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    Lateral entrant Sonoco starts filling beverages in Guinea

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    In 2016, Sonoco S.A., a major company running grain and oilseed mills in the West African country of Guinea, decided to diversify into soft-drinks production and got in touch with Krones. Sonoco then placed a turnkey order for a canning line and a PET line.

    Project: Turnkey order for canning line and PET line
    Client: Sonoco S.A.
    Location: Conakry, Guinea
    Commissioning: Early 2020

    Canning line from Krones rated at 36,000 cans per hour

    PET line from Kosme rated at 16,000 containers per hour

    In both lines, the finished packs are palletised manually.

    Krones’ scope of delivery for this turnkey order also included the syrup room and the water treatment system Hydronomic, which consists of the following units: UF (ultra-filtration), RO (reverse osmosis, specifically for eliminating heavy metals), and OZ (ozoniser). Krones likewise installed a SitePilot Line Diagnostics monitoring system.

    Commissioning with challenges

    After erection of the two filling lines had started in 2019, the pandemic took everyone by surprise. Since it was difficult to leave Guinea, ten fitters stayed in the country. They handled technical acceptance-testing for the lines together with specialists from the Krones plants in Germany and the Kosme facility in Italy, who were able to work on the lines’ control systems through a VPN link. In this way, it was possible to commission and hand over the plant by means of video-conferencing and e-learning in the spring of 2020, during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Sonoco is now considering further filling plants in the large country’s interior, to reduce transportation costs.

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