AG Barr to increase capacity with new line

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

AG Barr has introduced a new 24/7 production line at its Milton Keynes site
AG Barr has introduced a new 24/7 production line at its Milton Keynes site
Soft drinks manufacturer AG Barr has introduced a new 24/7 production line at its Milton Keynes facility to help increase capacity.

The PET production line was installed this month (May) and is expected to increase the company’s capacity by 3.2 million cases per year. 

Site manager Trevor Newman told Food Manufacture​ that the reason for the 24/7 line was down to demand for product and the need to manufacture it locally. “The decision will mean a drop in production at our Cumbernauld site in Scotland, but we’ve been making too much product outside our region and shipping it, so this will create a significant environmental footprint reduction.”

He said the change in working hours for this new line would not impact the site’s workforce numbers.

The business is also considering installing another canning line at Milton Keynes, which would prioritise 150ml–200ml can sizes, a focus area of NPD for the firm.

The site was recently accredited with World Class Performance AMIS Assessment by MCP Consulting, which measures operational efficiencies. It recorded increases in overall equipment effectiveness, strong performance in 15-year-old process equipment and increases in assets captured on computerised maintenance management systems.

The changes have also helped increase the site’s output from 15 million cases in 2016 when it started the assessment to 25 million cases in 2018.

Newman credited the team at the site for driving efficiency changes and “adapting to the AMIS journey in a positive way”. AG Barr’s other sites are currently partaking in the AMIS Assessment. 

Meanwhile, supplies of soft drinks may be under threat this summer​ due to potential action at logistics business Tradeteam. Union Unite claimed Tradeteam was “pushing workers to the limit of their physical endurance”. due to ‘unrealistic’ drop off and delivery times.

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