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Four high-speed ErgoBloc L
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Four high-speed ErgoBloc L
    Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines is not letting the grass grow under its feet. At the beginning of 2013 the Mexican firm Coca-Cola FEMSA acquired a 51-per-cent holding in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc..

    Shortly after the new management decided to transform the Philippines’ soft-drinks market, which is still closely wedded to returnable glass, by utilizing the non-returnable PET containers so prevalent all over the rest of the world. First of all, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines placed an order with Krones for two superfast ErgoBloc L, each rated at 81,000 containers per hour, and a few months later two more ErgoBloc L is rated at 63,000 containers per hour. In what might easily be a record time, the lines were built, installed and successfully acceptance-tested.

    “Very, very reliable technology”

    In September 2013, i.e. or barely six months after the Coca-Cola FEMSA take over, the decision in favour of the ErgoBloc technology was made. This was preceded by an intensive evaluation of the crucial parameters:

    • Fast market conversion from returnable glass to non-returnable PET, beginning with the 250-millilitre bottle
    • Lines of a maximised rating, not less than 72,000 containers per hour, were to be installed
    • Lines of the highest possible efficiency coupled with an ultra-small footprint
    • Minimised number of line operators
    • Optimised price-performance ratio coupled with an ultra-low total cost of ownership

    In addition to Krones, four competitors submitted quotations. Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines decided to order the entire wet end from Krones.
    “What we stipulated was a very, very reliable technology, enabling us to produce our beverages at significantly lower cost,” is Juan Ramon Felix’s summary. “Given these preconditions, Krones was the right choice, and the best one.” Guillermo Amador, Supply Chain Director, emphasises: “Our primary focuses here were firstly the production costs per million bottles, and secondly the dependability of the vendor, and his flexibility when it came to integrating third-party machines. We were very familiar with Krones, and at Coca-Cola FEMSA in Latin America we were already very satisfied with the technology.” For the Supply Chain Director, the improvements in the process technology as designed by Krones are “remarkable”. That is why Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines also ordered its new syrup kitchen from Krones.

    The world’s fastest CSD lines for PET

    First of all, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines ordered two ErgoBloc L, each rated at 81,000 250-millilitre PET containers per hour, for its Canlubang plant in Metro Manila. They are thus the fastest CSD lines for PET worldwide.

    The time required from order placement to production start-up was minimal. It took 4.5 months to manufacture the two ErgoBloc L at the plant in Neutraubling. The first line was successfully acceptance-tested in August 2014, the second in September 2014, each of them with an efficiency of more than 95 per cent. 81,000 bottles per hour, each containing 250-millilitres, that means an output of 22.5 containers per second.

    New hall added

    At the plant in Canlubang, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines has for this purpose upsized the existing hall by adding some more bays. The first of these accommodates in a partitioned-off area the compressors and the Husky preform extruders. The second bay is used for storing the finished preforms. Here, too, are the three Krones Contifeed RS preform feeders, about 50 metres away from the bottling lines. The third bay is currently earmarked for storing the closures as well, which are accepted by the Krones Capcade cascade-type closure sorters, and transported by an air conveyor to the ErgoBloc L systems. The fourth bay, finally, houses the two ErgoBloc L lines, each rated at 81,000 containers per hour, and installed in a mirror-imaged configuration, consists of a Contiform 3 stretch blow-moulder with 36 moulds and an output of 2,250 containers per hour and cavity. This is directly monobloc-synchronised with a Topmodul labeller featuring three Contiroll HS stations for wrap-around dress.

    Downstream of the labeller, a Checkmat EM verifies that the labels are correctly positioned. For passing the prelabelled containers to the filler, Krones has developed new starwheels with a diameter of 1,080 millimetres, so as to cope with the line’s high rating

    Impressive speed

    An enclosed cleanroom houses a Modulfill VFS volumetric filler with a diameter of 6,480 millimetres, which operates with a maximum filling temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and 10 grams of CO2 per litre. This ranks among the biggest fillers ever manufactured by Krones. The capper, too, built for the first time with 48 closing elements, has also been integrated in the cleanroom. Before being transferred to the dry end, the containers are passed through a LinaTherm warmer, so as to avoid condensation in the finished package.

    A few months after the first order had been placed with Krones, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines ordered two more ErgoBloc L. One of them, rated at 63,000 bottles per hour, was installed in the Misamis Oriental Plant (MOP) on the island of Mindanao. The other complements the mass bottling operation in Canlubang. With three ErgoBloc L and an 36,000-bph PET line from Krones, a capacity of 260,000 bottles per hour on a footprint of just 6,000 square metres has been installed here in Canlubang.

    The new syrup kitchen built by Krones for the three new lines consists of a continuous sugar dissolver, a concentrate station, a continuous syrup production system for the water, sugar and basic ingredient constituents, plus final syrup tanks. It is from here that the Contiflow mixer is supplied, which blends the syrup with water at a ratio of 1 to 5, and carbonates the beverages as well.


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