The company has partnered with Microsoft to launch a suite of new services, focusing on improving the ability to predict machine errors, accelerating response times, and giving the customer fast, direct access to Tetra Pak’s expertise.
Tetra Pak said the technology will enable manufacturers to increase efficiency, cut costs, and ensure food safety.
At the event, Tetra Pak and Microsoft combined to give a presentation outlining the new technology, as well as demonstrations of the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headsets.
Data from filling lines around the world is also collected into a central database from where it can be accessed and analyzed by Tetra Pak. The database means that advanced analysis can be used to predict issues and optimize machine performance.
All equipment at the customer plant can be connected to the Microsoft Azure cloud system managed by Tetra Pak, enabling machines at different production stages such as processing, filling and distribution to communicate with each other and synchronize.
This gives the customer an overview of the plant and offers performance optimization potential for the whole production.
One aspect central to the new service is a connected workforce. Using wearable technology, local Tetra Pak service engineers at customer sites are now able to connect directly with global Tetra Pak specialists wherever they are, providing real-time, expert support to customers.
Using Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headsets, Tetra Pak on-site service engineers can work ‘alongside’ company specialists in the problem they are trying to resolve.
This means that from anywhere in the world, a service engineer can connect to the right person, who then sees and hears everything in real time, and guides the on-site work without ever leaving their desk.
In the demonstration in Hannover, a technician connected remotely to the Tetra Pak office, and was able to communicate a ‘problem’ that was then worked on together. The on-site technician was able to see technical diagrams sent by the remote technician, and position them alongside the equipment using the HoloLens headsets, in order to come up with a solution.
Helping the dairy industry
Johan Nilsson, vice president, Tetra Pak services, told DairyReporter it’s not always possible to wait with a substance such as milk, any delays in dealing with problems are costly.
“There are so many use cases and different types of problems and situations you can prevent from happening with the use of connective solutions and having all the data,” Nilsson said.
“There were a lot of things that were wasted in the past that will not be wasted. And there is a big quality aspect as well because you prevent failures.”
Caglayan Arkan, general manager of worldwide manufacturing at Microsoft, who took part in the presentation in Hannover, said the technology was driving innovation in the manufacturing industry through mixed reality and HoloLens.
Tetra Pak is piloting the service in 2017 with 50 HoloLens devices, in the Greater Middle East, Europe, and the Americas, and plans to roll-out to more markets next year.