The soda fountain looms large in the history of The Coca-Cola Company.
In 1886, Dr. John Pemberton sold the first-ever Coca-Cola drink from a fountain in an Atlanta pharmacy. Today, The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest non-alcoholic beverage company, and strong fountain sales — at restaurants, stadiums, convenience stores and college cafeterias â€” are helping it stay ahead of the competition.
Where Dr. Pemberton personally mixed the syrup and carbonated water for customers at his Atlanta pharmacy, Xylem pumps now work behind the scenes to deliver the syrup to current-day Coca-Cola beverage systems.
The Coca-Cola Company began using Xylem beverage pumps in the late 1980's and made Xylem the sole pump provider for North America in 2006.
The G55 pump passed the Coca-Cola testing process, which requires continuous high-speed operation for six months and 100,000 gallons. In fact, it kept going for a full year — 200,000 gallons — until the Coca-Cola lab technicians called off the test.
While pump performance won the day for Xylem, customer focus is keeping the fountain drink partnership going strong. The Coca-Cola Company puts as much focus on product delivery — think about its world famous trademarked Coke bottle — as it does on product taste. The company is continually looking for new and better ways to serve its fountain drinks and is currently exploring a system that can dispense more than 100 different drinks.
Recently, when Coca-Cola made Minute Maid Light Lemonade available through beverage systems, Xylem moved fast to change its pump design.
Xylem also moved production of all its air-driven beverage pumps — G55 and N5000 series — from Santa Ana, California, to a larger, more modern plant in Nogales, Mexico. This enabled Xylem to continue providing 100 percent on-time delivery to Coca-Cola North America even as production demands increased.
Once they are on the job, Xylem pumps have such a low failure rate — less than .5 percent — that Coca-Cola North America has been able to greatly reduce its service calls. Less downtime means happier Coke customers.