Industry: Food & Beverage Industry
Application: Conveyor & Equipment Support/Access
Location: Dallas, TX
Since the creation of its iconic Pepsi-Cola soft drink in 1898, PepsiCo has grown into a global consumer products leader offering a vast portfolio of food and beverage brands. One of its divisions, Pepsi Beverages Company (PBC), manufactures, sells and distributes some of the company’s most recognized beverages – including Pepsi, SoBe, Gatorade and Mountain Dew – in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
As part of consolidation strategies, the company decided to relocate a beverage filling line from an Oklahoma facility to an existing 50,000-square-foot facility in Dallas where it was currently operating three other filling lines for the Gatorade and SoBe beverage brands.
Pepsi did not want to relocate any of the original platforms that were around the existing line. “We wanted to put this new line in a completely different configuration,” said Ken Graham, project lead and senior principal engineer for PBC.
Because safety is first in everything they do, Pepsi needed to make sure the platform design would meet OSHA’s safe work standards. The platforms would be supporting conveyor and other equipment over an open product zone, so they also had to make sure the platforms met – and exceeded – all of the company’s strict food grade standards.
To aid in this effort, Graham and his team chose MiTek Mezzanine Systems to design, manufacture and install these new 18-foot-tall food-grade platforms that would span a total of about 4,000 square feet between two separate areas of the filling line.
The platform’s structures had to be made of galvanized steel to keep them corrosion resistant. “The hot-fill process involves pasteurizing the product, resulting in a very humid atmosphere,” explains Graham. Along the edges of the platform, a 4-inch and 6-inch kick plate prevents particles from falling down onto the open bottle area on the bottom level.
Fabrication of the structure took about six to eight weeks to complete. Installation was even quicker than regular, non-food-grade platforms. “MiTek uses a pre-built structure, which they design in their plant, and then just bolt together at the customer’s site,” says Graham. “This greatly reduces the amount of metal fabrication, metal shavings, etc. on the production floor. This also allows for quicker assembly and less down time needed for installation.” A few months later, Pepsi hired an independent auditor to inspect the new line (including the new platforms). They received very favorable comments and a passing grade.