With a capacity of five million hectoliters a year the greenfield site is the largest production facility in the Heineken Group, employing 500 people and 1,500 off-site jobs, with plans to expand in the future.
Two types of beer, six beer styles and 13 brands are produced at the facility in Meoqui including Heineken, Tecate, Dos Equis and Indio, among others.
Electricity comes from renewable sources. For example, photovoltaic cells are installed in the brewery windows, which generate 12% of the total electricity. The rest is produced by wind power.
Treatment of wastewater means all facilities and green spaces can be supplied and biogas is used in the boilers. The goal is to become the Heineken brewery with the lowest consumption of water in the world by 2020 .
Plant manager Eusebio Reynoso Razo director for the Heineken Meoqui project said it was quite a challenge to build such an enormous factory.
“In the future we want to address the topic of line digitalization. The aim is to be able to correlate and predict various process indicators to boost performance. By further optimizing the use of materials and resources we’ll be able to make our filling and packaging processes even more efficient," he said.
“Here, too, KHS will also be a suitable and reliable partner in the future.”
The background to the project began in 2006 when Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma proposed building its seventh production site in Meoqui. Nine years later the plans were finalized by Heineken México, which had since taken over the brewery.
The project encompasses six lines, four of which were supplied and commissioned by KHS. These comprise two glass lines for 355ml non-returnable bottles, one for 325ml returnable bottles – with a capacity of up to 40,000 bottles per hour each – and a fourth line for up to 28,000 947ml returnable or non-returnable bottles an hour.
Entire KHS product range
The machine program covers the entire KHS product range: from bottle washers through to fillers, labelers, pasteurizers and packaging machines to palletizers.
“At Heineken México we have an installed base of around 80 machines spread out across the entire country,” said Mario Perez,sales manager, KHS Mexico.
“This base primarily consists of fillers, packaging machines and pasteurizers.”
It is not the first time Heineken and KHS have worked together. Their first project was in 1977 when they installed a VVF-120D canning line in Monterrey, Mexico.
At the Meoqui plant over 30 different SKUs were processed in the first few months on four KHS lines and over 1.2 million hectoliters filled into glass bottles and packaged.
The bottle washing machines are equipped with technology which reduces the amount of water needed and the energy consumption and the fillers vacuum pump cooling systems consume less water, saving over €300,000 per line a year.
“Despite its vast size you can feel that Heineken is still a family business: relations, forming fair and cooperative partnerships, are always seen in the longterm,” added Ramona Brenner, global key account manager, KHS.