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Automation necessary to meet 'critical' food safety requirements: Tetra Pak

By Ben Bouckley , 09-Feb-2012

Tetra Pak has told DairyReporter.com that it believes plant automation systems are necessary to meet critical food safety requirements worldwide, and reduce the risk of human error.

In a newly published case study, the processing and packaging specialist hailed dairy company and client Galactika Group (which makes milks, sour milks and yogurts) as a “modern Russian success story”

Galactika brands include Bolshaya Kruzhka, Milk Time, Tom and Jerry, Sudarynya, which are sold across the Russian Federation and the Confederation of Independent States (CIS).

According to Tetra Pak, in 2008 Galactika opened a RUB 2bn (€50m) facility in Gatchina, in the Leningrad region, and the Russian company now has plans in place to grow the plant’s processing capacity from 420 tonnes of raw milk per day to over 800 tonnes.

The plant was also among the first companies in Europe to use the Tetra PlantMaster automation solution – designed to interconnect with, optimise and even fully automate production processes, the Swedish-based multinational said.

Scalable automation systems

Asked what Tetra PlantMaster was, in simple terms, Anders Andren, automation solutions manager, Tetra Pak, told DairyReporter.com that it was a continuously developing family of open, scalable automation systems “based on recognised international standards and commercially available products”.

Automation is integrated into every Tetra Pak machine supplied to a customer, then integrated on the factory floor, in terms of equipment, operational procedures and staff, allowing each client to bring more products into its range, controlling quality, efficiency, ensuring food safety and bring down operational costs.

Product recipes can also be stored on the system, and Andren said (in a recent company vodcast) that Tetra Pak was able to make some of that data available to end consumers, who could use a unique traceability code on the package to access product production data online.

Plant integration and safety

Andren said Tetra PlantMaster had been sold to clients in South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. “Plant automation solutions are needed whenever a producer requires high performance, consistent quality, plant integration and food safety,” he said.

He added: “Food safety is critical, as legislation around the world increases the demand for producers to secure their production, with automated solutions necessary to meet critical food safety requirements.”

Galactika has wholly automated its entire production process, and Tetra Pak’s said its solution gave the Russian firm real-time information on product volumes processed, the number of packages produced, machine efficiency and overall production performance.

Tetra PlantMaster allowed Galactika to identify best suppliers and ingredient combinations, assess and replicate optimum efficiency (cutting product, lowering energy use, cutting unplanned stops) and use data to quickly troubleshoot and solve potential problems, Tetra Pak said.

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