In a ground-breaking first for the beverage carton industry, Tetra Pak® today launches a filling machine that uses electron beams, not hydrogen peroxide, to sterilise packaging material. The Tetra Pak® E3, on display at the Fispal Technologia International Trade Show in São Paulo, Brazil, promises a range of benefits to customers; not least the potential to run up to 40,000 portion packages every hour. Compared with the existing Tetra Pak® A3/Speed platform, Tetra Pak E3 machines will also lower operational costs, improve environmental performance and increase production flexibility
At the heart of the new machine is the eBeam sterilisation technology that was developed by Tetra Pak in collaboration with COMET, a world leading company in high-voltage and high-vacuum technology. The technology works by focussing a controlled beam of electrons onto the surface of packaging material as it runs through the filling machine, killing any bacteria or micro-organism present.
Charles Brand, Executive Vice President, Product Management and Commercial Operations at Tetra Pak said: “This is a very exciting development; Tetra Pak E3 not only delivers significant cost and environmental benefits to our customers, it also marks the start of a new era in the world of carton packaging. The efficiency and effectiveness of filling equipment has just taken a major step forward.”
The use of eBeam removes a long-time physical limitation to carton packaging speed: the hydrogen peroxide sterilization process. With eBeam, speeds of up to 40,000 portion packs per hour, or 11 packs every second, can be achieved … and market tests have shown this increased capacity can save beverage manufacturers as much as 20 per cent in their operational costs.
The replacement of hydrogen peroxide in packaging material sterilisation also significantly improves environmental performance; making water recycling easier, lowering energy consumption and cutting waste.
Furthermore, the modular design of the Tetra Pak E3 platform offers increased production flexibility to manufacturers. By installing an eBeam kit, manufacturers can switch between pasteurised and extended shelf life (ESL) production orders on the same Tetra Pak® E3/CompactFlex filling machine.
The launch of Tetra Pak E3 at Fispal follows successful pilots with some of the world’s leading dairy producers, such as Rajo, the largest dairy producer in Slovakia. Between 2011 and 2014, Rajo produced 110 million packages of UHT milk in Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1000 Slim on a Tetra Pak A3/Speed machine equipped with the new eBeam sterilisation system.
Peter Novorol’nik, Production Manager at Rajo said: “Innovation is one of the cornerstones of Rajo’s strategy. In the domestic market, we are the market leader in every segment where we are active, but it is not all about new products. We also need to constantly drive for innovation in managing factory costs. Today we can say that the new eBeam technology could be the solution for future improvement. This innovative system offers clear savings on hydrogen peroxide consumption. To sterilise 1 million packages you need 300 litres of hydrogen peroxide, so the saving is considerable.”
The machine shown at Fispal is a Tetra Pak E3/Speed that will be commercially available starting from 2016. The machine produces family packages of Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1000 Edge with LightCap™ 30, running at 15,000 packs per hour. Tetra Pak plans to expand the new platform to more machines in future, and will start deployment with three versions:
Tetra Pak® E3/CompactFlex Extended Shelf Life
Tetra Pak® E3/Speed Portion Packages
Tetra Pak® E3/Flex Extended Shelf Life
More information about Tetra Pak E3 eBeam
Zoe Ngobeni, Tetra Pak, Cell: +39 346 370 0470
About Tetra Pak
Together with our customers we make food safe and available, everywhere. Since the start in 1951 we have taken pride in providing the best possible processing and packaging solutions for food.