May 16, 2020

Drinks manufacturers search for new ways to weather UK sugar tax

infinityQS
Coca Cola
Sugar Tax
Drinks manufacturers
Nell Walker
2 min
Drinks manufacturers search for new ways to weather UK sugar tax
Drinks manufacturers are preparing to adapt to the sugar tax before its implementation in 2018. Facing declining profits due to changing consumer tastes...

Drinks manufacturers are preparing to adapt to the sugar tax before its implementation in 2018. Facing declining profits due to changing consumer tastes and new legislation, sugary drinks manufacturers must start looking for ways to guarantee tighter control of their bottom line. For example, Coca-Cola Great Britain is preparing to spent £10 million on reformulating and rebranding Coke Zero after a survey revealed that only five in 10 people recognised that it was sugar-free.

There are other ways that drinks companies can adapt in the face of the sugar tax without the expense of a rebrand. According to Martyn Gill, General Manager at InfinityQS Europe: “Reducing container overfill is one of the most significant ways that beverage manufacturers can use data to streamline processes.

“By using an enterprise quality management solution, sugary drinks manufacturers can leverage statistical process control (SPC) methodologies to not only improve overall product quality, but also to pinpoint opportunities for improving manufacturing efficiencies and controlling processes to offset additional costs. One example would be to better control overall fill volumes of beverage products.  

“Because of regulatory requirements, organisations are afraid to under-fill a can or bottle. So they intentionally overfill to avoid regulatory fines or consumer backlash. Intentionally overfilling containers negatively impacts profits. If processes are tightly controlled, product giveaway becomes unnecessary.”

He continued: “In addition to improving processes within their own plants to recoup costs, beverage manufacturers must look to collaborate with suppliers and control processes throughout their supply chain. Using cloud-based technology, an enterprise quality management solution provides supply chain-wide visibility. That means drinks companies can connect with their suppliers, packaging companies, other partners to identify where they can realise additional savings during production processes.

“Once quality data are collected and made available in the system, it is easy to analyse those data values and identify where savings can be made. Sometimes small changes can save millions. For example, when packaging companies reduce the weight of a can or bottle by a fraction of a gram, it can translate into big savings”

By using enterprise quality management systems to establish visibility across the supply chain, drinks manufacturers and their suppliers can improve processes and reduce costs. This allows both parties to remain viable and profitable in the future without necessarily passing on the costs of the sugar tax to the consumer. 

 

Follow @ManufacturingGL and @NellWalkerMG

Share article

May 12, 2021

Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing

SustainableManufacturing
BatteryCell
EVs
Automotive
2 min
Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing

Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing

 

What is Ultium Cells LLC?

Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”

Who is Li-Cycle?

Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.

As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”

Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?

By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.

“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).

"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.

"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.

Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.

"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5

Share article