AAK Plant Remodelling Dramatically Increases Sauce Capacity by 23%

OAL plant remodelling at AAK removes production bottlenecks and increase production rates resulting in 23% increase in sauce production capacity and health and safety improvements.


AAK Foods, a Swedish-Danish company, are the world’s leading manufacturer of high value-added vegetable oils and fats. Their products are sold throughout the UK and in over 35 countries worldwide. Their site in Runcorn produces ambient sauces and condiments for the UK market.


AAK Foods use Steam Infusion at their site in Runcorn for heating and mixing sauces which offers a very high production rate. Bottlenecks however were occurring during filling because 1 tonne Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC’s) were being used to transport finished product to local fillers. IBC’s were initially chosen as they provided a high degree of flexibility. The sheer number of IBC movements and physical changes were now however limiting the efficiency and production rate of the entire process. IBC’s are also very labour intensive and have a high associated health and safety risk from the number of movements usually required.


OAL installed an automated finished product bulk storage system to allow the direct feed of fillers. The previous routing system was expanded linking it to new bulk storage vessels. The new vessels were also linked into the CIP system where an additional channel was retrofitted to introduce 50% more cleaning capacity.

The OAL team’s extensive plant knowledge allowed them to deliver on time and on budget. The project execution was excellent with minimal disruption to production.
— Ian Roberts, Engineering Manager.


The fully automated bulk storage system has allowed AAK Foods to realise higher and more effective production that allows the high-speed Steam Infusion system to be fully utilised. AAK Foods was particularly impressed by the minimal disruption to production during the project given the routing system was being remodelled. The results in numbers:

  • 23% increase in production rates.
  • Yield improvements.
  • Removal of labour associated with IBC movements/ management.
  • 50% fewer IBC movements.
  • 50% less downtime than planned.
  • Improved health and safety.

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