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