Soft Drink Production

The reason more beverage units are produced each year while the number of producing plants decreases is the advancement of beverage manufacturing technology. The industry has modernized in all aspects as it has developed larger and more efficient factories. Many related advances have combined to improve water purification, material handling, refrigeration, packaging speeds, warehousing, and transportation. The bottler of 1950 mixed a few bags of sugar to make 100 cases of 7 oz. bottles with a 32-station bottle filler filling about 150 bottles per minute. In 1998, the bottler mixes a tank truck of liquid sweetener to make 30,000 cases of 12 oz. cans with a 120-station can filler running at 2,000 cans per minute. He has automatic equipment to unload truckloads of empty cans to feed the conveyors and automatic equipment to load the finished product onto pallets, keeping several forklifts busy loading 15 semitrailer trucks to carry the product to market. Thanks to the interstate highway system, these trucks can now travel a couple hundred miles in a few hours to a distribution warehouse for local delivery. Table 3 summarizes the steps in the production of the modern soft drink can.

The modern beverage plant uses the latest in management tools and techniques to increase efficiencies, productivity, and product quality. Inventories are kept low by scheduling incoming materials to arrive hours before needed with "just-in-time" deliveries from suppliers. Production runs are scheduled to fill weekly orders from customers, assuring rapid warehouse turnover to keep fresh

Table 3. Steps in Soft Drink Can Production

Step

Description

Water

Coagulation, sand filtration, carbon filtration,

treatment

and polishing

Ingredients

Flavors, acidulent, colors, and preservative

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