The new line can handle several pack variants including four, six and eight-packs as well as loose merchandising pallets, a company spokesperson told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
“Line seven has also been specifically designed for future capability in relation to can sizes of 330ml-500ml, pack format – shrink design and pack variants – and pallet design.”
The line will augment the two existing can lines at Wakefield – that jointly produce almost 4,000 units per minute – by turning-out another 2,000 per minute, and will produce all can and product variants, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Schweppes.
Asked if the expansion would create new jobs the spokesperson said that Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) reviewed crewing requirements annually across its Wakefield site and would not attribute changes to a particular part of its operation.
As CCE’s largest factory in Great Britain, the Wakefield facility opened in 1989 with an initial investment of £90m. A resulting injection of £150m over 20 years pushed production up to a million cans per day before the installation of the new can line.
CCE manufactures, sells and distributes over 80 soft drink products across Great Britain under its own and other brands. It employs 4,500 staff across six manufacturing sites, offices and depots.