Algeria – a travelogue Part III

Guedila has been operating the two identical Krones lines since early 2014. Their heart is a monobloc comprising a blow-moulder and a filler, namely a Contiform 318, with a Modulfill with 90 filling valves, and a capper. Both these lines begin with the preform feed, as these are poured into a Kosme Revopack. They are then orientated to perfection in the automatic Contifeed roller sorter. Guedila attaches major importance to optimised standards of hygiene. Which is why they use a Krones Prejet. The preforms are cleaned using ionised air. UV light destroys harmful germs. Only then will the PET preforms be passed to the stretch blow-moulding machine.

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Technology at Guedila

Both these lines fill 1.5-litre bottles at a rated speed of 36,000 bph or the 2.0-litre size at 30,000 bottles an hour. These latter are produced specially for Ramadan, the Muslims’ month of fasting. For thirty days, the 2-litre bottle can then be purchased for the same price as the 1.5-litre size, which means: three litres free of charge in each pack.

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Guedila runs its production lines in three shifts, operating round the clock. Besides the two lines from Krones, Guedila has two more lines, installed in 2004 and 2010. The company uses a total of seven different PET sizes ranging from 0.33 to 2.0 litres, and averages roughly three million fills of still water a day.

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On each of the two Krones lines, the containers are labelled by a Contiroll HS. Dressed in their wrap-around labels, the bottles then proceed to the packer – which in this case is a Variopac. A spacer guides the containers from four lanes onto six. The containers are formed into sixpacks, wrapped in film and fed into the shrink tunnel. Now all that’s missing is the handle-strap, which is applied by a Krones Variostick. After this, the packs are transported to the floor below, where they are grouped using a Robobox – all this is fully automated – so as to create the layer pattern specified. A Krones Modulpal ensures high-precision palletising.

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Downstream of the stretch-wrapper, the finished pallet is first moved outside onto a platform, and then downwards in a lift. Then it travels on a Krones Palco conveyor for the final few metres of its journey until it’s in position for being collected and loaded up. Two fork-lift-truck drivers, one on the left and one on the right, load the pallets onto the waiting trucks. The freshly filled bottles are trucked to a logistics centre (mostly in the cities) and from there to the supermarket shelves.

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Being different – inside and out 

What’s special about the naturally pure water from Guedila is the balanced composition of its minerals. And word has got around. It’s not only in Algeria that people are drinking Guedila – the water is also popular in Saudi-Arabia and in Senegal. Negotiations are currently ongoing with Dubai and China, as Marketing Manager Mouloud Hamdi reports with a satisfied smile.

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Guedila is distinctively different not only in composition and taste – visually, too, it’s  something rather special. Not least in terms of bottle design. When you look at its Algerian competitors, their bottles are mostly cylindrical, and dressed in a blue label with a blue closure. Guedila is different. A rather slender shape without any shoulders, and instead a raised relief depiction of the mountains in which the spring is located. And there’s another striking visual difference: the colour pink dominates closure, label and packaging film.