Two types of beer, six beer styles and thirteen different brands are produced in Meoqui – not just Heineken but also Tecate, Dos Equis and Indio, among others. This range, filled into various containers of differing size, results in a vast diversity of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) and a large number of possible combinations. This calls for the shortest possible setup times for format changeovers and maximum flexibility in labeling. In addition there is also a slightly unusual requirement regarding the secondary packaging; instead of plastic crates, returnable cardboard boxes holding 12 or 20 bottles are used, the handling of which presents a certain technical challenge.
Maximum flexibility was also needed in other areas of the project. “Owing to current market demands we were forced to change the original order of the lines for commissioning according to the SKUs we needed most,” plant manager Reynoso remembers. “This of course made all those involved nervous. But the KHS team understood our situation. Despite this change cooperation with the local crew was marvelous and we were able to wind up the process with outstanding results.”
In the first few months alone over 30 different SKUs were processed on the 4 KHS lines and over 1.2 million hectoliters filled into glass bottles and packaged.
All told, Reynoso is extremely satisfied with the teamwork. “We’ve experienced a lot of successes together – from installation through commissioning to the moment when the first full pallets of product rolled off the conveyor belts. The great willingness of the responsible KHS representative on site to get things moving, his good cooperation and excellent communication really helped the team to function well.”