Sector News

Tetra Pak and Poka combat food production waste with digital tools and training

October 10, 2021
Food & Drink

Tetra Pak is embarking on a new strategic collaboration with connected factory worker platform Poka to accelerate zero waste processes in food manufacturing plants.

“Through collaborations like our one with Poka, we can now equip workers in food production with the technology, tools and training to help accelerate our journey to net-zero,” Niklas Montelin, program leader and global training manager at Tetra Pak, tells PackagingInsights.

Notably, Poka maintains it has already helped manufacturers reduce equipment downtime by 5.9%, increase worker productivity by 18% and decrease quality issues by 64%.

Montelin further highlights it is essential for Tetra Pak to be able to predict changes in consumer demands and “act before it is too late.”

“Data-led insights have already helped companies improve how to predict these changes, which has facilitated a shift toward having more flexible production lines. Through product flexibility and customization, factories are able to cope with the growing product variety, the desire for personalization while ensuring optimized system performance.”

Digitizing processes
By reducing downtimes, Tetra Pak aims to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production.

“Zero waste cannot be achieved without rethinking manufacturing operations. While this is driven by a proactive workforce, it can be accelerated through the enablement of digital tools,” Montelin spotlights.

“By digitizing processes, plant managers will have more visibility of their operation lines and can therefore make more informed decisions about how to engage with their products holistically.”

“Technology will support workers in helping them to identify which lines are performing inefficiently and when a breakdown might occur, giving them a chance to put in place measures to avoid excessive waste from lines going down,” he explains.

Industry 4.0
The partnership with Poka represents Tetra Pak’s latest advancement in digitalization and Industry 4.0.

In 2019, Tetra Pak launched a connected packaging platform to transform milk and juice cartons into interactive information channels, full-scale data carriers and digital tools.

The same year, the company unveiled its “factory of the future,” in which digital technology is used to revolutionize how food manufacturing plants operate.

In two exclusive interviews with PackagingInsights, Markus Pfanner, Tetra Pak’s vice president for sustainability, discussed waste management strategies, including the challenges in achieving full circularity, and communicating packaging eco-credentials through design.

By Anni Schleicher


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