University of Minnesota
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program

Team at PBG reduces facility’s energy use

Pepsi, Aquafina, and Lipton Tea are just a few of the numerous products that Pepsi Bottling Group’s (PBG) Burnsville facility bottles as an independent company under the stock exchange PBG. On a five day/week production schedule, PBG is actively working to reduce the facility’s energy use in order to save money and conserve resources.

Over the past 12 years, PBG has reduced their energy use significantly. 73% of the reductions have occurred in just the last two years. Based on these energy reduction efforts, the facility set an extremely low energy use goal for 2009.

To help meet this goal, PBG formed an energy efficiency team in the fall of 2008 with technical guidance and team facilitation from MnTAP. Plant Manager, JD Greenwalt, served as team leader while other team members from various areas in the facility joined in the ongoing problem solving process. Greenwalt commented that through teamwork, PBG was able to gain valuable input from MnTAP as well as team members, to recognize energy saving projects that had previously gone unnoticed.

Energy/Waste Reductions

Over the past nine months, PBG and MnTAP have jointly identified and quantified many opportunities for energy use reduction. For example, the team determined that the shell washer was not properly drying crates after being washed; this was caused by clogged heat exchangers. Additionally, the drying solution dispenser was disconnected and hadn’t been supplying solution, which is an important measure in the drying process. By cleaning the heat exchangers and reconnecting the drying dispenser, PBG was able to save $1,000 each year.

The team also learned that the facility’s boilers were using more water and chemicals than in previous years. This was caused by a leak in the bottle warmer. After the leak was repaired, the boiler load was reduced, saving $1,200 annually.

Additionally, PBG was able to reduce the amount of energy used to chill carbonated products by shutting off the chiller during non-carbonated product runs. This saves the facility $4,200/year in energy costs. Once bottles and cans have gone through the chiller, compressed air knives blow off excess moisture. PBG has replaced two out of the three compressed air knives with electric blowers and anticipates replacing the third soon. Estimated annual savings for the entire project will total $2,400 in compressed air costs.

Other energy savings opportunities were found in the bottle and can rinsing areas. In the bottle rinsing area, 17 three horsepower motors were continuously blowing empty bottles to the rinser, even when there were no bottles to rinse. Shutting off the motors when they’re not needed in this area saves $5,200 each year in energy costs. The can rinser was also running continuously despite the fact that cans are only run 75% of the time. This was fixed by replacing a worn out solenoid and saves the company 1,800 gallons of water per day.

Overall, PBG has made changes that have resulted in energy and water savings and cost savings of approximately $14,000.

Next Steps

Once the team finished the initial projects, MnTAP engineers worked with team members to develop a “fish-bone diagram,” which is essentially a cause-and-effect diagram. The team used this tool to develop a diagram of one of the bottling lines. They started by identifying main savings opportunities of the bottling line and then developed branches off each opportunity with potential causes or solutions. This has led to a greater understanding of potential problems and contributing factors, making the team less likely to miss important ideas and solutions.




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