Two new Tetra Pak® E3 filling machines were launched in 2017, completing the range and allowing customers to produce all types of beverage products – ambient and chilled, in family or portion-sized packages – using this state-of-the-art, eBeam sterilisation technology.
A first in the industry, eBeam is a totally innovative approach to packaging material sterilisation that maximises speed, helping customers to cut operational costs by as much as 20 per cent and reduce the environmental impact by making water recycling easier and lowering energy consumption.
This technology is at the heart of the newcomer Tetra Pak® E3/Speed Hyper, the world’s fastest aseptic carton filling machine, which can produce up to 40,000 ambient portion packages per hour.
The second newcomer to the filling machine range is the Tetra Pak® E3/Flex, which produces a new chilled family package, the Tetra Brik® 900 Ultra Edge. Taller and slimmer than many of the options currently available, the new package helps customers differentiate their products in the highly competitive chilled market. Looking ahead, Tetra Pak will continue to expand the eBeam offering to additional packaging formats to answer different market demands.
Tetra Pak inaugurated a new UHT processing plant for customer trials in Modena, Italy, in October 2017. The plant can run extensive sterile output tests of up to 30,000 packages. It is also a showcase for our plant automation offering, demonstrating Tetra Pak® PlantMaster and Packaging Line Monitoring System (PLMS) in combination with an automation control room.
Launched last year and equipped with innovative, patented technology, our new ice cream extrusion line delivers exceptional product quality and volume flexibility to medium-capacity producers. In an industry first, the new line uses an independently controlled horizontal cutter to slice the ice cream as it emerges from the extruder. This ensures a consistently high cutting speed, regardless of line speed, resulting in a precise, clean slice – even at low rates of production. Producers can also switch between multiple products on the same line, enabling greater variety at smaller volumes.
Dairy and juice drinks can now be marketed as ice creams and other frozen products with minimal changes being made to existing production processes. The new Tetra Fino® Aseptic 100 Ultra MiM carton pouch allows liquids to be filled and distributed at room temperature, then frozen later, either in a shop or a consumer’s home. It means trusted ingredients can be easily transformed into value-added frozen products for children and adults alike. A leading Chinese food company, Want Want China Holdings, was the first to trial the product, with a very positive response.
Tetra Pak® Consumables has added two major new products to its extensive range of high-quality adhesives, lubricants and chemicals, all specifically developed to meet the strict requirements related to food production. The Rapid Microbial Detection Solution quickly screens and detects contamination in liquid products. It provides test results days faster than traditional methods, accelerating both event response and product release. The other new offering is a stretch-and-shrink film for wrappers and tray shrink applications. Piloted in Brazil, it provides consistent and high film quality, improved machine performance, and better appearance of the finished product.
Launched in 2017, the Tetra Pak® High Shear Mixer R370-1000D is a major step forward in food-mixing technology. It has the highest shear, the lowest energy consumption, and can handle higher viscosities and smaller droplet sizes than any other re-circulation mixer in the industry.
Given that there have been no major changes in equipment, features or processes in mixing for a decade or so, the new High Shear Mixer is a groundbreaking development. Innovations include the placement of the new mixing head outside the vessel in the recirculation flow. Guaranteeing up to 15 hits in a single pass and achieving droplet sizes down to one micron, it’s the perfect mixer for difficult powders such as pectin and CMC. It also has a substantially lower environmental impact, reducing energy consumption by up to 50 per cent, depending on the application.
When Dutch cheese manufacturer CONO Kaasmakers decided to modernise production at its site 30 km north of Amsterdam, it set an ambition to build the greenest dairy in the world. Tetra Pak was contracted to deliver and install a complete processing solution at the new facility in an order worth €20m. The result? Compared with the old plant CONO Kaasmakers has doubled production, while reducing gas and electricity consumption by 25 per cent, fresh water consumption by 75 per cent, and waste water volumes by 47 per cent. The new Tetra Pak® Separators alone, for example, have reduced energy consumption by more than 50 per cent compared with conventional alternatives.
A growing number of Chinese customers are now using Tetra Pak® PlantMaster Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Suite to help digitise – and revolutionise – their entire operations. A single, complete solution with a common interface and intuitive navigation, the MES Suite can connect plants across multiple sites to provide total control of every step of production, from raw material to finished goods, regardless of the brand of equipment used.
Read more Digital transformation in China
Family-sized packages can now be offered with a one-step opening at a lower cost than was previously possible, thanks to the new WingCap™ 30, which the company launched last year. Available for Tetra Brik® Aseptic 500 and 1000 Edge packages, the new cap is secured to the pre-laminated hole membrane by induction welding – a new technology and a global first for the industry. The neck itself is wider, offering smoother pouring, boosting performance as well as functionality for consumers, while also keeping costs low for customers. This one-step opening solution is designed with the specific aim of addressing the needs of European consumers.
September 2017 marked the successful debut of the world’s first water product in Tetra Gemina® Aseptic 1000 ml Square packages, with bio-based HeliCap™ 27. Launched in Germany, the packages were chosen by juice and nectar producer Güldenkron for its Joyce brand of water and are filled on a Tetra Pak® A3/Flex machine. Güldenkron also produces a range of their products in Tetra Prisma® Aseptic 500 ml format on a A3/Flex machine. Packaged water is a high-growth category, forecast to account for around 84 per cent of all beverage growth in Europe, and 81 per cent worldwide, over the next few years.
Tetra Pak now has a single second-hand equipment offering for customers worldwide. Although part of our business for many years, second-hand equipment sales were previously managed ad hoc locally. Recognising that we could better meet our customer needs, while leveraging our global reach, a team was tasked with working across geographical boundaries to find a new approach. The team developed clear guidelines that captured the needs of all markets and defined how a returned product can be renovated and its quality certified. The result is Tetra Pak® Certified Renovated Equipment: a global standard that guarantees the quality of all products offered.
A large Latin American food and beverage customer challenged Tetra Pak® Services to help it reduce costs and improve productivity for all components of the production process in a number of its dairy manufacturing facilities. The response? Total Productive Maintenance systems now installed in 11of the customer’s plants, delivering significant savings and prompting a request for similar measures at other sites. “Putting a team together quickly and taking a pragmatic approach were both key to delivering early results,” says Abdon Gonzalez, Expert Services Manager for Cluster North, Central & South America. “Instead of sitting in offices, our consultants are on the factory floor, training operators and customer management teams to help them deliver improvements.”
2017 saw work get under way on a new factory for the production of carton packaging closures at Tetra Pak’s Rayong site in Thailand. It will become the company’s first facility of its kind in Asia, and will help ensure faster delivery for customers across the region. The €24 million investment extends the Tetra Pak’s existing facilities on the site, which currently produce straws and strips. Built to meet rising regional demand for more functional and convenient packaging, the new factory will have an annual production capacity of 3 billion closures by the end of 2018, and 6 billion once fully operational. Packaging with closures is a growth area, fuelled by new products, new brands and strong trends in healthy snacking.
Last year, Tetra Pak introduced a Volume Rebuilding Kit, enabling customers to produce the Tetra Brik® Aseptic 200 and 250 Base Crystal packages on an existing Tetra Pak® A3/Speed line. It’s an innovative offer that emerged from the programme ReFit your lines, ReShape your Future™, lowering investment costs and reducing installation time by 80 per cent compared with installing a complete new line. Time to market is also reduced, by as much as three months. The Tetra Brik® Aseptic Base Crystal family takes its name from the two crystal-shaped panels on the front of the package, which bring attention-grabbing style to ambient beverage shelves.