View 222: Field Trip to a Soda Pop Plant

C’mon boys and girls, it is time to collect  your permission slips, hop on the bus and take a class field trip.  Today, we are going to visit a soda pop plant which makes among other flavors, Pepsi Cola.

In these large stainless steel vats the ingredients for Pepsi Cola is mixed.

In these large stainless steel vats ingredients for Pepsi Cola is mixed with thrice filtered water and carbonated before being pumped out to the filling stations. Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 1250, EV 0, 16mm focal length.

Put on your safety glasses, hair nets, ear plugs and, if you have one, beard nets.  No jewelry like watches, earrings, necklaces or bracelets are allowed.  Watch your step as it can be slippery in places like the mixing room where large stainless steel vats are used to blend the ingredients of products like Pepsi Cola.

When the Pepsi is mixed and aged, it is pumped out to the filling machines.  Stand clear now,  canning machines like this one fill 1,000 cans per minute and spin very fast.

Filler machines fill 1,000 cans per minute.

Filler machines fill 1,000 cans per minute of Pepsi Cola. Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/80s, f/6.3, ISO 6400, EV 0, 16mm focal length.

After being filled, the cans get their pop tops put on at the same speed as the filler machine.

Soda can pop tops loader slide.

Soda can pop tops loader slide go through sleeves of 10,000 tops once every 10 minutes. Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 640, EV +0.7.

Cans are now assembled into various kinds of packaging.  On this day, they were placed into Fridgemate packages of 12 cans each before traveling by conveyor belt back to the warehouse.

Fridgemate packages of Pepsi Cola head to the warehouse via conveyor belt.

Fridgemate packages of Pepsi Cola head to the warehouse via conveyor belt. Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 16mm focal length.

Machines called Palletizers are programmed to build three dimensional puzzles of products onto wooden or plastic pallets and wrapped in sheets of plastic.  Each different type of packaging has their own pre-defined number of rows per pallet.

Forklift operators pick up two pallets at a time and place them in designated locations in the warehouse.

Pallets of Pepsi Cola Fridgemate packages are lifted off the production line.

Pallets of Pepsi Cola Fridgemate packages are lifted off the production line and placed in the warehouse. Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 1400, EV -0.7, 16mm focal length.

Within a few hours or days, depending on the product, loaders will pick up the pallets based on orders from the plant’s distributors.  The pallets are loaded onto trailers which travel all over upstate New York.

Two pallets of Pepsi Cola being loaded onto a trailer.

Two pallets of Pepsi Cola being loaded onto a trailer. Nikon D700/50mm, 1/250s, f/1.8, ISO 1100, EV +0.3.

The plant is owned and operated by independent soda distributors who over forty years ago saw the value of controlling the production process to keep costs down and be able to provide quality soda products to their customers.

I hope you enjoyed and learned something from today’s field trip.  If anything, the next time you purchase soda or other liquid refreshments, you will have some idea of the path it took to be in your refrigerator.

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13 Responses to View 222: Field Trip to a Soda Pop Plant

  1. Giiid says:

    You really have had opportunity to take photos from many interesting angles, at this trip. I like the yellow can photo. Haven´t seen Pepsi for a long time, it is not a big name in Denmark, as far as I know. Perhaps you drink it all yourself. :-)

  2. milkayphoto says:

    Very cool to get a glimpse of the inside process! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this while sipping my vanilla Coke. ;-)

  3. Nye says:

    Thanks for the tour Scott, the Filler machines image is so fascinating, I didn’t realize it is that fast.

  4. Gerry says:

    I love this! I am a fool for industrial and food-processing tours. Your photos put me right there–and in the front row of the field trip class, too, where I could see. (Being short can be such a trial.)

    I can’t keep track of branding and distribution and who owns what but I surely do love A&W Root Beer Floats. I am a purist, though, and want my float to be made from root beer poured over a nice scoop or two of good vanilla ice cream. Preferably brought to me in a heavy glass mug, served on a tray attached to the car window. And of course I should still be eight years old, wearing shorts, and slightly sunburned. Ah memories.

    • Glad to oblige. My wife is vertically challenged as well so I tend to watch out for you folks.

      There is still an A&W restaurant about 45 minutes from where I live which still has car-side service complete with trays and your favorite floats.

  5. kanniduba says:

    This was a cool tour!! Great shots Scott!
    I never drink soda…It’s rarely in my house, and even if it is, it doesn’t tempt me at all. (Unless there’s root beer and vanilla ice cream in the house….I’m a sucker for floats too Gerry.) :) but you know, after having my babies, I NEEDED a Pepsi! It was so strange! I would crave a bottle of Pepsi (not Coke) and my craving would not go away until my husband went downstairs to get me one. Once I guzzled the one down, that would be it….but the same strange craving after delivering each baby. What DO they put in that stuff?!?!

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