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Raising welding standards worldwide

14 March 2011

Tetra Pak CPS, the leading UK food processing equipment manufacturer, is raising international standards for the construction of hygienic food production systems, following a comprehensive review of its quality standards for welding.

The Sherborne-based company manufactures a range of equipment in high grade stainless steel, including process vessels and storage tanks, mixing and blending systems, custom pasteurisation units and cleaning-in-place (CIP) systems for the food processing industry.

Working in association with Lars Mohlkert from Tetra Pak’s global head office in Sweden, Chris Garland of Tetra Pak CPS carried out an extensive review of welding technology and techniques used in the group’s international manufacturing centres, before creating new quality standards for all forms of welding stainless steel. The result is an unrivalled level of manufacturing excellence that ensures the integrity and hygiene of all the group’s systems.

Chris Garland said: “We create relatively complex tubular equipment to individual specifications and a large number of welds is required for each system. Food products and the cleaning cycles used in the food industry can be highly corrosive and inadequate welds will soon break down, resulting in rust or the formation of deposits, reducing hygiene standards and in the worst cases leading to equipment failure.

“In addition to re-writing the Tetra Pak manual for every welding operation, we have implemented an upgrade programme throughout the workshop. This has involved recalibration of equipment, investment in new equipment including an endoscope for inspecting the internal welds of long lengths of tube and ultraviolet testing systems. We have also instigated rigorous inspection regimes.”

Chris trained as an apprentice at Tetra Pak CPS and has been a welder for over 20 years but in order to attain his International Welding Specialist qualification he undertook additional training at The Welding Institute (TWI) in Cambridge.

All 38 highly qualified welders at Tetra Pak CPS are now coded to ASME IX and the European standard EN ISO 15614-1. The company is also currently obtaining approval for BS EN ISO 3834-3, which entails regular independent inspection.

“Each of our welders may complete between 16 - 20 metres every day. In addition we have mechanised systems and these undertake around 60% of the welding required, ensuring consistency and uniformity on larger vessels. Welding is a science and we constantly monitor and review new materials and techniques, relaying information around the World to other Tetra Pak fabricators when we come across something of interest.

“Our customers can rely on their equipment not to rust or crack and we have the knowledge within the company to undertake the most complex task with confidence,” Chris declared.

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