Coca-Cola Ballina hailed as one of world’s most advanced manufacturers

13 Jan 2023

Image: © WDnet Studio/

Coca-Cola said it has invested significantly in its Ballina site, boosting its production and reducing emissions to 2011 levels.

Coca-Cola’s Mayo facility has been recognised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of the world’s most advanced manufacturers.

The site – formerly known as Ballina Beverages – has been admitted to the WEF’s Global Lighthouse Network. This is a platform that recognises manufacturers that are leading the way in “fourth industrial revolution technologies” such as AI, robotics and cloud computing.

The announcement comes following years of investment by Coca-Cola to upgrade its Mayo facility. The company said it primarily invested in IT infrastructure, advanced technology and a staff training programme.

The soft-drinks company said the digital transformation of the site has led to a 6.8pc increase in production in three years and an energy reduction of 29pc, bringing the site’s emissions back to 2011 levels.

The company also said there has been a significant reduction in costs along with productivity increases. The Ballina team now shares its expertise with colleagues in similar Coca-Cola sites worldwide.

Coca-Cola VP of commercial product supply Iain McLaughlin said joining the network shows the importance of the Ballina site in “leading our production globally and marks the next stage of our exciting journey here in Ireland”.

“Since our first investment over 70 years ago, Ireland has become a key location for Coca-Cola with sites at Ballina, Wexford and offices in Dublin and Drogheda,” McLaughlin said.

Coca-Cola established the Ballina facility 22 years ago and it has grown to become a significant employer for the county with more than 400 staff. The facility also uses the services of multiple contracting companies that employ a further 80 people at the Killala Road Facility, according to Mayo County Council.

Francisco Betti, WEF head of advanced manufacturing and value chains, said companies in the lighthouse network are achieving “double-digit impact on throughput, costs and lead times” by implementing advanced technologies.

“Lighthouses are demonstrating how to scale advanced technologies across entire manufacturing networks and beyond, towards suppliers and customers or new functions, such as procurement, logistics, and research and development,” Betti said.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic