Oman Refreshment Company and Sidel join forces to successfully launch three new formats
Oman Refreshment Company (ORC) has launched three new formats for PET bottles in
order to meet changes in consumer demand. Thanks to outstanding teamwork and
flexibility, Sidel, its trusted OEM, completed the line conversion within a reduced lead
time. These formats are now operating with improved rated speed to satisfy consumer
demand in Oman.
Established in 1974 and currently employing more than 900 people, ORC is one of the pioneers
and market leaders in the Omani manufacturing sector. As a franchisee of PepsiCo
International, the company’s headquarter is located in Al Ghubra and it operates in different
food (Lays, Cheetos and Quaker Oats, etc.) and beverage (Pepsi, Topfruit and Aquafina Water,
etc) sectors. It has an overall annual beverage production capacity of around 500 million litres.
The company is expanding its manufacturing and distribution capabilities to meet growing
demand for its products and also to respond to diverse consumer preferences.
The carbonated soft drinks (CSD) market in Oman is highly consolidated by international
companies and it is dominated by PepsiCo whose sales volume and value in 2018 reached
84.7% and 84% respectively. Although Oman is known for its high CSD consumption, changing
life styles and the introduction of an “excise tax” (50% tax on CSD) have slowed demand. To
maintain market share and adapt to healthier consumer habits, ORC approached Sidel to
launch three new PET bottle formats (0.25 L, 1 L and 1.5 L).
Meeting a tight deadline through seamless planning and collaboration
ORC has operated a Sidel Matrix TM Combi12 line since 2015 and Sidel’s project was to adapt established to meet the market launch date. However, it was initially assumed that the parts
could be delayed because of the August summer break. The key to success was therefore
seamless planning and execution.
As a complete solution provider, Sidel achieved its goal by leveraging its expertise in production
and closely cooperating with suppliers. From shipping to execution, approximately 15 experts
from Sidel participated in the project. To ensure smooth operation, the original line efficiency
was inspected by Sidel’s team before site execution. With consultancy from Sidel, some
adjustments were made and Sidel was supported by optimal logistics and 3 rd party equipment
suppliers to accelerate progress. ORC also played a crucial role by providing full in-house
support from the maintenance and warehousing teams to ensure that all activities went to plan.
In spite of tight time constraints, Sidel displayed close teamwork, liaising with both the partners
and the customer.
“Sidel’s challenge was to finish the project within a very tight schedule. Sidel took swift action in
manufacturing the required adaptation kits then shipping them in the fastest lead time possible.
Installation, testing, and commissioning are the most challenging activities of the project
wherein Sidel was able to excel by sending the best team,” says Youssef Ezzikhe, CEO at
Flexibility and great service exceed expectations and result in a strong customer
A flexible approach to project execution, together with on-going support from the product
division to reduce the equipment lead time were the key factors contributing to an overall well
planned and executed service project. Sidel finished the line conversion project at the end of
August 2019, allowing ORC to fulfill their market commitment. Moreover, the rated speed of the
filler on each format was increased: 0.25 L – 24,000 bottles per hour (bph), 1L – 22,500 bph
and 1.5 L – 22,000 bph. The project was completed in record time and new package sizes were
launched onto the market with the production line proving to be highly efficient. “I appreciate
Sidel’s flexibility and proactiveness,” says Youssef Ezzikhe, CEO at ORC.
“With Sidel’s excellent history of service support, we are proud that ORC selected Sidel for line
conversion service. This proves that we are fully trusted by customers and our outstanding
service is key to their loyalty,” says Samuel Gobbe, Vice President of Services for the Middle
East and Africa region at Sidel.