Heineken Vietnam is a major beer producer in the Vietnamese domestic market, but it needed to increase its production significantly at its Tien Giang site in the south of Vietnam. The challenge: The brewer needed a quick, turnkey installation of a new canning line without upsetting existing operations.

A Heineken Group subsidiary, Heineken Vietnam is the second-largest brewer in the country, with about 3,000 employees. Operating six breweries across Vietnam, Heineken turned to its long-term partner, Gebo Cermex, for a solution that focused on high output and efficiency.

“We wanted to buy a new complete can line, doubling the capacity of the existing ones,” says Paul Bleijs, Heineken Vietnam supply chain director. “However, a typical challenge is that you have to install the equipment while the brewery is in operation. This is why you have to look at the layout very well, but thanks to the experienced line design team from Gebo Cermex, we overcame this obstacle.”

According to Gianmatteo Bigoli, Gebo Cermex strategic account manager, his company has a 13-year relationship with Heineken and has a stable expert team to provide support in Vietnam, enabling the company to anticipate Heineken’s requirements and specify a solution quickly and efficiently. That solution included the new Sidel EvoFILL Can filler. “What cemented our cooperation through the past 13 years is also our continuous focus on innovations. This is key for a global leader like Heineken,” says Bigoli.

A fast pace enabled Heineken to start production seven days ahead of schedule, Bleijs says. “From line design through installation up to the commissioning phase, the Gebo Cermex team helped us take each step very quickly,” he says. Gebo Cermex’s vertical startup program, including training developed for the Heineken team, reduces time to market by as much as 40 percent.

Sustainability is important to Heineken, and the brewery was recognized in 2017 as the most sustainable manufacturing company in Vietnam by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, based on the annual Corporate Sustainability Index. “Besides good productivity levels, this line is consuming less energy and water, thus contributing to a very good return on investment for us,” adds Bleijs.

There’s good design all around. “The ergonomics and safety architecture of the solution are great; it is very easy to operate, to maintain and to clean,” says Ha Minh Thanh, Heineken Vietnam packaging manager.

Increased output paired with consistently high product quality and optimal resource savings are now all achievable for Heineken Vietnam because of the new canning line. “Let the result speak for itself: If you can run four weeks after starting the first canning, in three shifts at a good OPI (operational performance indicators) level, that means the job was well-done,” says Bleijs.