Tetra Pak acquires eBeam to fuel sustainable packaging lines

Tetra Pak has announced its acquisition of eBeam device development and manufacturing operations from Comet, a Swiss technology firm.

The acquisition consolidates the development and manufacturing capabilities in Comet with Tetra Pak’s eBeam development and application engineering for food packaging. This will further enhance the company’s ability to deliver sustainable and higher efficiency filling lines for customers.

Laurence Mott, executive vice-president, development and engineering at Tetra Pak, commented: “In 2015 we launched the world’s first filling machine that uses a low voltage electron beam to sterilise packaging material, a technology that we developed in collaboration with Comet. Integrating the development and manufacturing of the eBeam in-house will enable us to further optimise the technology for packaging and enhance our low-carbon circular economy packaging equipment portfolio.

“This acquisition is in line with the company’s strategic priority to drive the sustainability transformation of our industry and help customers reduce operational costs, increase capacity and achieve their sustainability targets.”

The eBeam sterilisation technology works by focusing a controlled beam of electrons on the surface of a packaging material to kill micro-organisms as it runs through the filling machine. This, according to Tetra Pak, leads to more than 60% improvement on production capacity, reaching up to 40,000 portion packs per hour on a filling line. It also improves the environmental performance, making water recycling easier, lowering energy consumption by up to a third, and reducing food waste.

Kevin Crofton, CEO of the Comet Group, concluded: “We are pleased that we have found a good new ‘home’ for the ebeam lamps business. We can now fully focus our talent and resources on our core competencies in RF plasma control and x-ray technologies that are instrumental in creating a safer, more secure, more efficient and more sustainable world of manufacturing.”

Tetra Pak will continue the development and production of eBeam devices at the current site in Flamatt, Switzerland.