A larger test and assembly facility that can respond quickly to customer demands is the aim of a €15m upgrade to Tetra Pak’s research and development facility in Modena in Italy, the company claims.
Tetra Pak has a presence in 150 countries, and boasts 42 packaging material plants.
Ivano Selmi, managing director for Tetra Pak’s Packaging Solutions told FoodProductionDaily.com that the investment, announced this week, will result in a more flexible layout of the Modena site and will enable it to run complex and complete lines, thus enhancing test facilities for its packaging and processing customers.
“This expansion will ensure that as demand for Tetra Pak A3 iLine solutions continues to grow we provide our customers with best-in-class production systems, lead time and service,” he said.
The Modena site was established in 1979 as the first site outside of Lund in Sweden to assemble Tetra Pak's aseptic packaging systems. Activity today includes research and development as well as testing and assembly of ambient carton packaging systems, and the company’s A3 platforms.
The company is planning 25 innovations over the next five years in packaging and processing materials and equipment, according to Michael Grosse, executive vice president of Tetra Pak.
The focus of Tetra Pak’s research and development will be on ensuring high line efficiency and waste minimization through low energy and water consumption in its machinery, in a bid to meet its goal of reducing overall carbon dioxide emissions by 10 per cent in absolute terms by 2010, according to Grosse.
He said that new developments will also include enhanced control and monitoring through advanced automation.
Grosse explained that the targeted innovations will include new packaging formats which are easy to handle, have less secondary packaging and increased sensory appeal such as lacquer, pigments and coatings, holographic effects or compression features.
He claims that Tetra Pak is also aiming to provide its customers with new ways of working such as fully integrated plants that enable the automation of overall production from raw material selection to final warehousing, as well as developing the next generation of its range of packaging and processing lines.
Grosse forecasts that growth in the ambient milk and juice markets will continue, led in the main by India and China, and he added that there is plenty of untapped potential in light of the fact that 84 per cent of the 14.2bn litres of liquid food consumed every day is unprocessed and unpackaged.
He noted that key consumer trends such as mobility, aging households, time pressure, health and well being, iLives, anxiety, fun and indulgence, authenticity and tradition will shape the future of packaging and liquid consumption.
Tetra Pak already stumped up €26m in May to upgrade the printing and lamination capacity of its packaging materials plant in Rubiera, Italy, through the installation of two new elements: a VT Lam 650/6 WRM laminator and a new Flexopress printing line.
The company said at the time that the new printing technology will increase capacity by 25 per cent when it begins production in November, while the laminator, scheduled to be in action from March 2009, is expected to boost production capacity from three billion to around four billion packs, across Tetra Pak's complete package range.
FoodProductionDaily.com journalist Jane Byrne attended an international trade press event at the Modena facility on October 13, which was funded by Tetra Pak.