The Serac Group provides a diverse range of solutions for today’s packaging industry.
When global consumer goods companies seek out innovative package manufacturing, filling, and capping equipment, they turn to the Serac Group. With an intuitive approach for innovation, the French firm has revolutionized the design, manufacture, and assembly of packaging machinery created specifically for liquids. Serac equipment fills, caps, and moves liquid containers made from glass, metal, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and other materials for bottlers around the world.
In 1969, company founder Jean-Jacques Graffin developed the world’s first linear filling machine, which filled plastic bottles with milk at a speedy pace of 600 bottles per hour. That was one of many firsts for the firm, which over the years has included the production of the first rotary filling machine for sterilized milk, and the introduction of the first electronic weight filling machine.
“The greatest innovations or success stories are born out of simple ideas,” Serac Group President and CEO Dino Chece said. “Mr. Graffin realized that dairies weighed their plastic bottles when full to monitor the quantity of milk. As the regulatory volumetric measurements were calibrated at a temperature of 20°C and the milk filled at 4°C, weighing made it possible to avoid gaps due to the expansion of the liquids. Hence the apparently simple idea of weighing the container during the filling process. He therefore created the first weight filler, a first for the food industry, and Serac was born.”
Today, Serac is considered the boutique solutions provider to the packaging industry. “We have a very wide field of solutions available throughout a diverse and global market with extremely complex applications. Our expertise ranges from food, all the way to home and personal care to industrial and chemical applications, including the fastest growing market segment, edible oils and sauces,” Chece explained.
“We extend our expertise and a unique offer of solutions in primary packaging to our customers to help them face increasingly complex challenges. We work hand in hand with them to listen, adopt, and supply solutions tailored for their needs.”
With manufacturing facilities in France, Brazil, USA, and Malaysia including representatives in 47 countries, Serac intends to be as close as possible to their customers. As Chece put it, “This is precisely the reason why we manufacture in each major continent. Day after day and growing with approximately 650 employees who support our customers worldwide, our expertise, paired with local presence, elevates us to an extremely high level of competence when it comes to serving our customer’s requests.”
Innovation is just the beginning
“For us, innovation is the key to creating value and is inseparable from business development and growth,” Chece said. “Serac’s Industry 4.0 with all its requirements—from predicting failures, to complete data sampling to easier handling of the machines—is our latest trend. The new Human Machine Interface (HMI) currently under development is a perfect example of what the brand stands for: innovation. Our HMI relies on a web-based application, developed by Orange and Serac’s teams, to offer a 100% intuitive user experience.
“With this new HMI, Serac is materializing one of the key points of its Industry 4.0 strategy: a better support in decision-making, for expert and non-expert operators having to work with machines full of electronic components and supplying tons of data.”
Chece stressed that the packaging solutions market is in a constant state of evolution, shaped by new consumption trends, emerging regulations, and shifting geopolitical contexts. ”With its broad international influence, extensive expertise and strong local presence, Serac truly understands how to adapt to these market specificities as well as to the needs of our customers,” he said.
“To this end, our teams are dedicated to helping customers reach their performance, profitability, and sustainability goals. While innovation remains at the heart of our development, our strength really lies in the ambition and energy of our sales and technology teams, always at the ready to find the best solutions for our customers and anticipate their needs.”
As the market demand for environmentally sustainable solutions continues to increase, manufacturers are looking for packaging machinery developers to push the envelope. For example, the use of electron beam or e-beam technology as an alternative to chemical sterilization is rising in popularity. Log reduction—the logarithm of the ratio of the levels of bacterial contamination before and after an item is decontaminated—is a crucial consideration.
“Huge amounts of water paired with chemicals are necessary to achieve the proper sterility protocols for decontamination of the bottles, containers, and machines,” Chece said. “If we can eliminate or reduce this water and chemical consumption with clean solutions, this would be a big step forward in creating an environmentally sustainable platform. The use of electron beams to achieve a log reduction is one step into that direction.”
Serac’s BluStream® low-energy e-beam cap sterilization technology delivers a 6-log reduction in less than a single second, without the use of chemicals. The technology is used at room temperature, which eliminates the disfiguring effects of the high heat once needed to sterilize plastic. BluStream® consumes very little energy, does not generate toxic waste, and eliminates the need for water, heating or steam to operate.
Adapting to changing packaging aesthetics is a Serac specialty as well. Fresh dessert makers, for one, are increasingly seeking glass-like containers to add cachet to their yogurt and other comestibles. Serac created a specialty blow molding machine for PET and rPET cups that provides the clarity of glass without the weight and breakage. The solution also gives producers a chance to shrink their carbon footprint by reducing their use of plastic, glass, and cardboard.
As innovation is intertwined with Serac’s business development and growth strategies, so too are its R&D activities. “My pledge is to maintain a steady R&D activity that doesn’t fluctuate with the top line revenue. This will ensure that new products are developed on time per market requirements. Serac has always been known as an innovator in the packaging industry. We do not intend to slow down with innovation. Never.”
He added, “Serac’s objective is to create performance together, today and tomorrow, by providing environmentally sustainable, unparalleled solutions utilizing uncompromising quality with our customers in the high-speed packaging market. We plan to remain the most advanced packaging company of the 21st century by deploying continuous innovation, new high-end technologies, and best-in-class quality products and services tailored to our customers’ success.”
The Serac Group designs, assembles and provides packaging solutions (machines and lines) to industrial companies and end-users, mainly in dairy products, edible oil and home/personal care products along with agrochemical, paint and automotive products.
Serac comprises 10 commercial offices located in France, Brazil, USA, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, UAE, Japan, China, Spain and 6 factories in France (3), Brazil (1), USA (1) and Malaysia (1).
More than 5,700 machines/systems have been installed in more than 100 countries.