First-time partnership to install breakthrough end-of-line solution

Sidel has been appointed to install a highly flexible end-of-line turnkey solution for British Sugar, the leading producer of sugar for the British and Irish food and beverage markets. The holistic and tailor-made solution will support the British company, a subsidiary of Associated British Foods plc that works with 2,300 growers, to meet market requirements as well as retailer expectations.

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With increasing consumer demands and escalating sugar sales, British Sugar processes around 8 million tonnes of sugar beet to produce up to 1.2 million tonnes of sugar annually. The company required a large-scale operations replacement for its end-of-line system that was over 38 years old, including a brand-new solution with a high level of multiple SKU complexity management and automation. 

To deliver a world-class product that is made to the highest standards, the company needed an extremely compact and flexible case packing and palletising solution to be implemented within a tight plant area that would be capable of handling multiple pallet and format types to accommodate single sugar bags to new shelf-ready secondary packaging.

This strategic project represented a real technical challenge for British Sugar which needed a reliable partner with the best technology. Following an extensive period of collaboration through discussion and design, British Sugar and Sidel shared a singular vision for the future end-of-line solution, with installation work commencing on what is the first partnership between both companies.

Case packer and palletiser flexibility, reliability and output speed were central to the desired end-of-line solution for British Sugar, with Sidel’s design and equipment focusing on achieving flexibility at a high-speed using advanced robotics. Sidel will deliver a full turnkey solution from sugar bagging outlet through to delivery at warehousing. 

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James Warby, project integration manager at British Sugar, explains: “We needed a partner with strong engineering and design expertise as the challenge was more complex due to the building constraints combined with our high level of technical specifications,” He continues: “Sidel’s collaborative approach from the beginning was excellent, they have been agile and transparent where we have had to work together to find solutions, their shared vision of a packaging line with our engineering team, strengthened the trust we had in their capacity for delivering a turnkey solution and led us to decide to partner with them for this project.”

Bastien Carcenac, Account Manager at Sidel, explains: “To define the right project scope of supply, the British Sugar extended pluridisciplinary team involved in the project always pushed and supported the Sidel team to find the most compact, flexible and efficient solution while ensuring very high standards on all the value chain. We are very proud of partnering with a leading manufacturer made by amazing people such as British Sugar but also of the expert work done by the Sidel team.”

The breakthrough end-of-line solution will offer a highly efficient answer for future production management. Two further phases of installation will be completed at the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024.

“By listening carefully to British Sugar’s needs, we wanted to prove our understanding of their challenges and to demonstrate our expertise in end-of-line solutions that could match their specific expectations,” said Thierry Grassart, Sales Director FHPC Northern & Southern Europe at Sidel. “We collaborated to build a strong team and push forward with the project and, as a result of Sidel’s capacity for high technological innovation, we delivered a best-in-class turnkey solution.”

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