Coca-Cola Amatil Northmead this week hosted 27 AIP members at its bottling and canning plant, which produces 40 million cases per year and over 400 SKUs and houses the fastest PET and can lines in CCA's Australian operation.

The Northmead facility has six production lines, one of which is the first PET blowfill line installed in any CCA Australia plant  and which produces close on eight million cases per year of bottled still and sparkling water. The line, installed in 2009, runs up to 43,200 bottles per hour (720 bpm), across eight SKUs.

The plant has two other blowfill lines, one for small PET bottles ranging in size from 250ml to 600ml and capable of speeds of 720 bottles per minute; and one for large PET, which runs at 600bpm for bottles ranging in size from 850ml to 2 litres. AIP members learned that the small PET line has recently been equipped to run water to provide additional capacity.

All three blowfill lines are Krones technology, and PET preforms are supplied by CCA's Packaging Services Division in Eastern Creek, which made headlines last year with its world-first closure technology.

AIP members also learned that one of the two canning lines at Northmead is the fastest in any CCA Australia facility, capable of producing 1200 cans per minute. This line runs standard and slimline cans in 200ml, 2550ml, 300ml, 375ml and 500ml. Multipack configurations on this line include 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 18 and 24 slabs. Another notable feature of this line is that it's fitted with a pasteuriser, which allows CCA to run specialty products such as Fanta Jelly Fizz.  All cans are supplied by Orora Beverage's Revesby facility.

The tour, led by CCA production manager Charles Nassif, ended at the impressive Swisslog automated high bay warehouse, the largest in any CCA facility. It boasts a total staging capacity of 824 pallets with a total outfeed of 540 pallets per hour. The height of the 13 automated cranes is 27.5m, with vertical speeds of 0.5m/s and horizontal speeds of 3.0 m/s. The warehouse receives 240 pallets per hour from internal production, and 60 pallets per hour from external production from other CCA plants. On a regular day shift, a maximum of five employees are required to manage the warehouse operation.

The Australian Institute of Packaging partners with companies like CCA to provide regular site visit opportunities to its members. To find out more about upcoming site visits click here.



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