Bacardi Bottling Corp. Case Study

Bacardi Bottling Corp. Case Study
To ensure that it has just the right mojo in its Mojito pre-mixed highball, the Bacardi
Bottling Corp. plant in Jacksonville, Fla. uses a blend of science and art as it mixes its
premium rum, flavors and special natural ingredients that are about a predictable as a
Caribbean summer shower.
Bacardi’s staff of experienced technicians and production
“Now that we have this instrument, I think we can do
personnel provide experience and art in making the newly
things we never dreamed of, things we couldn’t do with
introduced beverage, and an instrument from X-Rite Inc.
our previous color software and hardware,” Scussel says.
provides some of the science, says John Scussel, lab
The technology may have application with other products
supervisor for the beverage plant.
of Bacardi Ltd., the world’s largest privately held spirits
“We can’t just follow the exact same recipe for ever
company and a manufacturer and marketer more than
batch of Bacardi Mojito that we mix because of the
incoming color variations of a few ingredients. Using
natural ingredients can make final product appearance notoriously difficult to control,” Scussel says. “A small change
in lot-to-lot color of these can make quite a difference in
200 brands and labels of popular products such as Bacardi
rum, Grey Goose vodka, Dewar’s blended Scotch whiskey,
Bombay Sapphire gin, and Martini vermouth. Bacardi Ltd.
products can be found in more than 100 markets around
the globe, and Bacardi and cola is ranked as the number
our Mojito, and our consumers demand consistency in not
one cocktail in the world.
only taste, but appearance in our products.”
Scussel says there were a number of reasons why he was
It’s a costly error to mix a 10,000-gallon or more batch of
persuaded that X-Rite offered just the right package of
Mojito only to find that its color doesn’t match Bacardi’s
strict standards, so the Bacardi plant has begun using a
Color i7 benchtop spectrophotometer in transmittance
hardware, software and support services for his applications. At the top of the list is X-Rite’s proprietary software
created in-house that is at the same time sophisticated and
mode and Color iQC software to measure 2-liter samples
customer friendly.
of test batches and determine just the right recipe for a full
“X-Rite supports its software really well,” Scussel says. “It’s
production batch.
pretty obvious that X-Rite has talked with people who use
color measurement instruments. The company does what
its customers want, rather than what may be easier for its
standards, the system takes just minutes to produce perfor-
software engineers.
mance NIST traceable statistics on every instrument within
“For instance, the software has just about every color
a network. That allows plants to exchange spectral color
theory system that anyone could possibly want, so using
data with confidence they are using the same standards.
a different system is just a matter of telling the software
Scussel says he is thinking about enabling other aspects
what you need. And the graphic representations are great.
of the Color iQC software that can help with predict-
We build what we call the color box – a rectangle that
ing the color of products by inputting information about
gives you a graphic representation of the color specs. It’s
the ingredients of recipes -- essentially performing virtual
easy to see, to understand and to printout. You can put
trials without mixing the formulas. The beauty of X-Rite’s
it in someone’s hands and show them why they are out –
software is that modules can be added without having to
‘Oh, it’s a little too yellow.’”
relearn a whole new software package, he says. “I don’t
The Color iQC software allows customers to record
have to learn things all over again,” he says. “X-Rite’s done
measurements, process parameters, history and other
its homework on making this easy for customers.”
information in files that can then be easily shared among
But it is the company’s commitment to service that finally
individuals or managed between multiple locations.
sold Scussel on choosing the X-Rite family of products.
Since Bacardi is an international company operating 27
X-Rite engineers custom-made holders so he could use his
production facilities in 17 countries including Puerto Rico,
Scotland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Mexico, it’s desirable for instruments at various locations to be using the
same standards when they are sharing results. And X-Rite’s
NetProfiler technology fits that bill perfectly, Scussel says.
existing stock of specialized cells for transmission
measurements in the Color i7 spectrophotometers at a
very reasonable cost, he says. “And X-Rite has really good
service and availability,” he says. “If I pick up the phone,
someone helps me.”
His colleagues at a Bacardi plant in Spain are also using the
X-Rite system, which allows them to easily share standards
and data. “Other plants are asking questions how we are
able to do our color control so easily, and I expect interest
in the use of X-Rite to spread worldwide.”
“NetProfiler is absolutely the cat’s meow: it allows
instruments in several locations to act as one instrument,”
he says. “I was concerned about how to keep the
instrument calibrated until I learned that you can use
NetProfiler to do a test onsite. And if the instruments
still doesn’t calibrate properly, X-Rite has a strong support
system for getting it fixed.”
The NetProfiler2 system allows companies to automatically test, measure, and profile their instruments over the
Internet, ensuring that every instrument is running at peak
accuracy. Using proprietary software and certified physical
X-Rite World Headquarters
Grand Rapids, Michigan USA • (800) 248-9748 • +1 616 803 2100 •
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