Bidco turns to the internet to lower power costs, drive sustainability


Bidco turns to the internet to lower power costs, drive sustainability
A smart electrification solution at Bidco Industrial Park in Ruiru. PHOTO| COURTESY

Bidco Africa Limited, East Africa’s leading manufacturer of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), has implemented a smart electrification solution for its latest production site at Bidco Industrial Park in Ruiru.

Schneider Electric is providing and installing a suite of hardware and software that will provide Bidco’s operations team with the ability to power and maintain the factory’s existing production lines, as well as ensure the facility is future-ready and is able to integrate renewable power sources with Internet-of-Things functionality.

Started in 1985 as a soap manufacturing plant in Nairobi, Bidco Africa has continuously grown over the years to be the home to some of Africa’s most popular brands across the Food and Beverage, Edible oils & Fats, Hygiene and Personal care and most recently Food and Beverage brands.

For the past three years, BIDCO has set out to build one of the largest production facilities in the region using latest technology on 80-acre industrial park on the outskirts of Nairobi.

The park is home to factories that currently produce instant noodles, Nitrofilled Juices, Sodas, Energy drinks and Mineral water. Bidco wanted to put in place an electrical infrastructure that would scale with the facility’s growth.

“We were looking for electrical technologies that would create efficiency and allow for scalability as we look towards increasing the facility’s site and operations,” said the Bidco Africa Group team led by Group Chairman, Mr. Vimal Shah.

“ We found the excellent partner in Schneider Electric who implemented a solution that adapted to our needs, was able to operate a robust electrical backbone that is fault tolerant and future ready to support our operations” he added.

Designed to provide BIDCO with the ability to plug-in site expansions quickly and efficiently, the solution is based on Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure platform, the digital backbone connecting best-in-class operational technology (OT) solutions with the latest in IT technology to unlock trapped value in operations and leverage the true potential of the Internet of Things.

The hardware includes internet-enabled primary and secondary medium voltage distribution equipment, as well as electrification products for automation. The software includes EcoStruxure Substation Operation, a digital control system for electrical installations that will improve how the site’s substation infrastructure is operated, maintained and protected and monitored.

The next stage for Bidco is to connect all its manufacturing plants to be able to monitor production levels and anticipate and mitigate downtime before it happens.

“This FMCG facility is one of the best developed, and most futuristic that we’ve seen in East Africa, and we’re proud to be able to play our part in helping ensure its going to maintain its technology edge thanks to its state-of-the-art electrical infrastructure,” said Carol Koech, Schneider Electric, Country President East Africa.

“Our technology will provide a safe, reliable, and standardized electrical distribution network for BIDCO today, whilst being ready for the company’s future growth with concepts such as being Internet-of-Things-ready. Our technologies will help Bidco expand its setup long into the future.”

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