“Today the real ‘added value’ is the flexibility. Ever more customers ask for machines able to work with different process,” Bernazzoli, who is sales director at SACMI Filling, explained.
“We have a range of fillers which can work together carbonated soft drinks, a hot fill solution, products with pulps and pieces of fruit - therefore different technologies within a single machine,” Bernazzoli added.
Strong sales in Asia, Africa, Middle East and South America
Last year SACMI launched its electronic range of fillers (the E Series) with increased hygiene and improved flexibility. Where has it sold these machines – and which configurations (models ranged from 20 valves, for large formats, to 216, for small formats, are proving the most popular?
“We have a good business with the CSD and water lines in Asia, in Africa, in Middle East and also in South America,” Bernazzoli said.
“Here we generally sold larger-sized machines (80-140 valves) but we have also had excellent feedback with the big bottle format from 5L to 10L that we sold across the world,” he added.
In May 2014 we interviewed Vezio Bernardi, general beverage manager at SACMI, who told us that SACMI’s three principle focus areas are wine, bottled waters and carbonated soft drinks – but Bernazzoli said the company was also looking at the beer market.
'Beer is very conservative...but there may be a need for new suppliers'
“Our strategy is satisfy market segments where there is lower competition, fewer players for a lot of customers. For example, the beer market is very attractive,” Bernazzoli said.
“We have developed a specific range for glass and aluminum can able to satisfy the needs of more evolved brewers. SACMI knows that the beer market is a very conservative market but we believe there be a need for new suppliers,” he added.
What advances is SACMI making to address issues including (A) operator ease of use (B) identifying potential problems before they arise on a line (C) reducing the need for maintenance (D) improving product quality (E) reducing machine footprint (F) increase machine versatility?
“All the point that you have mentioned are fundamental for modern machines and we can sum it all up in one word: TCO (Total Cost of Ownership),” Bernazzoli replied.
“Today the market demands how it will cost this TCO in 3/5 years; to making the TCO attractive, machines need to be versatile, easy to use and have reduced maintenance needs. Today SACMI is working in this direction," he said.
In 2013 SACMI launched a new aseptic rotary filler for bag-in-box containers, ostensibly for wine but it can also fill other liquids. We asked Bernazzoli why this bag-in-box market is important for SACMI and in which sectors/world regions is the company seeing growth? Is the company still seeing growth in sales to micro-wineries in France and Italy, for instance?
Aseptic bag-in-box: 'Strategic market' for SACMI
“The aseptic bag-in-box is very attractive especially for fruit juices and concentrated [products],” Bernazzoli said.
“For SACMI it is a strategic market because we are the only one (among the major manufactures) that has this technology, and this permits us to enter markets with more facility," he said.
“In the wine sector we see good success with this machine because we sold it to the end users as well as the bag suppliers,” Bernazzoli added. “In France and in Italy a good market exists but we have a good business in South America too."
Finally, a word on Brau Beviale – will there be a specific theme/focus for SACMI's filling division at the show?
“During Brau SACMI will show all the advantages of our patented system tape/preform,” Bernazzoli said.
He added that customers benefited from the fact that SACMI also has ‘know how’ in relation to all the process upstream of the filling line.
“This is the real difference, none of our beverage competitors has the capacity to provide a 360-degree answer to the needs of one bottler,” Bernazzoli said.