Sidel says it has been cooperating with the Germany-based drink maker in developing production lines and other technical equipment for the factory, which will supply mineral water and other carbonated drinks, since production started back in Spring 2007. The new plant is based at Bruchsal, 20 kms north of Karlsruhe. Hansa-Heeman acquired the facility in 2006 and Sidel provided a customised bottling solution, based on Hansa's requirements in a bid to improve space and make the most of available technical expertise. The cooperation highlights the importance to processors of adopting new production lines that are specifically designed for their operations to step up efficiency. Sidel says that originally Hansa intended to commission two high speed production lines but Sidel proposed a more efficient solution using three lines instead, within the same space. "Sidel's configuration featured several advantages," a Hansa representative stated. "It offered greater production flexibility with far fewer changeovers and longer dedicated production runs. Furthermore, the TCO (total cost of ownership) calculation confirmed the profitability of three lines compared to two high efficiency lines." The three lines were supplied with Eurotronica fillers, Rollquattro labellers, air conveyors, cap feeders, Flat Top air conveyor, palletisers and pallet-wrappers. Three blow-moulding machines were also delivered which are situated in an adjacent building, according to Sidel. These bottles are then transferred to the filling area via a suspended air conveyor. The blow moulding machines are run in-house by plastics packaging company Alpla, a large beverage bottle manufacturer based in Hard, Austria. Cap feeding is also done away from the filling zone, which according to the processing group is made possible due to the use of a Flat Top air conveyor. The plant layout was designed to make the most of available space at the site, in order to make it possible for just one team per shift to run all three lines without the need for advanced technical expertise, according to Sidel. The production process was engineered by Tetra Pak Processing. Sidel, a division of Tetra Lavel, says it is providing Hansa with a two year maintenance programme to help guarantee maximum output.