Making coffee better

With the help of Cargill Process Optimizers, instant coffee is even more efficient

A coffee plant in Western Europe combines a reputation for excellent taste with ethical production. Their beans are sourced through certified sustainable™ farms. They reduced energy use and the carbon footprint in their production facility by over 25 percent over the previous three years. And, they developed innovative packaging to further reduce the environmental impact.

Rather than resting on their laurels, though, the plant’s continuous improvement culture drove them to look for further improvements.

Enter Cargill Process Optimizers (CPO), a group dedicated to helping plant operators reduce energy use through process improvements.

Making instant coffee more efficient

The plant processes coffee from raw beans to granules. They looked to meet plant sustainability and environmental goals, engaging CPO to develop recommendations for efficiency in the roasting, evaporation, solids handling and drying. The analysis included the utilities areas and accounted for water use and capacity as well as raw material and energy use throughout the line.

Setting goals only to surpass them

By working with CPO, the plant exceeded 15 percent in energy savings, surpassing their original goal of 5 percent to 15 percent. Not only did they save money … they decreased their environmental impact by reducing their water, fuel and electricity use.

The obvious and the not-so-obvious

The CPO team worked closely with the plant’s technical and operations experts to build a holistic model of the process. By simulating the entire coffee process, the team reviewed the impact of a wide range of potential modifications on the raw material and utility use of the plant’s performance. The joint team then winnowed the dozens of ideas down to develop seven “new and unique” recommendations.

The CPO team's expertise lies in its ability to understand an entire process and materials encountered in the Food and Beverage industries. Modeling tools and the team's experience across a broad array of processes have allowed CPO to be successful at over 200 different facilities around the world.

Same great product, same great taste

While the goal may have been energy savings, process improvements maintained the same great product with the same great quality and taste.

“Our goal is to bring and teach operating cost savings to our customers while maintaining product quality and food safety,” says David Ward, general manager for CPO.

Developing relationships

CPO develops long-lasting relationships with plant operations. In fact, the relationship and results of process improvements at the plant were so positive that CPO was invited to participate in their supplier challenge to further improve the product’s overall footprint. The relationship has continued to bear fruit by delivering energy and operating costs savings at two additional plants in Western Europe.

Cargill Process Optimizers

CPO finds energy solutions using daily and project tracking as well as identifying savings through site assessments and modeling of current or new plant processes. Learn how CPO can help plant operations with increased yield, enhanced capacity, decreased energy use and optimized performance.