2019-06-18
GERMANY

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The power of three: Elettric80 and Tetra Pak deliver a flexible end of line solution for Immergut 

The story in brief

German dairy producer Immergut faced a significant challenge: how to reconfigure and upgrade its end of line equipment without interrupting production? Tetra Pak’s strategic supplier Elettric80​ was able to come up with the perfect solution, planning a new layout and installing a range of equipment that gave Immergut the flexibility to handle growing demand for its vast product range – more than 630 SKUs – smoothly and efficiently. The whole project, from preparation to delivery, was completed within seven months, and – to use the customer’s own words – is running “brilliantly”. ​

Immergut and Tetra Pak: innovation and change

The project is a great example of the strength of the relationship Immergut and Tetra Pak have built up over the past two decades; and a demonstration of a shared appetite for innovation and change. For Immergut, the breadth of Tetra Pak’s packaging portfolio​ has always been a significant source of competitive advantage: an ongoing programme of expansion and modernisation in the company’s plant at Schlüchtern included the installation of a Tetra Wedge® Aseptic 200 filling line and a Tetra Prisma® Aseptic​ 200/250 Edge filling line in early 2019, bringing Immergut’s total number of Tetra Pak® filling lines to nine. The involvement of Elettric80 brings a new dimension to the relationship, enabling us to offer a truly end-to-end service, ensuring a central place for Tetra Pak in Immergut’s ambitious plans for the future. 

Immergut team

Immergut team: Dirk Denhard, plant manager, Oliver Adametz, performance manager, Harald Pohl, managing director.

The challenge: growing demand, increasing complexity

With production volumes steadily rising, Immergut faced an urgent need to rejuvenate and upgrade its end of line equipment. It was essential that this be accomplished without halting production, which meant finding a supplier that not only had the capacity to design and implement a master plan for the whole end of line, but also to split the installation into phases. The complexity of Immergut’s production – it produces more than 630 SKUs, some in relatively small quantities, and with a huge variety of different pallet patterns and trays, caps and wrappings – further added to the challenge. There was also very limited physical space in the factory: in the 25+ years since Immergut was established, its business has grown exponentially, and with it the number of machines in operation.

A flexible solution

Tetra Pak first introduced Immergut to our strategic supplier Elettric80 during a visit to our R&D facility in Modena, Italy. While the end-to-end service offered by Tetra Pak and Elettric80 was extremely appealing to them, they were already committed to working with a German supplier: but when that working relationship came to an end, the opportunity to collaborate opened up again. The first step was for Elettric80 to create an accurate 3D map of the Schlüchtern plant, before developing a master plan involving new equipment and a new layout covering all 11 packaging lines (nine Tetra Pak, and two from other suppliers). The ability to create new pallet patterns quickly and easily was a high priority for Immergut – indeed, their managing director was heard to say that the contract would go to the supplier that could guarantee pattern changeover in 10 minutes or less! Elettric80 exceeded that target with a completely new piece of software that they took from “idea to reality” over the course of the project. This offered significant savings in terms of both time and money compared with a typical palletiser, where new patterns could only be programmed and installed by the original supplier. A carefully staggered schedule ensured smooth implementation with no interruption to production, and this very complex project was completed within seven months, to budget and meeting all quality standards. Ongoing 24/7 support from Elettric80 ensures that any issues arising are dealt with promptly. The project was financed via DLL.

Building on success

To date, one double lane robot palletiser has been installed, along with pallet conveyors. Overall, efficiency has increased by 2% - a very significant gain, thanks to Elettric80’s innovative software which enables pallet patterns to be changed at the touch of a button, with zero downtime. Building on the success of this initial phase of the project Immergut and Elettric80 already have a plan in place for a second installation of downstream and intralogistic solutions which will include:

  • Four palletisers
  • Two shuttle cars
  • Four pallet dispensers
  • Pallet conveyors
  • Pallet wrapper with top sheet applicator
  • Automatic corner post applicator
  • Pallet labeller​

Lessons learned

This was a true three-way collaboration: at the same time as Elettric80 was delivering the new end-of-line equipment, a new Tetra Pak line was being installed. Regular meetings and great communication supported seamless implementation. The partnership with Elettric80 opens up many opportunities for Tetra Pak, by enabling us to offer a truly end-to-end solution for our customers.​​

Immergut LGV

From the customer…

"We are already seeing the benefits of the project. Data from the packaging line monitoring system is integrated with the Tetra Pak world and things are running brilliantly. We are so happy that we chose the right partner!" Oliver Adametz, Performance Manager, Immergut

"This is the best project I have seen implemented since I've worked for Immergut. Everything went exactly to plan, perfect timing and excellent start-up." Dirk Denhard, Plant Manager, Immergut​

Immergut in numbers:

190 employees

Between 120-160 million Tetra Pak® packages filled each year

630+ SKUs ranging from coconut water to cat milk

Nine Tetra Pak® filling lines:

– Three x Tetra Brik Aseptic 200/250 Edge
– One x Tetra Brik Aseptic 500/1000 Edge
– One x Tetra Prisma Aseptic Square
– One x Tetra Prisma Aseptic 200/250 Edge
– Two x Tetra Prisma Aseptic 330 Square
– One x Tetra Wedge Aseptic 200