The song Bali Hai from the musical South Pacific conjures up images of a mystical sun-drenched tropical paradise. It’s also the eponymous name for a leading brewery near Jakarta in the Indonesian province of West Java that hopes to similarly conjure up some magic in the beer it produces.

To improve the quality and meet rising demand for its canned beer, Bali Hai commissioned a new canning line last August for an undisclosed sum, designed and supplied by packaging equipment specialist Sidel, following discussions that began in May 2017.

The line runs at up to 33,000 cans per hour (cph) – twice as fast as the one it replaced – producing 330ml and 500ml format filled cans, supplied by United Can Company and Crown. It also features a very compact layout to meet the space constraints of the brewery. As well as its new single canning line, Bali Hai operates a glass bottling line and a kegging line giving it a total packaging capacity of 200 hectolitres per brew.

The story all began way back in 1975 when the family-owned Pt Bali Hai Brewery Indonesia began developing and distributing a distinctive range of beer brands for national and international markets. Then, in 2013, the brewery undertook a major renovation and automation of its brewhouse and cellar.

Local and global markets
“Currently our products are sold in more than 20 countries, including Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Korea and New Zealand, as well as different regions of Africa,” says Bali Hai technical director Daniel To. “While capturing the opportunities offered by a consumer demand that is continuously increasing, we are committed to maintaining the consistent taste and quality of our beers.”

In 2018, the brewery claimed a domestic market share of 3.2 per cent. It is the fourth largest domestic brewery and produces various global brands as well as a portfolio of local premium beers. These include Bali Hai Premium, Draft Beer, El Diablo Original and Panther Black.

Demand for beer in Indonesia is expected to show a seven per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by total volume, reaching 324 million litres by 2023 and to keep up with this expected growth, Bali Hai joined forces with Sidel for the latest investment.

The new canning line, which includes 13 different machines laid out in six larger production modules, can be operated over three shifts, unlike the old one that was restricted to a maximum of two. The modules include a de-palletiser, filler and seamer, pasteuriser, dryers, shrink-wrapper and tray shrink-wrapper, plus conveying systems.

Bali Hai’s goal of protecting beer quality was mainly achieved through the integration of two specific systems in the line: the latest Sidel volumetric electronic filler for cans and the PAMA pasteuriser.

“The floor space available at our plant is limited; therefore, we needed a very compact solution that did not compromise on efficiency and flexibility,” explains To. “Despite the fact that we were initially planning a line delivering 24,000cph for the 500ml format, we eventually trusted Sidel’s engineers and went for a complete line that is able to reach up to 29,000cph, thus securing high capacity production for the coming years.”

Rationale for investment 
Bali Hai’s packaging manager Blegog Sugiono explains the rationale behind the choice of the filler selected: “We opted for this Sidel filling technology largely because of the very low total oxygen pick-up it ensures, which ultimately leads to high product quality. Plus, we now use a volumetric technology, so as to guarantee that our cans all have the intended quantity of product when reaching the shelf.”

The PAMA pasteuriser installed, which features Sidel’s Prince Plus software for control of the pasteurisation unit (PU), was specifically tailored around Bali Hai’s requirements.

“We decided to install this system to have a constant level of quality and consistent taste across our beers,” says Sugiono. “Specifically, we have been able to further cool down the can temperature at the outfeed of the pasteuriser, therefore eliminating the risk of unstable quality we have experienced in the past. With the latest technology from Sidel, we can now narrowly adjust and control the PU in accordance with the specified settings for a fully controlled beer taste.”

And, by maximising the size of the pasteuriser, the brewery can now accommodate future production increases.

Because the new canning line runs twice as fast as the old line, output increased from 500 to 1,450 trays of beer per hour. With two different can formats (330ml and 500ml), nine different recipes and various secondary packaging options, Bali Hai’s canning line handles 18 different stock-keeping units (SKUs). This required a high level of flexibility at the secondary packaging stage, without increasing the footprint of the equipment.Secondary packaging
In addition, Bali Hai decided to shift from standard regular slotted container (RSC) carton boxes for packing cans to film for economic benefits. It installed Sidel EvoFilm Access, a shrink-wrapping system for low- to medium-speed applications. However, the brewery also wanted to be able to widen the secondary packaging it offered to its customers to include multipacks.

“With the new line, we have a sophisticated tray and film solution that we can apply to produce various packing alternatives,” adds Blegog.

“For example, four- or six-packs wrapped on one tray containing a total of 24 cans run on one solution. If multipacks are not requested, products can bypass the tray and film packer directly to the shrink-wrapping system.”

With a modular design concept allowing for a broad array of configurations and options, EvoFilm Access offers expanded flexibility.

“We added some tailor-made options to fit Bali Hai’s needs,” says Stéphane Séné, Sidel’s key account manager. “First, a ‘design to cost’ approach has been applied to deliver the best quality-price-performance ratio available on the market for shrink-wrapping at speeds of up to 60 cycles per minute. Secondly, we implemented a simple conveying solution to feed the shrink-wrapper: this way, the customer was able to save some factory floor space, now dedicated to warehouse purposes.

“In addition, we removed the need for a divider by orienting the lanes of cans differently. The customer is therefore able to manage eight pack configurations more easily and efficiently. For greater versatility, the system can manage both packs and loose cans.”

Following installation of the new canning line, Bali Hai is confident it has systems fit to meet future requirements for its high-quality beers.