Coca-Cola SABCO - IS³ | AVEVA Select Partner

Industry: Food & Beverage

Whatever its financial position, the world can still enjoy a Coke and the company responsible for more than 20% of South Africa’s enjoyment of Coca-Cola and hundreds of other refreshing products is Coca-Cola Fortune (CCF), part of the Coca-Cola SABCO (CCS) group. With an annual production of 7,5 million hectolitres across 344 products and 14 production lines, Coca-Cola SABCO looked to a Manufacturing Enterprise Solution (MES) system from Wonderware to manage complexity, improve efficiency and reduce costs at its Bloemfontein facility.

A refreshing look at business for Coca-Cola Fortune

CCF’s Cheetah plant in Bloemfontein is the first plant in CCF and CCS to implement an MES system. Apart from the usual extensive MES functionality, the system was chiefly to focus on batch tracking, line performance, operations management and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) functionality. This was a greenfields plant that could capitalise on available technologies while the rest of the group used mostly manual or semi-automatic systems.

Business objective

“The objective with the Cheetah plant was to achieve the lowest unit cost in CCF and also to establish a number of new best practices for CCF and CCS,” says Ryan van Kerkhof, Manufacturing Unit Manager, Cheetah Plant. “Key goals included highest labour productivity and plant efficiency (OEE) as well as lowest energy cost and water usage to name a few.”

In order to achieve these business objectives, Cheetah plant needed easy-to-use operator interfaces, data analysis facilities, a ready link to ERP systems (specifically SAP), product traceability, plant visibility, the automation of bottling processes, remote access for support and query and in-plant information display.

Two of the notable aspects of the project were the level of customer cooperation during its design phase and the enthusiasm of the operational staff who showed huge interest in its implementation.

Solution selection

System integrator EOH Mining and Manufacturing was selected because of the company’s semi-independent nature (linked to the software solution provider Wonderware Southern Africa by virtue of both companies being part of the EOH group), its track record in the same industry and accumulated industry knowledge. The software solutions included Wonderware’s range of industrial automation and MES solutions. The adjacent plant was already using Wonderware’s DT (Downtime) Analyst and it was also decided that the Wonderware offerings provided the required functionality.

System architecture

The system architecture consists of the full Wonderware suite of products. In level 0, Siemens PLCs control the plant. In levels 1 and 2 the Wonderware System Platform provides the infrastructure on which InTouch and Wonderware’s MES (level 3) is implemented while also providing integration between levels 2 and 4 (figure 1).

The Wonderware products in use are based on Wonderware’s System Platform which provided the core infrastructure for the rest of the Wonderware MES Modules (Operations and Performance). Wonderware InTouch is used as a universal workstation which provides process plant control and visualisation into the MES operations and the packaging line performance. The universal workstation concept allows InTouch applications for three different vendors to be integrated into a single environment in order to provide a unified view into the entire plant.

“The plant now has real-time visibility across processes and equipment and a much higher level of operational data integrity, while being nearly paperless.” Danie Tredoux, Division Project Manager, Coca-Cola Fortune

In excess of 20 000 tags are processed. There are two universal workstations with large LCD screens used for displaying line performance KPIs. The operational staff can control the plant as well as view historical process information and plant operational information such as product genealogy.

Line performance (performance, availability and quality) is monitored with OEE on some equipment whereas only the availability parameter is measure on the rest.

ISA-88 and ISA-95 standards were extensively used in the development of the process control and equipment models. The information from the production line was converted for visualisation using an OMAC / PackML standard. “Although this is a batch application, Wonderware’s InBatch solution wasn’t used but the plant process control software was implemented using the ISA-88 model, leaving the door open for a future installation of InBatch with minimal changes to the process control software should the need arise,” says Deon Barnard, MES Business Development Manager at EOH Mining and Manufacturing.

