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Vezio Bernardi, General Manager Closures, Containers and PET, SACMI, at the company's centenary celebration event in Shanghai, China.
Vezio Bernardi, General Manager Closures, Containers and PET, SACMI, at the company's centenary celebration event in Shanghai, China.

SACMI Group held its centenary celebration at a company event in Shanghai, China on December 2, 2019. The event was attended by more than 140 senior management and customer representatives of the Italian-based Group to recognize the 100-year anniversary.

During the event, Vezio Bernardi, General Manager Closures, Containers and PET, SACMI, introduced the Group’s business in China and shared his views on technology trends with CPRJ China Plastics & Rubber (AdsaleCPRJ.com).

CPRJ: When was the Containers and PET division founded? What is its role in the Group?

Bernardi: Our division was born in 1955 with the crown cap manufacturing, and in 1990, we started developing the machines to produce capsules, then the rest was followed.

Today, we are a very important division that brings significant diversification and offers an important starting point for other new developments. We are the most innovative division in the Group.

CPRJ: How is the business of the division in 2019? Which end-application is the main focus?

Bernardi: I would say that we have concluded a very good year in growth compared to the previous years, especially in India and the Far East. One of the products that characterized us this year was the ring-pull cap, but our main focusis still the plastic screw cap.

CPRJ: When did the division start its business in China?

Bernardi: We started selling CCM in this market in 1996. We have been, however, already presented in China with crown cap machines since 1980.

Today, China remains the main market of our division, as far as plastic capsules are concerned. Currently, over 60% of the capsules in China are produced with SACMI machinery.

We are evaluating the possibility of further strengthening our service to clients, and will evaluate whether to do it with internal growth or through collaboration.

CPRJ: How do you see the trends of the containers and PET market in China?

Bernardi: We see a little bit slow down in the Chinese market in growth. But it is still a very important market, in terms of volume, compared with other markets.

CPRJ: Does circular economy pose more challenges or opportunities?

Bernardi: When there are strong changes, opportunities are also created. The difficulty is to seize them. Even for us, there are situations of hardship, such as the prohibition in some countries to use plastic bottles, but there are also opportunities to develop new solutions, such as tethered cap or even metal.

CPRJ: Some brand owners plan to increase the content of recycled PET, or even use full rPET, in their PET bottles. Does it pose challenges for SACMI?

Bernardi: The advantage of compression is to work at lower temperatures with lower MFI and with continuity. This allows us to decontaminate and 100% recirculate plastic materials. But the problem is to find them.

CPRJ: In 2018, SACMI completed the new CCM multi-layer project for single-serve closures and caps with oxygen barrier properties. How was the market response to this new project?

Bernardi: The result of the project was very positive. We have already sold and installed two machines in the Europe, and a third one is in production for the American market. We believe that compression can guarantee a level of repetition of the process and therefore of the barrier, unthinkable until now.

CPRJ: Does SACMI offer any digitalization solution that helps plastic converters to achieve smart manufacturing?

Bernardi: Certainly. Today, digital solution is no longer an optional one but is part of the state of things. SACMI offers a whole series of sensors that can be implemented in machines that allow collecting data and using data to give added value.

CPRJ: How do you see SACMI’s 100-year anniversary?

Bernardi: It is a historic moment that makes us proud and that we wanted to celebrate in China at the time of the anniversary as a tribute to this important market.

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