Ishka Spring Water: Environmentally sustainable solutions that look to the future

Environmentally sustainable solutions that look to the future

In Ballyneety, county Limerick, the rolling and luscious green landscape of the wonderful Irish countryside is the backdrop to one of the most modern bottling plants of spring water in Europe: ISHKA Irish Spring Water.

Founded in 1978 by Michael Sutton, the company is today managed by the sons Mike and Denis. Every hour the plant, composed of three fully automated lines realized in partnership with SMI, produces over 40,000 bottles of spring water, with the utmost attention paid to the care and the preservation of the surrounding environment.

Growing together. A long-standing partnership

The collaboration between ISHKA and SMI began 15 years ago with the purchase of an SK 300 F shrink wrapper, that is currently installed within the production line 1, dedicated to the packaging of 250 ml, 500 ml, 750 ml, 1.5 L and 2 L bottles. In 2017, on the occasion of the opening of the SMI UK & Ireland branch based in Manchester (United Kingdom), the Sutton brothers turned to SMI for the expansion of the plants with the installation of a new bottling line to increase the production of the 5 L format, which is in great market demand.

Efficient and flexible plants

The turn-key solution supplied by SMI also involved a new design of the container, discarding the traditional square shape and launching a new cylindrical bottle.

An innovative choice that allowed the Irish company to reduce the amount of PET in each bottle and to align the look of the 5 L container with that of the other elegant ISHKA water bottles with a smaller capacity.


High performance in a small space

The expansion project of the Irish company made it necessary to upgrade the existing line, which involved the replacement of the old linear blow moulder with a modern integrated SMI ECOBLOC® system, consisting of a 3-cavity rotary blow moulder, an electronic filler and a capper.

The design of this new efficient production line allowed ISHKA to increase the plant capacity by over 50%.

Main advantages of SMI line solutions
  • The new integrated stretch-blow moulding and filling system is faster and more efficient than the existing solution with the linear blow moulder. Furthermore, the new plant has a compact footprint, thanks to the fact that no conveyor belts are required between the blow moulder and the filler.
  • The project represented a challenge even within the secondary packaging, as ISHKA required shrink film pack formats in 2x1 and 3x1 configurations and a large tray format (4x5) to realize a half pallet pack. SMI has been able to meet the requirements of the customer thanks to the versatility of the SK 502 T shrink wrapper, a double-lane machine suitable for the secondary packaging in tray with and without film, equipped with an optional system to produce packs in film only.
  • This secondary packaging solution has advantages from the economic point of view for ISHKA that in the past used two separate machines (one for wrapping in film and one for creating trays), while with the solution supplied by SMI an automatic packer can produce both packs and occupies less space inside the production line.
  • The palletizing and end-of-line system manages both the small 2x1 and 3x1 multiple packs and the half-pallet tray format, that are automatically placed on a standard UK pallet for storage in the warehouse.

If you want to discover further information on the packaging solution installed at Ishka Spring water and on the advantages offered by the machines supplied by SMI, we invite you to read the latest issue of our SMI NOW magazine or to contact our sales department.

Marketing Department
SMI S.p.A.