Of the extensive MES functionality available, production execution, inventory control, traceability, genealogy, quality states and yield control were implemented. “The ISA-95 activity models were used to define the production, inventory and quality requirements,” says Barnard. “The MES software provided the basis for the business logic and reporting functionality while the Graphical User Interface (GUI) was implemented using InTouch in its role as a universal workstation. As the system requires minimal input from the operational staff to initiate and

control production processes, some of the business logic transactions were implemented using custom ArchestrA objects.” (ArchestrA is Wonderware’s technology backbone for all industrial, MES and ERP connectivity applications).

The system is integrated with the company intranet on the reporting level, allowing multiple users to access production and line performance information using out-of-the-box reporting tools. Active Factory (trending, analysis and reporting software) and Wonderware Information Server (aggregation and presentation of plant production and performance data over the web or company intranet) are used. Active Factory provides access to production process control information while Wonderware Information Server provides access to plant operation information.

“The result of all this is that operational staff has full access to-real time and historical plant information,” adds Barnard. “From a system integrator’s point of view, perhaps the most outstanding feature of the system is the ease with which applications, supplied by different vendors using the same standards and platform, could be integrated.”

System implementation

Implementation started in December 2008 with a targeted sign-off date of end March 2009. The project was preceded by a URS development phase where the customer’s project team was enlisted to develop the URS by applying the full ISA-95 standard in mapping Coca-Cola Fortune’s MES requirements.

“Some of the challenges that were thrown our way were the integration with non-OMAC compliant OEM equipment, time constraints, a tight budget and integration with Coca-Cola Fortune’s IT infrastructure,” says Barnard. “The whole system had to be developed, tested and implemented live and offline development was done using WMWare technology with a simulation engine to provide the relevant data.”

According to Barnard, use of the ISA-95 standard provided an excellent framework for defining the MES requirements and working closely with the customer’s outsourced IT division ensured that all internal policies were adhered to with respect to the installation of network infrastructure, switches and fire-walls.

“Something else that helped was the use of a unified standard on the System Platform and visualisation system which ensured ease of integration and a unified HMI experience for the operational personnel,” says Barnard.

“It is truly inspiring to see the vision of supplying a fit-for-purpose MES system turn into reality, from URS to exact operational KPIs and Operations Management.” Deon Barnard, MES Business Development Manager, EOH Mining and Manufacturing


  • Coca-Cola Fortune’s Bloemfontein plant now has a nearly paperless environment that will reduce administrative load and that, together with better management information, will drive efficiency up and costs down.
  • The plant now has great visibility into its equipment and process performance as well as a high level of process and information integrity.


By reconciling business needs with production realities, MES is the “information switchboard” for a manufacturing or mining company. Where business processes are interested in financial and customer issues and the shop floor is interested in production and technical issues, MES handles the information in which the entire company is interested. And, as shown at this plant, by dealing with facts in real-time, MES can’t “fudge the books” and provides the right kind of decision support information to the right people at the right time.

About Coca-Cola Fortune and Coca-Cola SABCO

Coca-Cola Fortune (CCF) is one of 4 Coca-Cola licensed bottlers operating in South Africa. CCF is responsible for approximately 23% of the total SA Coke and related product sales. The business is expected to sell 7.5 million hectolitres or 66 million cases of beverage in 2009, utilising 14 production lines.

CCF is part of the Coca-Cola SABCO (CCS) business entity. CCS is licensed by Coca-Cola to bottle in 12 different African and Asian countries. CCS, with the Group Office in Port Elizabeth, has an excellent reputation for product quality and bottling excellence.

CCF has an established record as a developing-market bottler, serving much of rural South Africa. Five manufacturing sites (Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Port Shepstone, Nelspruit and Polokwane) and 17 sales centres ensure efficient sales service and distribution to approximately 75% of SA’s geographic area.

The complexity of producing and managing 344 different SKUs (stock keeping units) keeps the manufacturing as well as the sales & marketing teams on their toes. CCF employs a wonderful diversity of people, who work together to create a workplace that is challenging, exciting and rewarding! The total staff complement is at present 2,950 permanent employees, although in season, an additional number of temporary workers are engaged to cope with seasonal demand. Coca-Cola Southern Africa, representing the franchisor under which the bottlers are licensed to operate, is one of the 6 major SA sponsors of the FIFA world cup.