BY DAG GRONEVIK
Sidel vice president for services
In a market of ever-changing consumer demands and increasing rates of innovation, the need for production equipment that can provide a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) is apparent. The importance of an effective services operation to support this cannot be underestimated. Driving down costs is a key focus of the industry, balanced with business growth and when beverage manufacturers are considering the installation of complete bottling lines, it is the services equation and the significant contribution this can make to reducing TCO that is becoming ever more crucial in the selection of a suitable partner.
The initial purchase of production equipment is a major capital outlay and beverage producers want to maximise the use and working life of their lines. Over time the producer wants to be able to easily and cost effectively analyse potential refurbishments or equipment upgrades that can improve line performance in terms of efficiency and/or total cost of ownership.
Add-ons that can add value
Global equipment manufacturers now have a range of options and upgrades available that can improve a line’s performance by reducing energy consumption, decreasing maintenance time or speeding up the output rate. They can also provide eco-solutions to support customers’ environmental targets.
Developing the design
Often the best performance tool is the bottle itself. A line conversion that results in the integration of an innovative new bottle design that weighs less or has increased resistance to deformation can have a significant impact on TCO. It could result in lighter bottles that are able to maintain their condition across the supply chain, and, importantly, look and perform well for the customer and reduce production waste in the factory, all at the same time.
To maximise the potential of a bottling line and deliver consistent results, it is important to train those working on the line effectively. A good starting point is to understand employees’ current knowledge and abilities through a competence audit, providing a report on existing performance which allows a customised training plan to be developed.
Minimising downtime is a very important goal for today’s beverage producers with just minutes of lost production time potentially having very significant financial consequences.
Sidel has made investments in its spare parts delivery service and enhanced its logistics network around the world. This includes improving supply centres and processes, transportation networks and inventory levels. Two practical examples that Sidel has rolled out globally to improve the daily workflow of producers worldwide:
Spare parts logistics
This improved global logistics network for spare parts includes a new warehouse management system that enables three levels of delivery service from emergency delivery within 24-48 hours depending on location, to planned maintenance deliveries within eight weeks of the order being placed. Sidel is now working with our customers to help them take advantage of the delivery choices that this network gives them.
The new technical support system enables faster responses to urgent issues through a new ticketing system that places customers in immediate contact with Sidel experts.
By adopting a holistic approach to beverage production and recognising all the different elements that contribute to costs and business growth helps provide real value when it comes to making decisions that genuinely lower TCO. This is why services is increasingly one of, if not the, main decision criteria for producers when it comes to purchasing new equipment and installing new lines for their products.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020