Tetra Pak, Lausanne, Switzerland, and Rockwell Automation, Milwaukee, announced a strategic business collaboration for cheese and powder solutions. The companies said their combined business expertise will deliver data and technology to reduce variability and improve quality consistency — helping ensure finished products are produced sustainably and cost-effectively within demand-driven manufacturing environments.

“The food and drink industry now requires that producers have a level of agility never seen before. This means we must be ready to offer our customers advanced processing control technology that is both flexible and precise,” said Fred Griemsmann, vice president, cheese and powder systems for Tetra Pak. “Customers can leverage our food application expertise, have access to production data in real time and adapt their process variables to match requirements — without any loss in quality, productivity or throughput. This unique collaboration with Rockwell Automation provides the foundation upon which this capability is based.”

The companies said the combination of Tetra Pak’s food application expertise and the digital technology of Rockwell Automation will help producers to adapt to fluctuating demand-driven manufacturing far more quickly and more cost effectively. The collaboration — starting with evaporation and spray drying — has resulted in Tetra Pak’s new Powder Plant Booster solution, which will be packaged with Rockwell Automation’s model predictive control (MPC) and its Pavilion8 and PlantPAx MPC technology.

The companies said the business collaboration showcases how a combination of expertise can help customers achieve important business-critical goals, even on a global scale. Tetra Pak can now offer its evaporation and spray drying customers proven Advanced Process Control and MPC solutions.

Pavilion8-driven applications have been shown by Rockwell Automation to deliver possible product quality variability reductions of up to 60%, reductions in off-spec products by up to 75%, improved throughputs up to 9%, and reductions in energy per unit of product up to 9%. This allows producers to fully optimize their operations — helping them stay competitive while meeting changing market demands, the companies said.

The Powder Plant Booster solution — with complementary Pavilion8 software — is a process-modelling and optimization platform that integrates with any control system to continuously provide real-time insight, diagnostics and advanced control. It achieves this by delivering an intelligence layer on top of basic automation systems, which, due to its built-in performance metrics, continuously drives plants towards addressing multiple business objectives, the companies said.

“Rockwell Automation is delighted to build upon a relationship that spans 35 years and collaborate with Tetra Pak, a company that shares our view that deeply understanding customers and their best opportunities for productivity creates value,” said Matthew Fordenwalt, vice president and general manager, systems and solutions for Rockwell Automation, said. “We believe shared customers insights, coupled with technology and domain expertise, will deliver real value focused outcomes to the industry.”