With this investment, Tetra Pak will be able to move some of its production from Mexico to its Denton facility, which will improve logistical and operational efficiencies for its customers, the company said.
The factory upgrades are expected to be completed by late 2018, Tetra Pak’s VP of communications, Larine Urbina, said.
The majority of the investment will go towards the installation of a new laminator machine that will be optimized for packaging various value-added beverages such as sports nutrition and protein drinks, according to Tetra Pak.
In the Denton converting facility, paperboard is printed and layers of base materials, such as paperboard, aluminum, and polyethylene, which are converted into rolls of aseptic packaging material. The new laminator will be used to apply polyethylene layers, laminating together printed material and aluminum as part of this process.
“With the new laminator we have the ability of producing what we call a pre-laminator hole, which is the functionality that enables the screw cap products that we see in the US market today,” Tetra Pak business development manager, Jonas C. Kristensson, said.
“That’s a huge growing segment for Tetra Pak in the industry.”
The packaging company has seen an increase demand for its on-the-go packaging, particularly its portion packs sealed with the DreamCap, a 26mm-wide closure with a high neck and its over-the-edge design that offers the consumer easy access to the spout.
Tetra Pak has not decided what will be the first type of packaging produced once the laminator is fully operational a year from now, but its portion packs and Tetra Brik Aseptic carton package would “make a lot of sense,” according to Urbina, because of the explosive growth of nutritional, portioned, on-the-go beverages.
“We’re really trying to understand the different demands for packaging from our customers,” Urbina said.
“We’re not going to jump in and start producing every single package so it’s really about looking at the supply and the demand of the customers in the US and in Canada to see what makes the most sense.”