I know machinery along with controls and automation. Packaging as a specialty wasn’t my thing until I spent some time alongside a packaging magazine. Tetra Pak was a name often heard. It has made news this month with ideas from Industry 4.0.

They first announcement concerns energy. Tetra Pak announced it is developing an energy assessment program in collaboration with ABB to help food and beverage producers lower their environmental impact and cut costs.

The program provides an assessment of the entire plant, helping customers minimize their environmental impact and maximize profitability. Based on this analysis, Tetra Pak provides recommendations for food producers on opportunities to reduce energy consumption and help them make informed decisions about how resources are used in their plants.

Based on pilot projects in the Americas, the program can potentially reduce carbon emissions for food and beverage manufacturing and cut energy cost by between 15% and 25%.

The strategic collaboration will combine the strengths of ABB Ability digital solutions and Tetra Pak’s unique expertise in food manufacturing, and build on both companies’ global installed base, deep domain and digital transformation expertise.

Johan Nilsson, Vice President at Tetra Pak, said: “There is a sense of urgency for all industries to reduce their environmental impact across their operations, and we are developing programmes together with our partners to reduce this impact for our customers and the overall industry. The plant assessment programme is an excellent example of an area where we have found and created opportunities for environmental savings.”

“With this strategic collaboration, Tetra Pak and ABB will create and drive a leading manufacturing ecosystem to provide Tetra Pak’s customers with the most advanced digital solutions and services,” said Visar Krasniqi, Group Vice President, Digital Transformation at ABB. “Additionally, this will enable Tetra Pak’s customers to run ABB’s digital solutions and their operations with improved overall efficiency, flexibility and sustainability.”

The second announcement announces a connected packaging platform. In this system, cartons will become full-scale data carriers and digital tools, which, the company claims, will transform milk and juice cartons into interactive information channels, full-scale data carriers, and digital tools.

Driven by the trends behind Industry 4.0, and with code generation, digital printing, and data management at its core, the connected packaging platform will bring new benefits to food producers, retailers and shoppers.

For producers, the new packaging platform will offer end-to-end traceability to improve the production of the product, quality control, and supply chain transparency. It will have the ability to track and trace the history or location of any product, making it possible to monitor for market performance and any potential issues.

For retailers, it will offer greater supply chain visibility and real-time insights, enabling distributors to track stock movements, be alerted when issues occur, and monitor for delivery performance.

For shoppers, it will mean the ability to access vast amounts of information such as where the product was made, the farm that the ingredients came from and where the package can be recycled.

Ivan Nesterenko, Vice President, Cross Portfolio at Tetra Pak said: “We are unlocking new opportunities for our customers to get more value from packaging than even before. No longer is it only about product protection and functionality, it is about connectivity. The future of packaging is undoubtedly digital: this launch is a step towards a truly intelligent package, and we are excited to collaborate with our customers on this journey.”

Tetra Pak has successfully completed pilots with its customers to test the new connected package and its performance in retail in Spain, Russia China, the Dominican Republic and India, working with beverage, juice and milk producers. In Spain a customer increased their sales by 16% through the scan and win campaign.

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