Food accessibility

Promoting food accessibility through automation and digitalisation

In recent decades, automation and digitalisation have become increasingly essential elements of our offering that enable our customers to ensure quality, reduce costs, and enable scalability and repeatability – all while contributing to global food accessibility.

Access to healthy and affordable food is a basic human need, which would be impossible to provide today without automation and digitalisation. At Tetra Pak, we complement our industry-leading processing and packaging with automation and digitalisation solutions that enable our customers to provide access to safe food for hundreds of millions of people around the world.

“In short, our automation and digitalisation solutions help customers to optimise the amount of food that gets to the consumer,” says Anders Andren, Marketing and Sales Manager, Automation and Digital. “They ensure people have access to safe food at the right quality, at the right cost, and delivered to them in the most effective and sustainable way.”

“By using our automation and digital solutions, customers can connect to the food industry to enable full transparency and trust across the entire value chain,” says Charles Brand, Executive Vice President Processing Solutions & Equipment. “This is done by creating a unique digital identity for each finished product all the way to the end consumer.”

The ongoing digitalisation of society is increasing the availability of big data and machine learning, which in turn is driving greater automation by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Automation and digitalisation are also promoting sustainability by optimising the use of resources and increasing safe working environments while helping to avoid human error.  

Automation enables scalability and repeatability

“Automation not only allows our customers to develop the optimal recipe formulation to produce at scale, but it also helps to safeguard quality and food safety,” claims Maria Estraviz Pardo, Marketing and Sales, Automation and Digital. “This ability to scale up and replicate production to provide a uniform food product would be very difficult without automation and digitalisation, and is fundamental to ensuring people have access to safe and nutritious food around the world.”

Our processing and packaging expertise is also essential for creating value for our customers along with our ability to understand and use data in the right way. Our food experts help customers to develop new and exciting food products by engineering the required equipment and automation solutions. This helps to ensure efficient and sustainable operations that come with a full range of services to continuously improve operational performance.

And when we need to, we bring in additional expertise, for example by collaborating with our world-leading technology partners to provide purpose-built solutions. Within the Tetra Laval Group, we complement Sidel’s offering by supplying processing equipment to their customers, enabling them to work end-to-end with one partner.  

“Our product development centres help customers to produce a particular product anywhere by identifying a set of parameters, critically controlled points and equipment sequences,” says Andren. “Automation and digitalisation are essential to then implement this in the real world to optimise quality and the amount of food that reaches the consumer.”

Automation and digitalisation also provide opportunities to continuously improve the production, including quality and the optimal use of resources. This is good for the producer, the consumer and the planet.

“Automation is about our machines working better and enabling the best possible end result for the customer,” says Andren. “Filling machines for example are highly complex and we need automation and interconnectivity to fully integrate all the equipment, as well as the right routines and ingredients.”

Digitalisation overcomes challenges and streamlines customer operations

Major issues such as workforce shortages, which is a threat to production and food accessibility around the world, can be overcome with digitalisation.  

“Digitalisation reduces human responsibility and the need to carry out repetitive and manual tasks, while guiding them to work more efficiently,” says Estraviz Pardo. “This empowers people by allowing them to focus on the optimisation and continuous development of their operations.”

Disruption in raw material supply chains since the pandemic is another threat to global food accessibility. Digitalisation can also help by ensuring resources are used in the best possible way. It even allows us greater traceability tools to recall particular batches if necessary.

“Another outcome of the pandemic was that it speeded up digitalisation as we were forced to provide remote support to customers,” says Andren. “In a post-pandemic world, this has led to more efficient equipment commissioning, testing and overcoming technical issues remotely via cameras and digital dashboards, which means that we can now work much more efficiently and shorten issue resolution times.”  

Leading the industry

Food processing and packaging knowhow combined with cutting-edge automation and digitalisation solutions specifically designed for the Food and Beverage industry make Tetra Pak an industry leader that customers can rely on. We continuously innovate to improve our product offering to bring greater functionality to our customers.

“Our worldwide full lifecycle support also differentiates us from competitors, and we always provide customers with best practices, rapid service and the latest upgrades,” says Estraviz Pardo. “This comprehensive offering benefits our customers and their ability to ultimately make food more accessible to people around the world.”

Transforming existing operations into a highly efficient dairy

A dairy in northern Europe used Tetra Pak® PlantMaster to transform their aging and in­efficient production for filling and packaging fresh milk and juice products into one of the most efficient and sustainable dairies in northern Europe.

The operations are now fully automated with full traceability and all quality reports accessible in one tool. The system integrated equipment from several different suppliers – including equipment not prepared for line integration or digitalisation. 

With four filling lines, three of them using Tetra Pak equipment, the plant now produces around 36 million litres of dairy products and 5.7 million litres of juice each year. The 18,000 square metre facility is arguably the most efficient and sustainable dairy in northern Europe.

“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,” explains the Dairy Manager of the new plant. 

Packages in row on blue background

Increasing capacity and flexibility

A milk and whey-based powder ingredient producer in central Europe constructed a new fully integrated, automated, and high-capacity production site – with built-in flexibility and traceability.

The customer needed to increase production throughput and efficiency while replacing old equipment with the latest technology that allows automation and traceability. They also required greater flexibility – both in handling variation in incoming raw materials and to meet the fast-­changing demands for different types of products.

To help them achieve all this, Tetra Pak commissioned its largest processing plant ever. All the equipment, from raw material intake to finished and packaged products, is now fully integrated and automated with one point of control.

“Our solution integrates automation for all equipment in the plant, which has enabled the customer to streamline their daily production, make quick changes and ensure full traceability throughout the plant,” says Per Jansson, Tetra Pak Automation Project Leader. 

People discussing