Integrated packaging line cuts operating costs, says Tetra Pak
The firm, based in Sweden, said that its new iLine portfolio includes Tetra Pak's new A3/CompactFlex, as well as enhanced versions of the existing Tetra Pak A3/Flex and the Tetra Pak A3/Speed. The costs of the initial outlay for the A3 Flex and A3 Speed iLine models are around three per cent higher than their previous versions but Tetra Pak claims the integrated equipment results in significant savings for juice and milk processors: "The integrated packaging line can help reduce operating costs for processors by anywhere from five to 40 per cent, depending on their specific system configuration," a company spokesperson told FoodProductionDaily.com. Line control The iLine uses a Line Controller 30 (LC30) to manage operations and an automation platform to enable each component to communicate to each other via Ethernet Protocol addresses, claims the manufacturer. "The LC30 ensures all the components in each line are talking the same language, thus enabling ease of operation, higher volumes of packs per hour, reduced down-time, less manual input and lower wear and tear," said the spokesperson. Tetra Pak said that as the LC30 can automatically detect each machine there is no longer a need for manual equipment adjustment, thus lowering personnel costs. Changes to Flex and Speed linesThe company said that the A3/Flex iLine has increased production capacity from 7,000 to 8,000 family packs per hour for TBA 1-litre packages, while reducing operational costs by five to 15 per cent and lowering maintenance costs by 10 per cent in comparison to the previous version. It will be available in selected markets only until July 2009 and then available globally, said the manufacturer. The A3/Speed iLine provides 10 to 15 per cent lower operational costs for both portion and family packages than the previous version and it will be available in selected markets in July 2008 and globally available in the fourth quarter of 2009, said Tetra Pak. A3/CompactFlex iLineTetra Pak said that the new A3/Compact Flex iLine is targeted at low volume producers who have a complex product selection such as multiple sizes and shapes. The line can produce 9,000 packages per hour and is easily fitted into premises with a maximum roof height of 5 meters, thus reducing equipment footprint, according to the company. Conversion between packages with the same bottom format takes a maximum of 20 minutes on the new line, while conversion from one type of package to another type takes nine hours, allowing customers to quickly adapt to changes in market preferences and seasonal cycles or new promotional opportunities, claims the manufacturer. Tetra Pak said that the line will produce Tetra Brik Aseptic and the Tetra Prisma Aseptic from 80 ml to 375 ml, and by 2009 it will produce two new packages: the Tetra Prisma Aseptic 125 Square and the Tetra Brik Aseptic 80 Slim. It will be available in selected markets until the fourth quarter of 2009, when it will be globally released, said the manufacturer. Sales increase Tetra Pak announced in April that its sales reached €8.7bn in 2007, a 6.1 per cent increase on the previous year The firm, based in Lund in southern Sweden, said that a focus on emerging markets such as India, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil, the Middle East, Latin America and China had been the principal reason for the strong sales growth in 2007. Sales of processing equipment reached €911m in 2007, up more than 12 per cent from the previous year, while packaging sales reached €7.8bn, a more modest increase of 4.1 per cent compared to 2006, according to the company.