The Challenge

IRN BRU is an iconic drink with a secret recipe known to only a handful of people. Everyone involved in its production and that of AG Barr’s other soft drinks is immensely proud of their reputation for consistency, quality and a great tasting product.

The Scottish based company was faced with a dilemma recently when the production team realised that seals on 39 valves at the Cumbernauld factory needed replacing to maintain quality and taste. Originally fitted by CBJ Services Ltd 15 years ago, the production line has been running well ever since. The job demanded a complete shut down of the drinks factory for three days while the work was carried out.

HpE Process Ltd understood the difficulty. As a fiercely independent company of more than 25 years the HpE Process Ltd team appreciate the problems caused to production by inefficient equipment but also the issues surrounding manufacturing downtime.

The issue was further complicated because Barrs was approaching its busy season when demand peaks. HpE Process Ltd has earned a reputation among drink manufacturers around the UK for designing great solutions and being able to supply parts that meet customers’ requirements and demands.

The Solution

Key Account Manager Libby Peacock explained: “AG Barr’s production team wanted to safeguard future production with their efficient system that would not let them down. Nor could they afford to lose production. We suggested replacing all the seals to give them a fresh start The production team agreed, but was concerned about the implications of set backs.

“AG Barr was impressed with our suggested solution and agreed to fit them before the busy summer season when demand peaks. That meant we were up against the clock. The production manager gave us one weekend to go in, close down production, and replace the existing valves.”

The Outcome

Working against the clock we managed to compete the replacement in two days, this meant trial runs could be completed and production back up and running on schedule. The first run of product after a shut down is called the Golden Batch It went so smoothly and AG Barr’s has asked us to maintain the valves and seals going forward.

Keith Scholes from HG Barr’s said: “Irn Bru has a distinctive taste. It is an iconic brand closely guarded by everyone here with only three people having the recipe. We couldn’t do anything that would affect production, taste or quality. Replacing all 39 sets of seals was a big decision, but thanks to HpE Process Ltd’s approach and professionalism it is a job well done”.