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News | 1 min read

Coca-Cola plant in Henrico completes $23m in expansion and equipment investments

September 28, 2021

The Coca-Cola bottling company has spent $23 million upgrading and expanding its plant in eastern Henrico County.

The bulk of the investment by Coca-Cola Consolidated was used toward adding a new piece of equipment that takes a 3¼-inch piece of high-density plastic — about the size of a test tube — and molds the plastic into the desired shape and size of a bottle by having a machine blow high-pressure air into it.

“The blow-mold process is where we get pre-forms — they are pre-made plastic bottles,” plant manager John Eady said. “We take that pre-form, stretch it and blow it into the size bottle that we need for the packaging equipment.”

The pre-form plastics have a standard length but come in various weights that affect the final size of the bottle. For example, a half-liter pre-form has a different weight than the 20-ounce pre-form. Adding the blow-mold line for bottle production allows for more efficient production with a lower environmental impact, the company said.

“This reduces a lot of freight for our company,” Eady said. “It also increases the productivity in the facility, as we are able to run at higher speeds, and more efficient packaging process.”

Read the full story here.