The Delta Opening System range has been specially designed for the chilled liquid food sector. Delta TwistCap, the first member of this new closure generation, made its debut in field tests at the TINE dairy in Bergen, Norway during December 2004, and the company has now launched the product commercially.
The Delta Unit, required to apply the DeltaTwistCap, is available as an option on new Tetra Rex TR/7 Series II gable-top filling machines, and as a retrofit to existing TR/7 machines already installed.
Tetra Pak says that machines equipped with the new closure will fill at the standard TR/7 speed of 6,000 packages/hour (100/minute).
Delta TwistCap features a spout, which is integrated into the carton using a Delta Unit TR/7 and replaces the carton 'blank' magazine and in-feed on standard TR/7 equipment.
The spout is created from plastic granules and moulded directly onto carton blanks, using the 'Direct Injection Moulded Concept' (DIMC) made popular by other Tetra Pak chilled carton systems, such as Tetra Brik and Tetra Top. Moulding occurs at a sterile 200ºC, just seconds before the product is filled.
The overcap on the otherhand is applied by a Capper 20 Overcap Applicator, downstream of the filling machine.
"The main benefit of the Delta TwistCap versus other competitive caps is the high level of product hygiene and safety, because the spout is moulded directly onto the package," said Sigbjorn Vik, dairy manager at the TINE Meieriet Vest dairy in Bergen, where the Delta TwistCap was field-tested. "With other systems you risk airborne bacteria and so they are less safe," he said.
The Delta TwistCap spout is made from the same polyethylene used to laminate the Tetra Rex cartons themselves and is seamlessly integrated onto the package, with no exposed, raw paper edges. This ensures complete package integrity.
Other built-in features of Delta TwistCap include its appealing, intuitive and easy-to-open design: The spout features a pull-tab with a novel spiral-shaped crease. This allows consumers to open the tamper-evident plastic membrane seal with minimum effort. The Delta TwistCap is also wide and tall, for steadier pouring and reduced product 'gulping'.
The Delta Unit that injection moulds the Delta TwistCap, includes an operator panel with touch-screen interface, from which machine operators can accurately control and monitor the functions of the Delta Unit easily. This touch screen uses clear and intuitive symbols, and a logical sequence of commands, making machine start-ups and stops easy, and cleaning and maintenance even simpler.
TINE Meieriet Vest is a dairy cooperative owned by 18,000 Norwegian farmers. Open since 1958, this facility has been producing pasteurised milk, fermented milk, yoghurt, cheese and juice products.
In December 2004, TINE first commercially produced and introduced a range of juice products in one-litre Tetra Rex cartons with the Delta TwistCap. The Bergen facility houses several Tetra Pak gable-top filling lines - two Tetra Rex TR/8s, one TR/5 and one TR/7, as well as the TR/7 filler connected to the Delta Unit.
"At the moment, we are using the Delta TwistCap on our one-litre juice products," said Leif Arne Berge, Managing Director of the dairy. "If everything goes well, our plan is to launch fermented milk with this cap in one-litre cartons."