Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC uses a steam boiler system to heat water for sanitizing its filling equipment and water-filtration system as well as for a heat source for the bottle warmers.

Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC, the third largest Pepsi Cola franchise, required an efficient and reliable steam system for its new flagship bottling plant in Raleigh, N.C. The plant uses a steam boiler system to heat water for sanitizing its filling equipment and water-filtration system as well as for a heat source for the bottle warmers.

Seeking fuel and water economy, reliable operation and a compact design, the company researched boilers on an international basis and chose three Miura LX-200 low-pressure steam boilers. Suntory International, one of PBV’s owners, assisted in the decision by providing information based on their years of successful use of Miura boilers in their facilities in Japan.

"We use steam running through a heat-exchanger to heat water for our CIP [clean-in-place] system, which provides hot water for cleaning and sanitizing our batch tanks, pipes and other internals of our bottle- and can-filling equipment," says plant engineer Dale Stein. "We also use the direct steam for sanitizing our carbon beds for our water-filtration system."

"We originally installed two Miura steam boilers seven years ago when the plant was built," explains Scott Jamison, vice president of engineering at Pepsi Bottling Ventures. "Suntory, our principal owners, recommended that we consider Miuras for energy efficiency and floor-space savings. One of my main concerns in our buildings is saving square footage, which lowers construction costs. After researching industrial steam boilers, we decided to go with Miuras."

Miura boilers have an exclusive once-through design that produces steam in five minutes or less and provides high in-service operational efficiencies. In addition to on-demand steam, Miura’s vertical-tube design can, on average, save as much as 20 percent annually on fuel costs over other boiler designs, according to the company. Miura’s technology also produces BHP outputs comparable to larger units with less water consumption and a more compact footprint, says the manufacturer. These features can help processors reduce new construction costs and better utilize existing boiler-room space.

"We recently added a third Miura LX-200 boiler for an expansion that provides 'blow-fill' capabilities," Jamison continues. "We're actually blowing and filling the bottle all in one process. The new system allows us to 'lightweight' our bottle and go from 15 gram-plus plastic down to a 10-gram bottle. The installation of the third Miura LX-200 boiler was done to add additional steam capacity for the CIP processes for that line. We have a central system where we heat cleaning solutions up to temperature and use hot water for sterilization of the contact part of the fillers and where the ingredients run through."

"Because Miura boilers use a lot less floor space, adding a new one was not a big deal," Jamison adds. "We had to change some piping when we added the third boiler, but otherwise the installation was pretty seamless. We are able to fit three Miura 200’s in our boiler room, and have other processes in the room along with the boilers, which we would have never been able to do otherwise."

"Having the third boiler is great because we can rotate them in and out - especially when it comes to blow-downs - and not have to worry about taking our production down," Stein notes. "We can keep up with the demand."

Computerized Control, Reduced Environmental Footprint

Miura boilers are simple to use, and maintain, according to Stein. "We do yearly PMs [preventive maintenance] on them and even if we do have to change a burner out, the cost is not excessive."

Miura boilers also utilize the company's proprietary boiler control system that enables users to optimize system performance for load management, energy efficiency, reduced emissions and water consumption. A panel on the front of Model LX and EX boilers presents instant status information from multiple monitoring points. Should a condition arise, the system identifies it and suggests a solution in plain English. Boiler operations also can be monitored via an online maintenance system with a "sliding window" feature that records events four seconds before they occur for quick identification and correction.

As a result of the energy-efficient "green" design, Miura boilers output reduced levels of emissions such as CO2and NOX. In fact, the steam boilers are designed to eliminate 75 percent of the emissions of standard gas-fired boilers. For instance, the LX Series provide NOXemissions as low as 9 ppm.

"Miura boilers also use low water - 40 gallons is about all you need in them - and that makes the plant more energy-efficient because you don’t need to keep a large volume of water hot all the time," Stein says.

The economizers "also help with energy efficiency," he added. "You’re trying to get that water as hot as you can before you turn it into steam, so if you can grab that energy and transfer those BTUs it means you’re using less natural gas."