A new, state-of-the-art activated carbon water treatment plant for Vrumona, one of largest soft drinks companies in the Netherlands and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Heineken, has been completed by UK-headquartered Envirogen Group. Crucially, Envirogen maintained a continuous flow of purified water to Vrumona’s production line during the project and including the switchover phase to the new plant.
“We had to be adaptable because we were facing Covid-19 lockdowns which could have threatened progress. We overcame this through remote planning and robust project management to deliver on time and on budget,” says Emil Bisseling, Sales Manager, Envirogen Group.
To ensure continuity of water supply, one of the existing stainless-steel vessels – containing filtration media and extremely high quality granular activated carbon – in the plant that was being decommissioned was replaced by a new one and its treatment materials. When the new vessel was handling the same water volume as the one it replaced, two new vessels were installed in a building specifically designed for the new plant, ensuring ample capacity for future expansion.
“Because the flow rate of the new system significantly exceeded that of the old system, Vrumona’s manufacturing operation was able to seamlessly switch over with just two vessels running,” adds Bisseling.
Included in the next stage was the implementation of new hardware and firmware, including a new Human Machine Interface (HMI) and updated software. “Then came the most critical part of the whole project – switching from one set of control panels to another. A joint on-site Vrumona-Envirogen team carried that out, step by step. It was seamless thanks to the intuitive nature of the HMI.”
Finally, the new vessel in the old set-up was moved to the new plant, to complete the project and lift the overall flow rate to the required level. With three million hectolitres of beverages coming out of Vrumona’s production line each year, the new plant was designed to handle today’s requirements and tomorrow’s growth.
As part of the Heineken group, and as a contract manufacturer for major brands such as PepsiCo, Sisi, 7UP and Sourcy, Vrumona must work within stringent recipes to ensure that the taste profile is identical. Reaching very high standards of water purity is a key element of this.
Crucial for production
Vrumona Managing Director Evelien Sanders-de Boer comments, “The project has made Vrumona’s operations future-proof. The quality of treated water is crucial for production.”
Bisseling points out, “Our granular activated carbon filter systems are created to strip out impurities so that the manufacturer can start creating their beverage from a neutral position. The hygienic design complies with global manufacturing safety standards and the stringent quality and consistency metrics defined by Heineken in its recipes.”
About Envirogen Group
Envirogen is a leading international provider of water and wastewater treatment solutions. The company solves complex challenges relating to water availability and quality, and helps its customers to increase productivity, reduce costs and meet environmental and sustainability targets.
That is achieved through offering:
– Best in class water and wastewater treatment and process treatment technology
– Expertise in design, project management and engineering
– Market-leading manufacturing and servicing capabilities
Vrumona is one of the largest water and soft drinks manufacturers in The Netherlands and is part of the Heineken group. As well as producing its own brands, Vrumona provides contract manufacturing for large global customers, such as PepsiCo. Vrumona has a long and successful history, operating from its site in Bunnik for over 70 years and now produces over three million hectolitres of soft drinks a year.