Anheuser-Busch announced plans to invest $12.7 million into its Cartersville brewery to diversify packaging capabilities and increase energy efficiency. The upgrades, part of a national $2.5 billion outlay, represent the largest capital investment program in U.S. brewing history.
The Cartersville plant received two new multi-packers and programming and metering devices to increase energy efficiency
“Prior to the addition of this new packer” said Kevin Fahrenkrog, general manager of the Cartersville plant, “we were limited in our packaging capabilities. We could only run 12-oz. 12-packs and 12-oz four and six packs. Now, this new packer will allow us to pack different sizes of cans — from an 8-ounce mini slim to a standard 12 oz. up to the 16 oz. — and pack them into anything from an eight-pack, to 15, 18, 20, 24 and 36 packs, and it’s all convertible. This really doesn’t affect the speed of the can line — it will still run at 2,000 cans a minute — but it allows us to run a variety of cans and packaging that we previously couldn’t run.”
Fahrenkrog said another initiative involves energy savings.
“All previous fluorescent lighting in the brewery will be upgraded with LED lighting,” he said. “And there’s opportunities to improve the amount of energy needed to run the motors that are used throughout the brewery. We are adding metering devices so that each packaging line will know how much energy they used and ways to improve it. The line that shows the most improvement will get a bonus check for a percentage of the savings. “
The Cartersville brewery, one of 21 throughout the United States, was built in 1993, and produces about 6.7 million barrels a year.