Tetra Pak has launched a filling machine that uses electron beams, not hydrogen peroxide, to sterilize packaging material. The sustainable packaging company says compared with the existing Tetra Pak A3/Speed platform, Tetra Pak E3 machines will provide lower operational costs, improve environmental performance and increase production flexibility.
At the heart of the new machine is the eBeam sterilization technology that was developed by Tetra Pak in collaboration with Comet, a company that develops high-voltage and high-vacuum technology. The technology works by focusing a controlled beam of electrons onto the surface of packaging material as it runs through the filling machine, killing any bacteria or micro-organisms present.
The use of eBeam removes a long-time physical limitation to carton packaging speed: the hydrogen peroxide sterilization process. With eBeam, speeds of up to 40,000 portion packs per hour, or 11 packs every second, can be achieved — and market tests have shown this increased capacity can save beverage manufacturers as much as 20 percent in operational costs, Tetra Pak says.
Replacing hydrogen peroxide in packaging material sterilization also improves environmental performance, making water recycling easier, lowering energy consumption and cutting waste. Furthermore, the modular design of the Tetra Pak E3 platform offers increased production flexibility to manufacturers.