Violent Voltage Fluctuation Compromised Coca-Cola’s F&B Production
Case Study For Coca-Cola
The F&B industry is challenged by rising costs, competitors and emerging trends. Despite that, F&B has proven to be pandemic-proof, and the industry is expected to hit $342 billion in revenue by the end of 2021.
As a heavily-regulated industry, the production process is crucial to ensure that products sold – satisfy the consumer’s taste and comply with safety standards. One of the factors that significantly impact product yield, quality and rejects – is power quality.
In this case study, we’ll revisit how Coca-Cola successfully dealt with power quality issues in its Saudi Arabia facility.
Like any F&B manufacturers, Coca-Cola is dependent on machines for producing, bottling, testing and packaging. The global soft drink maker ensures that every bottle of beverage meets not only the ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 standards but also the company’s quality and food safety policy.
However, Coca-Cola’s bottling facility in Saudi Arabia was troubled by a slew of incidents in 2011, which involved frequent equipment breakdown. As the equipment automates the production process, these outages cause unanticipated disruptions and unplanned downtime to the soft drink giant.
Coca-Cola was forced to take immediate mitigative measures, including maintenance and emergency repair works for any malfunctioned equipment. This inevitably leads to unexpected and expensive costs. Also, any equipment breakdown would result in additional labour expenses and production downtime, both leading to negative financial implications.
As a brand with a long-standing reputation, Coca-Cola takes proactive action to identify the root cause that results in machine outages. The F&B giant reached out to Ashley Edison(UK) in search of an effective solution.
Ashley Edison(UK) dispatched a team of highly qualified engineers to the affected facility, conducting a detailed inspection on the equipment, building power infrastructure and the incoming voltage supply from the main grid.
Investigations confirmed the suspicion that Coca-Cola’s production facility is suffering from voltage supply irregularity. The facility is supposed to receive a stable 380V 3-phase AC from the local grid. However, our readings showed voltage fluctuations between 309V to 451V, more than 18% from the nominal value.
Voltage fluctuation, which is characterized by frequent bouts of Undervoltage and overvoltage, is damaging to Coca-Cola’s production equipment. For example, an AC motor needs to ramp up the current when powered by a voltage below its nominal rating. This may result in overheating, lifespan reduction and damage to motors.
Likewise, automation modules like PLC, power supply modules and sensors may be sensitive to voltage fluctuations. Voltage sags, even brief ones, can lead to major outages that cause safety hazards. Spikes that exceed the tolerable threshold are likely to damage electronic components in machineries.
In addition to the wide input voltage swing, our investigation team also determines that the voltage fluctuation suffered by Coca-Cola – is also due to its inherent nature.
As incoming isolation transformers are based on fixed calculated values, the entire production facility experiences exceptionally unstable voltage levels, particularly when load varies.
The Ashley Edison (UK) Solution
With the root cause identified, the next step involves implementing mitigative measures to regulate and stabilise the voltage fluctuations.
Ideally positioned as the industry leader in voltage optimising solutions, Ashley Edison(UK) was awarded the project to resolve this challenge faced by the F&B giant’s operations in the Middle East.
After careful calculations from the Ashley Edison(UK) engineering team, this was the solution:
A 1,000 KVA 3Phase SESL Series Automatic Voltage Stabilizer to be installed at the production facility.
Ashley Edison(UK) SESL 3 Phase AC Automatic Voltage Stabilizer
- Servo Electronic Digitally Enhanced Design
- Stepless & Automatic Voltage Regulation (± 0.5% output voltage accuracy)
- Forced-Air Cooling for improved operational efficiency
- Fast Response Time (<1.5ms)
- Inbuilt High Overload Capability (10x max current rating for 2 seconds)
- Independent Phase Balancing & Control: Automatic voltage sensing & precise regulation to ensure individual phase voltages remain stable – regardless of load change or unbalance.
- Wide input voltage tolerance that compensates low voltage values from 304V, and covers high voltage values up to 456V.
- Transient Voltage Surge Protection (TVSS) protects critical loads against harmful high energy surges, transients and spikes.
- Class II SPD – Lightning Surge Protection
- Endurable NEMA 1 Style Enclosure – BS EN 60529
- AquaStop – Protective PCB coating against moisture ingress
The SESL Series is trusted as the key to solving Coca-Cola’s voltage fluctuation issues in Saudi Arabia. The unit is backed by a 3-years warranty, with all parts covered. This proposal was eventually accepted and installed to safeguard Coca-Cola’s facility from future voltage anomalies.
Once the SESL voltage stabilizer was installed and commissioned, the production facility recorded stable voltage at the nominal 380V level. Thanks to the AC voltage stabilizer, fluctuations on the voltage line is reduced from 18% to a precision level of under ±0.5% accuracy. This results in an extremely stable and constant voltage that powers the entire production facility.
The SESL AC voltage stabilizer is designed for reliability. To date, no warranty calls have been activated by Coca-Cola and the installed voltage stabiliser remains essential equipment in the facility.
A stable and accurate voltage level also means that the production facility is operating at the level of efficiency as it should be. Bottles of soft drinks are produced and shipped as per schedule.
For Coca-Cola’s stakeholders, installing the SESL AC voltage stabilizer is a sound financial decision. As beverage production resumes without disruption, so does profitability as the soft drinks make their way to consumers.
Voltage quality is an often overlooked variable in F&B manufacturing. This case study demonstrates the importance of a clean, fluctuation-free power supply and its impact on productivity, profitability and consumer satisfaction.
With a wealth of over 40 years of experience solving voltage quality issues that plague many organisations, Ashley Edison(UK) continues to inspire absolute voltage optimisation across the F&B industry.
Drop us an email at [email protected] to learn how you can benefit from the Ashley Edison(UK) range of voltage control solutions.
For more case studies on how one of the largest testing and certification providers in the world, TÜV SÜD, has also adopted these industry techniques – read about their project here.