Marie Samuelsson, processing systems managing director Tetra Pak, said that the closer collaboration would enable Tetra Pak to "speed up deliveries of leading edge automation solutions based on Tetra PlantMaster." PlantMaster is a programme that reportedly collates and interprets plant information in a straightforward manner. The programme allows plant managers to use standard software from the likes of Siemens and Rockwell, and displays the information in a clear manner. "Together, Tetra Pak and ABB can offer both preventive maintenance and quicker access to support when sudden production stops happen, and 24/7 services. For customers, this will mean operational improvements and secured uptime," said Monica Gimre, Tetra Pak processing director for North Europe. A company spokesperson told FoodProductionDaily.com that Tetra Pak also hopes to present the Tetra PlantMaster to European companies already operating an ABB system or interested in doing so. He confirmed that the two companies have been working together for some years and are already offering joint plant automation solutions. However, following a recent agreement Tetra Pak and ABB will now be working more closely together across Europe, offering a 'joint engineering network'. Closer collaboration has started in the northern countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Ireland. During 2008 services will be offered to other European markets such as the Netherlands and Spain. There is a network head office in Malmo, Sweden. ABB is one of Tetra Pak's platform providers, others include Siemens and Rockwell. Tetra Pak has developed a set of industry specific software libraries, collections of subprograms used to create software. One of these libraries is based on ABB's System 800xA automation platform, which is delivered as a Tetra PlantMaster solution. Tetra Pak provides the software applications and industry knowledge, across the dairy, cheese, ice-cream, beverage and prepared food sectors. "From enterprise and management resource planning systems down to process control and user interfaces, the application potential of Tetra PlantMaster as a valuable part of a total production control solution is boundless…you can have full control over every production step," said the company. For example, Tetra PlantMaster can generate production reports for every batch run, enabling the tracing of movements of materials throughout production. Quality assurance data can be linked to databases such as a laboratory information management system. PlantMaster can also follow the performance of equipment and the processing of food products online. User interfaces enable an overview of plant operations or to retrieve detailed information on specific processing steps or equipment. Continuous online monitoring of materials, processing and production builds up a bank of information. Analysis of this data can be used for food quality management, production planning strategies and generating performance indicators. The company says that in the last five years more than 150 Tetra PlantMaster installations have been delivered to Tetra Pak customers around the world.