Hereford Contract Canning Company needed a new additional canning facility line due to increased demand for canned drinks in United Kingdom. The company contracted NIRAS to carry out the engineering and delivery of the full scope of works.
- SECTORS: Food & Beverage
- COUNTRIES: United Kingdom
- CLIENT: Hereford Contract Canning Company
Hereford Contract Canning Company (HCC) are an established manufacturer and packer of canned beverages. They also have a respected heritage in producing ciders and soft drinks in partnership with its sister company, the Herefordshire Cider Company.
Thanks in part to the Covid lockdown, the demand for canned drinks in the UK became very buoyant in 2020. Consequently, HCC decided to expand their canning capacity significantly in the building adjoining their existing canning facility.
“We couldn’t have got to where we are today without NIRAS”
Chris I’Anson - Project Manager - Hereford Contract Canning Company
HCC procured a second-hand canning line, capable of filling and pasteurising up to 1,200 cans a minute. However, this line needed refurbishment and modification to make it suitable for use with the product portfolio and available utilities at the Hereford location.
HCC engaged NIRAS for a multidisciplined design
In order to implement the project, HCC sought an engineering house to partner with for the engineering and design of the full scope of works required. This included civil and building; utilities and services; processing and blending; and the complement of the high-capacity packaging plant needed to complement the core second-hand filling equipment.
A number of engineering houses were invited to present to HCC, and NIRAS were awarded the work to develop the client’s user requirements into a costed basic design covering the entire engineering and construction scope, and provide a priced proposal for turnkey delivery of the proposed solution.
Full 3D scan and model of building
NIRAS started work by making a full 3D scan of the existing building, from which our specialists created a full 3D model of the building. The model helped inform the development of building design, as well as 3D space planning for routing of the process and packaging plant.
Working with NIRAS to define the engineering requirements near the start of the project enabled HCC to define a scope that met our business objectives with a budget that the business could afford.
Richard Leach - Operations Director - Hereford Contract Canning Company
A basis of design schedule was then generated in order to bring together the different demands and requirements of the process and packaging elements This ensured that the service parameters were correctly defined before finalising the requirements for the various services and utilities.
By the Autumn of 2020, NIRAS’s experts had worked up a set of process and instrumentation diagrams, defining the basic design and developed a costed proposal to implement it, for approval by the HCC board.
Development of designs and tender packages
HCC took over management of the overall project, but retained NIRAS for full design and implementation of the process and blending element.
NIRAS developed designs and tender packages for the main utility and services packages, and recommend suitable partners for HCC to contract with for delivery of packages.
These included boilers, coolers and chillers, compressors, water storage, conditioning, as well as wastewater treatment, electrical transformers and low voltage distribution.
Pasteurisation requirements and increase in utility capacity
The pasteurisation requirements can differ depending on product ranges and types. The pasteurisation requirements for ciders are thus different from the ones that apply to beers, sugary energy drinks, and sugar free soft drinks.
Consequently, all these beverages need to be handled in a range of different sized cans at high throughputs. Therefore a balance was needed to ensure product quality along with energy use and ease of handling the cans into the downstream packaging equipment.
Due to cost efficiency and to minimise utility demand, the use of steam or high pressure hot water systems was avoided. A mix of hot water boilers, adiabatic coolers, and a small final packaged chiller provided the necessary services while the client’s control team sought to find the best way to optimise the pasteuriser’s 20 year old control system to maintain performance and heat recovery within the plant.
The client was able to secure the necessary increase in utility capacity for water, gas and power needed to support the massive increase in output, compared with their existing plant.
New Storage and Blending System
Meanwhile the NIRAS Process design team found the best way to configure the process and blending equipment to deliver the necessary production throughput, not just in blending and carbonation, but also in cleaning and CIP mode.
New stainless steel vessels were specified by NIRAS and supplied by Moeschle UK to work with CO2 for in-line carbonation and top pressure, so that the product could be accurately blended, carbonated, and QA-checked into the buffer vessels. This allowed direct release from the vessels into the filler without further correction or re-work. NIRAS recommended Denwel to supply the carbonation and de-aeration plant.
NIRAS designed bespoke CIP set
NIRAS also designed a bespoke CIP set to client requirements, built on site by the piping installation contractors for Rudd Fabrication Services Ltd. Existing and second-hand HCC equipment was integrated and adapted wherever possible, including water storage, CO2 storage plant and vehicle offload bays.
In parallel NIRAS engineers worked with automation software engineers Montelektro to integrate the different elements of the new plant, and elements of the original production line and new services controllers. The team worked to define the necessary control hardware, and motor control panels for the new process plant.
NIRAS had a regular site presence during the mechanical and electrical process installation, and led the commissioning efforts in close cooperation with HCC & Montelektro and the clients many other services and packaging plant suppliers and integrators.