Strong Together: Reginald Lee Invests in Sustainable High-Technology from KHS
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Press release from the issuing company
Coca-Cola bottler Reginald Lee and KHS have been working together successfully in Argentina for ten years now. Long enough for a solid sense of trust to have been built up and for each company to know the exact strengths and needs of the other.
The bright yellow trucks from the 1940s, on which the Coca-Cola brand swept into Argentina in triumph over 75 years ago, bear witness to a long tradition. Lovingly cared for and polished to a shine, they stand proud in the production shop at Reginald Lee, one of the few independent partners of the Coca-Cola system in South America. In August 1942 the first Coca-Cola bottles, then only familiar to Argentinians from Hollywood movies, rolled into the country on 15 yellow trikes and four trucks like these. Just a few months later Reginald Lee was founded, acting as a national pioneer in the distribution of Coca-Cola.
In 1958 it was the first business to be granted a license to make products by the US beverage producer in Argentina. In Ranelagh in the exurbs of the capital a bottling plant was set up which grew as fast as the area Reginald Lee supplied. To start with, the company concentrated merely on the south of Buenos Aires; today it serves over 4.6 million people in an area measuring around 100,000 square kilometers by supplying 27,000 customers, most of them supermarkets and retailers. This gives Reginald Lee a market share of about 50% in the third-largest metropolitan area in Latin America after Mexico City and São Paulo.
Real family business
For Dortmund systems supplier KHS this isn’t the only reason why Reginald Lee is a very special customer. “We’ve had close ties with the company for over ten years now,” says Jorge Oleskow, area sales manager for KHS Argentina. “After we’d sold the bottler their first stretch blow molder and commissioned it, Reginald Lee then successively converted all of its PET lines to KHS technology. We don’t have a situation like this anywhere else in Latin America. This means that Reginald Lee acts as a great reference for us.”
Local service a real plus
The biggest challenge of this project was coordinating the construction schedule with that for system installation. The undertaking was all the more complex as during the ongoing process various formats had to be added which were to be processed on the production line. “The system’s flexibility was a major priority for us in view of the huge variety of products we produce,” states the production manager with reference to the company’s sizeable portfolio, which ranges from brands such as Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite through Schweppes to Aquarius and Powerade. “Moreover, using as little energy as possible was equally important to us.”
Sustainable process optimization
Diz is thus all the happier that the KHS systems meet his high expectations and in doing so also lower the overall operating costs. “With KHS we feel we’re in good hands and well understood – even above and beyond the sophistication of the technology,” Diz sums up. “This is the advantage of our long-standing and good relationship.”
Faced with the present strained economic situation in Argentina and an extremely volatile market, it may not be easy for Diz to offer any prognoses for the future yet one of his next projects is to reduce the weight and materials of his hot fill PET bottles – a challenge he wishes to master very soon together with KHS. And in doing so to make his business even more sustainable.
Like KHS’ other South American subsidiaries the Argentinian KHS office managed by Jorge Oleskow and Jorge Bosch in Buenos Aires is organized as part of KHS Brazil. It was founded in August 1999 and now employs a total of 14 people, ten of whom work in service. KHS Argentina is responsible for various CSD and beer bottlers – from small craft brewers through family businesses to key accounts. Its activities chiefly center on the PET bottle segment.
Further information on: www.khs.com/presse.
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