Tetra Pak Flexline
The Tetra Pak Flexline is a new and innovative, industrial processing system for cheese making. The Flexline makes it possible to produce smaller series of (novelty) cheese, using a vacuum system that at the same time produces a larger, purer and drier portion of organic whey, an important by-product of cheese manufacturing. Whey is high in protein value and in demand as raw material in the bio chemical industry. The Tetra Pak Flexline was awarded the Process Innovation Prize 2016 in the Netherlands.
The high-tech challenge
Tetra Pak asked PCV Group to advise them and help design and develop their idea for the Flexline process vacuum container. An important criterium was to create a unit made of plastic material instead of RVS that is usually the norm in the industry. The new, flexible production line aims to take the art of industrial cheese making to the next level, diminishing waste product and enabling small production series.
We tried and tested the theory of building and using plastic units for the cheese making. We thought up and discarded different ideas to innovate the production process. On the basis of our 3D designs and test results we concluded that RVS remains the best material to create the under pressure that is needed. Because of the energies and pressures that are released during production, synthetic materials have a risk of bending and changing shape. We developed a new container architecture to lower the pressure creating a higher quality vacuum, making cheese and drying the whey at the same time.
Our knowledge of materials technology allows us to think along the same lines as our customer, but at the same time taking innovation further, pushing technological boundaries and providing high-tech solutions that make a difference. We’re not afraid to relay the message that a dreamt of solution isn’t going to work. Things that might look good on paper, don’t necessarily have the desired effect. Our added value is that we have the knowledge and the capacity to make sure that they do.