A CV for every bottle

Coca-Cola European Partners Deutschland GmbH uses the mobile SAP Fiori apps from Flexus AG at 13 German production sites to ensure end-to-end batch tracking, error-free production and simplified inventories.

Due to the enormous workload savings in the
areas of inventory, production preparation and batch tracking, the mobile apps have been very well received”

Stefan Blume,
Project Engineer
Maintenance / Manufacturing
Supply Chain, CCEP DE

Classic, Zero Sugar, Light Taste or Energy: The world-famous soft drink Coca-Cola is now available in various variants and flavors, which are marketed on all continents. To ensure the supply of the more than 80 Coca-Cola products available in Germany, there are 16 production plants in this country alone. In addition to Coke, brands such as Vio, Mezzomix and Fanta, which are also part of the Coca-Cola beverage family, also come off the production line there.

Coca-Cola European Partners Deutschland GmbH (CCEP DE) is responsible for the production of Coca-Cola bev- erages in Germany. CCEP DE is the largest German beverage company and supplies around 325,000 retail and food service customers through an extensive production and distribution network. Due to the large variety of beverages and with the large number of retail and catering customers, the requirements at the various production sites are set enormously high. For example, it must be ensured throughout that the ingredients of the various sodas are mixed correctly.

In addition, it must also be possible to track each individual bottle or can seamlessly and batch-based at the push of a button – and all this with a total volume of 3.8 billion liters of beverages per year.

220 trucks per day

At the Dorsten site, PET non-refillable deposit bottles and cans are filled in three shifts. Up to 162,000 liters of beverages are produced here per hour on a syrup basis. This volume is transported away daily by over 220 trucks. In the syrup room, the ingredients of the lemonades are prepared in the precisely prescribed mixing ratio before the batch is produced in large tanks. “Even the slightest deviation from the recipe would be noticed immediately as part of our quality management,” emphasizes Tobias Chilla, who as team leader is responsible for the processes in the syrup room.
“However, we wanted to exclude these errors from the outset, especially since the concentrates are quite expensive,” adds Stefan Blume, who works at CCEP DE as a maintenance and production engineer.

Coa-Cola factory premises

Last but not least, country-specific recipes also create additional variants and greater complexity in production – and are a cause for an increased risk of errors.

“We mainly work with pre-made concentrates, but given the 17-digit item identification number, there used to be occasional confusion when mixing the individual ingredients,” Chilla recalls.

Conclusive answers

With this in mind, CCEP DE sought a solution that would provide technical support to production staff and help prevent errors. And that’s not all: “We wanted a scanner-based system that would allow us to record the removal of ingredients directly in SAP, simplify inventory, and at the same time ensure batch tracking,” explains Blume. In a next step, the solution will also be used to control the feeding of labels, lids and containers to the more than 40 filling lines. The IT project, called “Manufacturing Mobile”, IT-Pwith the goal of introducing a uniform mobile SAP solution at all locations, started with the search for the ideal provider. The selection criteria included staffing levels, for example, because the desired IT partner should be able to support CCEP at all German locations.

Furthermore, extensive knowledge with SAP Fiori, a good price-performance ratio and an intelligent solution portfolio were expected. “After our own research and several visits to trade fairs, we decided to go with Flexus AG and their self-developed SAP Fiori apps,”
says Blume, who is very satisfied with the course of the project and the cooperation. “Cost and time frames were met exactly and we always receive competent and conclusive answers to our technical questions.”

Coca-Cola scanning process

Quickly amortized

Flexus’ portfolio of SAP mobile apps already included many of the functionalities required by CCEP DE.
For time and cost reasons, the company wanted to be as close to the standard as possible, so some of its own processes were adapted to the mobile apps – such as the monthly inventory. Previously, lists were printed out for the weekend inven- tories, in which the stocks were entered manually and then recorded in SAP. In case of differences, a second count was performed. In total, this process took 4.5 hours. “With the SAP Fiori Apps of Flexus, we manage the inventories in 30 minutes, which is easily feasible even on normal working days,” emphasizes Blume.

In addition to the higher production reliability, this monthly time gain is another positive effect of the solution. In the course of the project, employees were equipped with compact Honeywell warehouse scanners featuring the TheFlex, THE mobile browser or SAP, which, thanks to SAP Fiori, can be easily operated via a graphic interface in CCEP DE’s corporate design. “Employees do only see the information they really need for the process in question,” explains Blume For an inventory, only the corresponding tile (transaction) has to be selected. The employee is then guided step by step through the inventory process, in which the barcodes have to be merely scanned and the quantities recorded.

The documents are generated, managed and assigned without paper. Inventory preparation, execution and control is therefore much more efficient and transparent – and errors are avoided.

Flawless process

Another project goal of CCEP DE was to simplify batch tracking, which is why the SAP Fiori apps are already used in goods receipt. All ingredients and spare parts are recorded in SAP for this purpose. Primary packaging such as lids, cans, bottles and labels are to follow in the next expansion stage. By scanning the barcodes on the pallets, it is determined automatically whether the batch in question exists in SAP. If it does not exist, the batch is created again. The important thing here is that the solution can process the suppliers’ barcodes, which contain all the data on the product, best-before date and batch.

Mobile device with Flexus solution at Coca-Cola

For the subsequent production process, the items are retrieved from the warehouse according to the FeFo principle (first expired – first out) and scanned by the employee when they are removed.

If the wrong product is scanned, the Flexus mobile apps sound the alarm. This principle is also used in the syrup room to ensure that only the right ingredients are mixed. “We have an error-free process with
which mix-ups are completely ruled out,” Blume notes.

Enormous relief

By scanning all product components, individual batches can now be traced for each bottle on the retailer’s shelf at the touch of a button. “The mobile apps mean that all the data is in one central place in SAP, which makes it much easier for us to prove individual batches afterwards,” explains Blume.

This process used to be largely manual and paper-based, and caused a lot of working time, and therefore costs, as part of the regular audits. It’s no wonder that the mobile scanner solution was quickly accepted by employees: “Due to the enormous workload savings in the areas of inventory, production preparation and batch tracking, the mobile apps were very well received,” confirms Blume, who, together with his team, has already equipped 13 of the 16 German sites with the Flexus solution.

Logo reference customer Coa-Cola

Coca-Cola Germany is made up of two companies: Coca-Cola GmbH is responsible for brand management and product and packaging development, while Coca-Cola European Partners Deutschland GmbH (CCEP DE) is responsible for production and bottling as well as sales and distribution. CCEP DE, headquartered in Berlin, is the largest German beverage company. As the sole licensee of Coca-Cola GmbH, it is responsible for the bottling and distribution of Coca-Cola brand products in Germany. CCEP DE supplies around 325,000 retail and food service customers through an extensive production and distribution network. The bottling of the more than 80 Coca-Cola products avail- able in Germany takes place locally in 16 production plants.