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Eco services help bottler reduce blow-molding energy costs

Implementation of consumption monitoring and process control tools help The Midwest Coca-Cola Bottling Company to significantly reduce blowing pressure and electricity use.

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The Midwest Coca-Cola Bottling Company has implemented Sidel’s ECO Booster™ service on four of its Sidel SBO14/14 blow-molding machines for various bottle formats in order to make significant reductions in both the blowing pressure and the blowing ovens’ use of electricity. Across 10 different bottle formats, the average reduction in blowing pressure is 45.9% (the lowest being 19.4% and the highest 50.7%).The average reduction in the ovens’ energy consumption is 22.3% (with the lowest saving being 15.7% and the highest being 38.1%).

Midwest Coca-Cola is located in Eagan, MN. The company manufactures bottles and distributes Coca-Cola products throughout much of the midwestern United States.The company naturally wanted to maximize its profitability by increasing its production efficiency and minimizing its operational costs.Yet, at the same time, the company was also looking to reduce the environmental impact of its processes and that of its resource use.Midwest Coca-Cola called in Sidel hoping to achieve tangible cost and energy savings through a detailed overview of existing line conditions during full production.

Explains Jim Tierney, Maintenance Manager of Midwest Coca-Cola, “Reduced resource use means reduced costs, which is a sustainability win-win for us.For this reason we are always looking to speak with our partners about new innovations that can help us achieve this goal.The Sidel ECO Booster is a great example of this, resulting in a significant reduction of our blowing air pressure and oven electricity use across four of our lines."

Sidel relates that to maximize energy savings for its customers, it has developed a range of line improvement options and upgrades with a focus on quantifiable savings and quick return on investment (ROI), calling heavily upon its experience in PET packaging production technology.Its ECO Booster service analyses a line to identify potential opportunities for savings using these technologies.Efficiency measurement tools can be installed that automatically record the consumption of all utilities (air, water, electricity, and carbon dioxide) by individual machines, lines, production zones, or even an entire plant.As well as measuring consumption and calculating energy costs per bottle produced, the service and tools provide the ability to facilitate correlation between consumption levels and different production procedures (start-up, shut-down, changeover and cleaning).This information can then be used by beverage producers to support initiatives for reducing waste.

At the outset of the ECO Booster service, on-site production conditions are measured and analyzed by a Sidel Services specialist who gauges the use of electricity and air pressure.For Midwest Coca-Cola, the next step was a mechanical testing of the blow-molders’ sub-assemblies.Because, explains Sidel, when it comes to the use of energy within busy production lines, the blow molder is usually the main cause, often accounting for as much as 70% of overall energy consumption.Furthermore, a sizable portion of that consumption can be attributed to the provision of compressed air during the blowing process.

The process and technical qualities of the package, the quality of the air and cooling water, and the overall production environment of the machine were then checked.Based on the findings of the tests, an action plan and servicing schedule specific to Midwest Coca-Cola was then proposed.These were accompanied by an estimate for energy and cost savings and anticipated the ROI forecast.

With the proposals agreed upon by Midwest Coca-Cola, a plan of action was implemented.In addition to the servicing itself, Sidel can also put in place consumption monitoring and process control tools as well as additional laboratory or production-control equipment.

Says Jim Tierney, “Having the Sidel experts work with our own guys to adapt our equipment brought peace of mind that the intervention would be quick and easy, and ultimately led to a short return to production and faster ROI."

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