First turnkey project for Pepsi Bottling Ventures

„Advent calendar“ – „Christmas“, „Italy“ – „pizza“, „Pepsi“ – „soft drinks“. Would the same associations have come to mind to you, too, when prompted with these three keywords? For me, the little chocolate bars behind the 24 windows always sweeten the days until Christmas, during my last year’s trip to Italy I could have buried myself in pizza and for that extra kick of caffeine, there’s always a bottle of Pepsi waiting in my fridge. But did you know that the PepsiCo brand covers many more products: Lipton iced teas, isotonic drinks such as Gatorade and coffee drinks from Starbucks are just as much a part of the portfolio as Aquafina, one of the number-one waters in the US. There, the biggest PepsiCo bottler is Pepsi Bottling Ventures (PBV). The company is headquartered in North Carolina, which is one of the country’s hot and humid Southern states. So it’s no wonder, that there one of the most popular beverages is: water.

Especially the demand of Aquafina had been rising significantly during the past years, not only in North Carolina, but on the East Coast in general – and this is exactly where PBV is selling its product. That’s why the company decided to invest in its own line for bottling only still water. “We wanted equipment that would deliver sustainability, productivity, and quality”, says Sabri Kundakcioglu, Vice President of Engineering at PBV.

And could there be any better choice for that than an ErgoBloc L from Krones? That’s what PBV thought as well – and invested in a brand-new turnkey line (by the way the first one ever in the company’s history). “The combination of a stretch blow-molder, labeler, and filler has a smaller footprint than other line designs and requires less energy, water, and people to operate. Features like mass flow metered filling, sophisticated quality inspection, smooth bottle transfer, and soft case handling with robotic palletizing protect the brand and customer satisfaction,” says Sabri about the benefits of the entire line.

It is housed in a separate area of the so-called WOW factory in Winston-Salem, NC, a little away from the hustle and bustle of PBV’s largest logistics center. And Sabri Kundakcioglu as well as Production Engineering Manager Dale Stein are highly satisfied with both the new equipment and the collaboration with Krones:


By the way, the movie is a result of our visit for the Krones magazine: Last summer, my colleague Matthias and I visited the site in Winston-Salem. And let me tell you: In August, North Carolina presented itself from its hottest side. So it’s no surprise that we’ve enjoyed spending our time in the airconditioned area where the ErgoBloc line is located while taking photos and videos or conducting the interview. And since you are supposed to drink a lot when it’s hot outside, we were in the lucky situation  of having up to 43,800 bottles of Aquafina water running on the line right next to us. And let me tell you: we’ve had a few of them during our stay – and, of course, also some Pepsi. 😊