Maxima 75 and Optima 60 compressors are used in China in the production of bottle tops for the Italian brand Pelliconi, where the exclusive Maxi P-26 is produced
Vimodrone, January 2019 – It was in the city of Suzhou, in the Chinese province of Jiangsu, where in November 2016 a very fruitful partnership between two strong Italian companies, Mattei and Pelliconi, was formed. Bologna-based Pelliconi & C. SpA has produced different tops and closures for bottles and containers in glass, plastic and aluminium, which are exported all over the world. In its five locations, two of which are in Italy (the historic Ozzano site, and the plant in the province of Chieti – the largest in the world producing bottle cap crowns) whilst the others are in Egypt, the USA and China. Pelliconi employs almost 600 people, produces around 31 billion pieces per year and exports them to 110 countries thanks to five commercial offices.
There are many different models available. From the crown caps of 26mm and 29mm (the latter of which is used exclusively for the closing of the champagne bottles during the first phase of fermentation), to the traditional caps opened with a bottle opener, the newer screw tops, and caps in both aluminium and plastic. In November 2016, Pelliconi opened a new production site in Suzhou. “We consolidated our presence in China, where previously we only had commercial offices, with a partnership with Carlsberg, which in part supported the investment in signing a multi-year contract for the production of our Maxi P-26 pull-out cap with the plastic ring. China’s economy is dynamic and growing fast. In just a short time we are already expanding our market share, as we now provide caps to the six biggest Chinese beer producers for their top-of-the range bottles” comments Lorenzo Bali, Director of the Suzhou plant.
Mattei has been present in Suzhou since 2014, with a production site that has seen growth of over 20%, both in terms of turnover and the number of employees. “The Pelliconi plant in China was the first to use the Mattei rotary vane compressors and the energy savings achieved showed that this choice was a winner, as our machines work well enduring heavy work cycles 24 hours a day, seven days a week” comments Riccardo Campanile, General Manager of Mattei Suzhou.
Approximately five million caps a day are produced in the Chinese plant and during 2019 production will reach 2 billion units for the local market alone. All the special machines at Pelliconi are powered by compressed air; one such use is for undertaking quality and waste control, where the air is used to removed below standard pieces from the production line.
The production process of the Maxi P-26 cap, which only takes place in China, is characterised by the difficulty of coupling together the aluminium cap with two different parts made of plastic. “On one side there is a HDPE plastic gasket, chemically bonded to the inside of the metal sheet by high frequency welding. This type of plastic is very elastic, guarantees an excellent seal, is easily printable, highly resistant to the alcohol in the beer, and ensures that the gasket remains intact when the cap is opened. On the other side, there is an outer ring of polyethylene, attached to the aluminium mechanically; the capsule of the cap is equipped with a ring-pull and two pin-holes through which the plastic passes. The ring is then printed over the ring-pull. This plastic ring is resistant to a mechanical force equal to several kilograms and can be produced in different colours requested by the end customer” explains Bali.
The production lines of the Pelliconi plant in China are powered by two single-stage Maxima 75 compressors, ideal for high demands of air as they can alternate their own operations, as well as a variable speed Optima 60 compressor, which thanks to the inverter, automatically regulates its operations based on the load profile.
A confirmation of the high level of satisfaction with the rotary vane technology, is that in early 2019 a new Maxima Xtreme will also be delivered: “There were three reasons that convinced us to focus on the new technology when it came to compressors. Above all else, the high efficiency of the machines; the lower energy consumption we are already recording is in live with Pelliconi’s corporate values, which have always looked for a sustainable innovative approach and allows us to respect the strict Chinese environmental regulations” explains Bali. “Then from a technical point of view, the great quality of Mattei components that do not suffer from wear and tear, translates into lower maintenance costs for the company, offsetting the initial investment. Another important plus is the presence of a Mattei office in-territory; their proximity allows very timely interventions, and the service assistance has always proven to be highly qualified”.