28 March 2012 --- Tetra Pak has revealed some of its principal new packaging technologies and concept developments at Anuga FoodTec 2012.
Four innovative advanced solutions are being showcased at the fair— iLine XT factory-wide integration, eBeam contact-free sterilisation, the Hyperspeed filling machine concept and intuitive control software—each representing a significant step forward in liquid packaging technology.
“Individually, they will bring tremendous benefits to our customers, while collectively, they signal a new era in terms of cost, efficiency and environmental performance,” said Michael Grosse, Executive Vice President Development & Service Operations. “These technologies underscore our commitment to develop what our customers need ... and help them gain a decisive competitive edge in a world of fast-changing demands and ever-higher expectations.”
The new iLine XT, available from 2012, represents a completely new family of solutions, enabling production integration across the factory floor and delivering benefits both in terms of performance and safety.
For the first time, palletisers, pallet wrappers and laser guided vehicles, as well as printers and labellers for distribution units can be integrated through the Line Controller 30 Plus into the packaging line. Operations can even be integrated with customers’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. In addition, when used in conjunction with Tetra PlantMaster, iLine XT enables integration with processing operations and even interfacing to customer warehouse management systems.
iLine XT brings to producers new levels of control like the ability to oversee and control the line set up from one location and use real time dynamic feedback to manage priorities across different lines. It delivers flexible palletising patterns, fast change-over between different product formats and pallet configurations, increased pallet stability and pallet wrappers that pre-stretch film to deliver up to 30 per cent reductions in wrapping costs.
In addition, the new iLine XT marking solutions allow simple, secure and end-to-end package traceability. Printers and labellers are fully integrated with the production line, identifying the package, multipack, tray and pallet, while automatic data management ensures there is no risk of coding errors.
It’s a combination that increases overall equipment effectiveness, improves traceability and reduces customer system costs.
Faster operating speeds, reduced system costs and improved environmental performance are just some of the benefits now being seen in field trials by Tetra Pak of a breakthrough sterilisation technology for carton packaging.
eBeam sterilisation, which is based on well-established low voltage electron beam (LVEB) technology, is being developed by Tetra Pak in collaboration with the COMET Group, one of the world’s leading companies in this field. And although still a concept development, it is already showing tremendous potential.
In addition to lowering energy use, reducing carbon emissions and supporting higher line capacities, the technology also allows customers to simplify their plant operations by removing the need to handle bulk chemicals and simplifying quality control – without any compromise on safety.
If field trials and subsequent commercial development of the eBeam go as planned, Tetra Pak hopes to be in a position to integrate the technology into new generation filling equipment within a timeframe of three to four years.
When launched, eBeam sterilisation will also play a significant role in the new Tetra Pak A3 filling machine for super high speed packaging — known as the Hyperspeed Concept — to assure the complete sterility of products while keeping mechanical complexity low and increasing capacity.
With a redesigned jaw system and an innovative final folder based on linear guides that handle packages firmly till final delivery to the belt — the Hyperspeed Concept can reach speeds of up to 40,000 packages per hour. In addition, the Hyperspeed Concept aims to decrease customer operational costs on portion packages by up to 30 per cent, depending on configuration.
Subject to the development programme progressing as planned, the new Tetra Pak A3 filling machine with eBeam and Hyperspeed concept technologies should be available within a three to four year timeframe.
Tetra Pak also showcased Tetra Lactenso Aseptic with OneStep technology, a best-practice line that incorporates UHT white milk production within a single, high-throughput process at Anuga FoodTec.
OneStep technology eliminates the need for pasteurisation pre-treatment and intermediate storage of raw milk. In one unbroken step, raw milk is preheated, clarified, separated, standardised and homogenised before undergoing UHT treatment and regenerative cooling; it is then transferred to two aseptic buffer tanks. This shortens processing time from as much as two days to just a few hours; cutting operating costs by up to 50 per cent compared with conventional solutions.
In essence, the innovation of OneStep technology is that it combines heat treatment, separation and standardisation into a single step, which significantly simplifies and accelerates the production process.
In addition to shortening the time it takes to process raw milk, OneStep technology also incorporates aseptic buffering. This enables completely automated and continuous UHT operations, with fewer process steps and smaller hold-up volumes in the line.
“The whole process is far more efficient than conventional solutions, delivering significant operating cost savings and greatly reducing environmental impact,” said Bengt Eliasson, manager, Tetra Pak Dairy Aseptic Solutions. “Capital costs are also lower because a lot less equipment and floor space are needed when using OneStep.”
Tetra Lactenso Aseptic with OneStep technology can reduce energy consumption by more than 40 per cent, reduce effluent load by up to 40 per cent and cut water consumption by as much as 60 per cent. These savings are estimated to reduce the carbon footprint of the production process by around 40 per cent. Furthermore, the streamlined process cuts product loss by up to 33 per cent compared to conventional UHT solutions.
With the ability to change the fat content of milk products without stopping production – and to run milk with different fat contents at the same time - OneStep technology provides outstanding aseptic line flexibility, enabling efficient production planning and high utilisation of filling machines with up to 100 per cent availability.
Said Eliasson: We’ll be showing a Tetra Lactenso Aseptic with OneStep technology at Anuga FoodTec 2012 and demonstrating how it gives customers a shortcut to UHT milk production, maximising both product quality and safety with hygienic design in every detail and full traceability and control of the line. And like all of our Tetra Lactenso Aseptic best-practice lines for dairy production, our promise is backed by a validated performance guarantee. Tetra Lactenso Aseptic with OneStep technology is a best-practice line that exemplifies how Tetra Pak works with best-practice key units and tools, expertise in food technology, and proven functionalities for lines and plants to solve their customers’ production challenges.
Tetra Pak also unveiled six new packaging designs at Anuga FoodTec. These latest additions to the Tetra Pak portfolio include two new portion packs based on the highly successful Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge design and a tear-off opening for on-the-go convenience to its Tetra Top Carton Shot range. At the end of the year, the company will also extend the Tetra Rex line with a new droplet package design as well as the Tetra Gemina Aseptic range with two new profiles.