QMT Features: June 2015
Automatic batching gives Red Bull wings
Mettler Toledo terminals control the mix of product ingredients at a new Thai factory

A major manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverages, including Red Bull brand energy drinks, has selected Mettler Toledo IND780Batch terminals to control batching of high-value produce concentrates from its tank scales in its new Thai facility. The terminals’ easy operation and excellent accuracy are helping it maintain production schedules and enhance profits.

T.C.Pharmaceutical Industries Co., Ltd. manufactures antibiotics, energy drinks and ready-to drink teas. The company, which has a nearly 60-year history, currently operates production facilities in Bangkok, Thailand and Austria. Its product portfolio includes brands that enjoy regional popularity such as Krating Daeng, Ready, Puriku, Sponsor and Sunsack. It also includes the worldwide energy-drink phenomenon Red Bull.

T.C.Pharmaceutical exports its products to more than 150 countries worldwide and processes tons of produce concentrates each year. These materials are carefully stored in hygienic tank scales for batching and mixing into proprietary formulations. Loss of product or formulation errors can have serious cost ramifications.
When bringing a new production facility online, T.C.Pharmaceutical turned to Mettler Toledo for help designing an automatic batching system without process logic controllers (PLC). The system needed to be accurate to protect formulations and raw materials. It also needed to be able to record all batch weighing transactions for tracking and tracing to adhere to international and local food-handling codes.

The solution was outfitting four of T.C.Pharmaceutical’s new speciality ingredient tank scales with Mettler Toledo weigh sensors attached to IND780Batch terminals. Housed in stainless steel control boxes, the IND780Batch terminals connect via pneumatic tube to specialiased tank-control valves. Sensors applied to tank stabilisers use gravity to determine when the right amount of ingredient has been applied to the current batch according to saved formulations.

IND780Batch also gives T.C.Pharmaceuticals excellent flexibility with an ability to store 1,000 different formulas and 999 ingredients. As its beverage portfolio develops new tastes, flavours and functions, T.C.Pharmaceuticals will be able to keep up and make changes using existing equipment.

Even without a PLC, T.C.Pharmaceuticals has achieved semi-automatic batch control and excellent traceability. Records are being kept both through printed transactions and PC-based software. Password protection via programmed management codes at the terminals themselves are also making sure operators remain faithful to patented formulas, protecting brand identities and ensuring customer satisfaction.

Mettler Toledo was also able to provide a turn-key service by wiring the system, as well as providing junction boxes, control boxes, printers and control valves. T.C.Pharmaceuticals is enjoying being able to keep costs down with the easy-maintenance, self-contained set-up.
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Rob Tremain Photographer
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