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Coca-Cola boosts its energy efficiency

14 June 2020

The use of an energy management system has allowed the Coca-Cola plant in Edelstal, Austria, to conduct detailed analyses of its resource and energy consumption which is helping it to continue to reduce its carbon footprint by reducing waste and water consumption and lowering emissions. 

One of the priorities of Coca Cola HBC Austria is to use resources responsibly and manufacture products in a way that is as environmentally friendly and carbon-efficient as possible, according to Theresa Fleischberger, environment manager at Coca Cola HBC Austria.

To reduce its consumption of resources like water and energy, Coca-Coca HBS Austria has invested in new machines and systems at its Edestral site. This includes a new high-speed bottling line that is able to fill 45,000 glass bottles per hour – over 12 twelve bottles per second.

Not only is it one of the world’s fastest bottling lines, but it is also surprisingly energy-efficient. Thanks to the new lines and increased use of air to clean bottles before filling, the amount of water consumed by production has been significantly reduced.
In addition, the company has already replaced the first high-pressure compressor for the blow moulding machines on the PET lines. According to Martin Surda, maintenance specialist at the plant, the new compressor consumes between 5% and 8% less electricity, depending on operating conditions and capacity utilisation.

The plant is powered 100% from renewable electricity sources. Although the savings have no additional impact on the carbon footprint, “It is still important that we improve our energy efficiency on an ongoing basis,” said Fleischberger.
This is partly motivated by cost – because the price of electricity and other fuels is constantly rising. At the same time, the plant consumes natural gas in addition to electricity, which means that savings in overall energy consumption also affect the carbon footprint.

Analysing consumption
For some time Coca Cola HBC Austria has been tracking the success of its energy-saving measures in Edelstal with the aid of its own energy monitoring system – which recorded production and consumption data and made it possible to analyse and compare the energy consumption of individual lines. However, according to Surda, this solution has limitations.  

When the Coca-Cola plant in Edelstal began using the Simatic WinCC V7 system from Siemens to visualise production data it also turned to Simatic Energy Manager Pro for energy management. “We were particularly impressed by the solution’s flexibility and scalability,” said Surda.

Within two months, the task of energy management was transferred to the new system, which included the integration of numerous consumers that are captured by Sentron PAC energy measuring devices.
Today, the consumption data is gathered by a Simatic ET 200SP system and then transferred to Simatic Energy Manager Pro. In addition to the measuring devices for electrical energy, flowmeters for recording water consumption are also integrated in the system.

Following initial training from Siemens, the team – headed by Fleischberger and Surda – are now able to configure and operate the system independently. More than 100 data points for measuring energy consumption and 17 data points for water consumption are currently integrated in the system and are queried once per minute. The data acquired is linked to the production data from the ERP system, which enables a detailed analysis of energy consumption and energy efficiency for each individual product produced.

Quick reports 
“New analyses and dashboards can also be created at any time and with little effort,” said Surda. “We can generate new reports in no more than an hour. We used to have to hire external programmers to do this for us, with the result that changes sometimes took a week or even longer. Now we can do it all ourselves.”

One additional benefit of Simatic Energy Manager Pro is that users can also view the data via a Web client – which is advantageous for Fleischberger, who works most of the week remotely.

Increased awareness
Even employees in production can now stay informed about current energy consumption. “This broadens the awareness of the issue. Each employee can contribute to boosting energy efficiency and see their success reflected in the numbers,” said Fleischberger. “Plus, the numbers we have access to are much more detailed. We can determine the exact consumption and costs for each individual line and each individual product. I consider this transparency to be an important benefit of the new system.”

Altogether, these measures have allowed Coca Cola HBC Austria in Edelstal to reduce its CO2 emissions to 17.5 g per litre of beverage produced in 2019 – which is 50% less than in 2010.

There are also plans to use information from Simatic Energy Manager Pro to improve system maintenance and prevent energy losses. “Among other things, we want to identify when leaks or other problems start based on flow measurements and energy consumption in the compressed air supply,” said Surda. “This will allow us to service the systems promptly and in a way that saves money and resources.”
Other plans include expansion of the existing energy management system, with six high-pressure compressors in the compressed-air network also being integrated into the system. These compressors generate air at a pressure of 36 bar which is used to form PET bottles from blanks.

“This move will allow us to optimise the processes so that we consume less energy – for example, by reducing machine maintenance time and aligning the compressors more closely with our demand. Because these six units are responsible for about 20% of our energy consumption, the savings potential is tremendous,” said Surda.

In conclusion, Fleischberger said: “With Simatic Energy Manager, we can define savings goals and prove the cost-effectiveness of efficiency measures in the areas of water and energy. The plan is to continue improving resource efficiency at the Coca-Cola plant in Edelstal with the help of the new energy management system.

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