technologically advanced packing solution, offering automatic changeovers, is enabling the winemaker to increase production capacity and keep pace with its growing sales.
Sidel’s partnership with Perrin goes back 25 years to when bottling speeds were 6,000 bottles per hour. Since then, speeds have been progressively increased to cope with the strong international growth of Perrin’s business, and Sidel is continuing to help the wine producer modernize. Sidel is a global provider of packaging solutions for beverage, food, home and personal care products in PET, can, glass and other materials.
Today, its tailored complete and automated end-of-line solution is enabling outputs of 14,000 bottles per hour. The combination of the Sidel Cermex FlexiPack auto-adjustable case packer, DiviArm distributor and the PalVite palletiser is offering Perrin maximum flexibility, with rapid format changeovers, as well as guaranteed reliability and bottle protection.
Perrin owns 450 hectares of vineyards in the Provence region of France and exports Côtes du Rhône wine to the USA, Asia and China. The company’s sales have grown rapidly over the past 20years, not only due to the success of its wines internationally but also due to the boom in premium rosés. To keep up with the continuous growth, Perrin increased its production shifts and decided to invest in modernizing its end-of-line operations, with the aim of boosting capacity and productivity. Gaining the flexibility to handle a wide variety of bottles and formats, from half-bottles to magnums, was also the key.
The need for a strong partner
With escalating sales, the level of sophistication and automation has become essential to this large-scale viticultural operation that now produces 35 million bottles a year.
“Innovating while keeping tradition is the rule in our family,” says Pierre Perrin, the firm’s Operations director. Perrin knew it could depend on Sidel’s strong capacity for technological innovation as well as its engineering and design expertise, to find a holistic and custom-made solution. “Sidel has been with us while we have modernized our production tools and increased our hourly output. We naturally turned to them because they are specialists.”
The quality of service has confirmed the Perrin family’s choice of Sidel. “For me, in addition to the quality of their advice, what is really essential is the support they provide before, during and after the sale,” continues Pierre Perrin “After-sales service definitely accounts for 50% of our choice, and that’s why Sidel is one of our partners.”
Perrin was the first Sidel customer to experience the Cermex FlexiPack, and its team willingly and actively collaborated with Sidel’s engineers to optimize its reliability and operation. The machine allows fast and seamless changeovers in just a few minutes thanks to the automatic adjustment of lanes and gripping head. The packer also enables the easy creation of new formats directly from its user-friendly human-machine interface (HMI) which guides users step by step. The FlexiPack is preceded by a DiviArm solution which allows a smooth lane distribution of the bottles at the infeed, preventing any shocks which could damage the labels.
A tailor-made solution
Developing a new solution in existing premises sometimes requires special skills – ones that Sidel has developed during its 40 years of experience in the wine and spirits sector. The challenge of the project was both to design a custom-made solution able to manage the diversity and specificity of Perrin’s formats, and to integrate it into a confined space.
“Installation was complex, since the building wasn’t designed for such large production lines. We had to push back the walls so that the machines would fit,” says Baptiste Andrieu, Technical coordinator. “As well as the constraints in terms of the premises, we had quite specific bottle and case formats. Everybody adapted to our facilities and to our needs, and today it works well. Everything has been taken into account.”
The modernization has succeeded in increasing production while at the same time reducing the amount of manual labor. In an operation previously requiring up to five operators, the new end of line needs just two technicians. This became invaluable during the pandemic, when Perrin could rely on this fully automated line, as well as Sidel’s built-in capacity to monitor and control the line remotely.