Tetra Pak has worked closely with Tine, Norway’s leading dairy producer, to provide filling equipment for its new state-of-the-art plant at Bergen. Working in close partnership with our strategic third party supplier Elettric80 and a local supplier, AMC, we provided Tine with a single point of contact for a comprehensive solution that included new Tetra Pak filling lines, AMC roll container handling systems, customised logistic solutions and a full warehouse management service.
With a history dating back to 1856, Tine is synonymous with the Norwegian dairy industry. Today, despite losing its monopoly some 20 years ago, the company maintains a dominant position in the market. It has three distinct roles: as market regulator, which brings with it the obligation to collect milk from every farmer in Norway; as a thriving dairy co-operative with 11,400 farmers and 9,000 co-operative farms; and as a commercial brand supplier. Tine also has a worldwide international presence, spanning the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and Sweden.
The partnership between Tine and Tetra Pak is a long-standing one. Tine buys around 50% of its packaging material from Tetra Pak, and fills Tetra Prisma® Aseptic, Tetra Brik® Aseptic and Tetra Rex® packages in a wide range of sizes. The relationship has evolved over time as Tine’s standing in the market has changed; now, there is a much greater focus on new technology and innovation, as exemplified by our recent work with them at their new state-of-the-art Bergen plant.
Since losing its monopoly, Tine has faced the twin threat of declining demand for its core product, white milk, and growing competition from dynamic, fast-moving competitors such as Bergen-based Q Dairies, founded in 2000. Today, Tine’s share of the white milk market stands at slightly over 70%. Tine also faced a challenge in the form of ageing infrastructure, some of which was no longer fit for purpose. Its plant at Bergen was a perfect example of this. There was pressure on space, and production was spread over a number of old buildings, resulting in inefficient workflow.
Tine began construction of its new plant on a greenfield site south of Bergen in August 2017. The 18,000 m2 facility aims to be the most efficient and sustainable dairy in the Nordics. With four filling lines, three of them using Tetra Pak equipment, the plant produces around 36 million litres of dairy products and 5.7 million litres of juice each year.
Tetra Pak acted as turnkey supplier for filling lines, downstream equipment and the finished goods area. Filling equipment supplied included three Tetra Pak® TR/27 filling machines and three Tetra Pak® Accumulator Helix 30, as well as the plant’s automation and fault logging system, a customised version of Tetra Pak® PlantMaster. We were also responsible for brokering and managing relationships with Elettric80 which provided six customised laser-guided vehicles (LGVs), and with AMC which provided equipment for blue tray handling and container fillers.
In addition to providing a “one-stop shop”, the ability to customise equipment to exactly match Tine’s needs was a significant part of what made the Tetra Pak offer so compelling. The LGVs, for example, were customised to handle roll containers rather than the more typical pallets – a first for the dairy industry. The vehicles – controlled by Tetra Pak PlantMaster – collect the filled roll containers and deliver them to the cold store. Here, a specially designed sloping floor allows containers to roll easily into place in the gravity lanes, maximising efficiency.
The Bergen plant began operation on 30 July 2019, and the new equipment is already delivering significant efficiency benefits – including total line integration. Having Tetra Pak PlantMaster in place means that the plant is now fully automated and the risk of production stops due to human error has been reduced to almost nil. The system offers continuous feedback on performance, highlighting any issues early on so they can be dealt with in a timely way. There is full traceability and tracking on every order, while filling lines are operating at efficiency levels in excess of the target of 96%, and delivering greater accuracy, with very low levels of product loss and waste – in line with Tine’s aim of running a highly efficient plant in every sense. The system is future-proofed, with the capacity to scale up or down as needed. Finally, having six LGVs gives considerably more flexibility than in the old plant.
Tetra Pak was able to bring genuine innovation – this is one of the first Tetra Pak PlantMaster installations in Norway – and the ability to tailor solutions to meet Tine’s specific needs. But perhaps the most attractive aspect of our offer was its broad scope, made possible by the strong working relationships we have with our strategic partners, and our ability to offer a single point of contact for the entire solution.
“Thanks to Tetra Pak and its partners, we have now reached a fantastic level of plant automation. Furthermore, we have an innovative, flexible and – crucially – future-proof solution that is helping us achieve our goal of building the most sustainable and efficient dairy in northern Europe.”
Mårten Haukjem, Dairy Manager, TINE Meieriet Bergen