Coca-Cola Ballina, formerly known as Ballina Beverages, has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of the world's most advanced manufacturers, and has been added to the WEF Global Lighthouse Network.
The Global Lighthouse Network is a World Economic Forum platform that recognises leading manufacturers that use fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics as well as cloud computing and big data to increase productivity, advance sustainability and build supply chain resilience.
The announcement today follows several years of investment to fund a transformation programme at the Co. Mayo facility. This has included primarily investments in the facility's IT infrastructure and in advanced technologies. A significant part of this investment included a training and learning programme at the site, enabling employees' use of digital technologies and capabilities development, to support future growth opportunities.
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The digital transformation and sustainability journey of the site has led to a 6.8% increase in production at the Ballina plant in three years and an energy reduction of 29%, bringing emissions back to 2011 levels. There have also been significant reductions achieved on costs as well as increases in productivity.
Iain McLaughlin, vice-president commercial product supply, said, "Since our first investment over 70 years ago, Ireland has become a key location for Coca-Cola with sites at Ballina, Wexford and offices in Dublin and Drogheda. Throughout our journey, we have appreciated ongoing collaboration and support from the Irish government and in particular IDA Ireland.
"The announcement that our state-of-the-art facility at Coca-Cola Ballina has been designated by the World Economic Forum as an Advanced Fourth Industrial Revolution Lighthouse is a strong recognition of our investment in the facility, the positive impact our team is making to refresh the world and protect the planet. It underscores the importance of the Ballina facility in leading our production globally and marks the next stage in our exciting journey here in Ireland."
Eraldo Sales, general manager, Coca-Cola Ballina, said, "We're delighted to be named the first Coca-Cola facility worldwide to be accredited as a 'Lighthouse Site' by the World Economic Forum. With the investments that we have made combined with the pioneering efforts of the team in adopting new technologies, our manufacturing facility in Ballina is at the forefront of transformation, innovation and sustainability.
"We look forward to continuing to build on the proud heritage we have developed in Ballina over the past 22 years in our next phase of development."
Francisco Betti, head of advanced manufacturing and value chains at the World Economic Forum, said, "By integrating 4IR technologies into their operations, Lighthouse companies are achieving double-digit impact on throughput, costs, and lead times. In this next chapter of the fourth industrial revolution they are setting the pace across industries. Lighthouses are demonstrating how to scale advanced technologies across entire manufacturing networks and beyond towards suppliers and customers or new functions, such as procurement, logistics, and research and development."
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