Making the world's best known product
A Coca-Cola Great Britain case study

Page 1: Introduction

How is the most widely recognised product in the world made? How are the required quality standards met for every single unit of that product? This case study answers these questions by outlining the manufacturing processes for Coca-Cola - the most widely recognised global brand from London to Lagos, Los Angeles to Lahore. It is sold in more and more markets, creating thousands of new jobs in...
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Page 2: Transforming resources

This illustration shows how manufacturing operations convert inputs into finished outputs. Coca-Cola's bottlers and canners are concerned with a range of processes involved in transforming resources into the bottles and cans of drink that we are familiar with. There is a difference between transforming resources and transformed resources: The transforming resources are the managers...
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Page 3: Manufacturing Coca-Cola

Primarily, Coca-Cola is manufactured by franchisees who are the world's leading bottling and canning companies. This franchise business is strictly controlled by The Coca-Cola Company. Soft drinks manufacture is a competitive business. Manufacturing techniques are continually improved. This helps meet the highest quality standards for its products using the most cost effective production...
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Page 4: Packaging

For many years, Coca-Cola was produced in glass bottles. Because of the high cost of distributing bulky bottles, they had to be manufactured close to where the bottling took place. Today, this is no longer so important since new packaging methods have revolutionised the process. Advanced bottling and canning technology makes Coca-Cola cans and bottles very light but extremely strong. The...
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Page 5: Preparing to fill cans

Cans are delivered in bulk to a canning plant. At this stage the cans are shaped like an open cup ready to receive the liquid drink. They are not fully formed because the ring pull end has still to be fitted. After they have been inspected to check that there are no faults, each can goes through a rinsing machine to make sure it is clean and ready for filling.
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Page 6: Preparing the drink

Coca-Cola consists of a concentrated beverage base and a liquid sweetener which are combined to form the syrup from which the drink is made. The Company ships the concentrate to bottling and canning plants where the franchisees mix it with sugar and local water. The water is passed through a number of filters to make sure it is absolutely pure. Carbon dioxide, which makes it fizzy, is also...
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Page 7: Filling the cans

The packaging and the finished drink are combined by a rapid filling process. Every minute hundreds of cans pass along an automated production line and are filled with a precise amount of Coca-Cola. As the cans move along the production line, they are seamed to include the ring pull end and produce the finished can. The ends are inspected to make sure they are smooth and do not have any gaps or...
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Page 8: Guaranteeing the quality of the product

The manufacture of Coca-Cola is carried out by a set of processes called continuous flow production. On a production line, a process is continually repeated and identical products go through the same sequence of operations.Continuous flow production takes this one step further by using computer-controlled automatic equipment to produce goods 24 hours a day. The Company and its franchisees use...
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Page 9: Packing the end product into cases

The canners then prepare the cans for distribution to retailers such as supermarkets, shops and garages. A machine called a case former creates the casing that protects the cans as they are sorted onto pallets. The cans are stored temporarily in a warehouse before they are collected by large distribution trucks.
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Page 10: Bottling Coca-Cola

So far this case study has focused on the canning process for Coca-Cola. The bottling process, whether in glass or PET (plastic), is very similar. Each plastic bottle starts as test-tube size and is blown up like a balloon into the final bottle shape. Whereas franchisees receive cans that already have the logo and any promotional details on them, bottlers apply the labels from large reels...
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Page 11: Just-in-time

Canners and bottlers process vast quantities of materials each week. Receiving the raw materials and delivering the finished products involves a complex sequence of actions. The ideal solution is to make sure that the inputs for the process arrive 'just-in-time' so they can be transformed into a finished product ready for transportation 'just-in-time' to meet the needs of the retailers. At...
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Page 12: Performance feedback to canners and bottlers

In addition to each canner or botTtler's own quality assurance procedures, sample bottles and cans from each market are tested regularly by The Coca-Cola Company. The results are then reported back to the packagers. This feedback helps The Coca-Cola Company and the franchisee to work together and identify opportunities for improvement. Franchisees undergo constant training and retraining in...
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Page 13: Conclusion

To produce the world's best known product, The Coca-Cola Company has to employ the highest quality processes and establish standards which guarantee the production of a standardised product which meets consumers' high expectations each and every time they drink a bottle or can of Coca-Cola. In order to guarantee these standards the Company has had to develop a close relationship with its...
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