Efficiency & technology

In-house: partnership for sustainable production

We operate almost half of all ALPLA plants as in-house operations directly at our customers’ premises. This form of cooperation enables various environmental and economic benefits:
ALPLA operates one of its most state-of-the-art in-house plants in Aston Clinton, UK.

There is no need for transportation or transport packaging, while staff resources are also reduced. We can respond flexibly and quickly to changes in production. Thanks to our extensive partnerships, we have also developed award-winning innovations in cooperation with our customers. Drawing on our many years of experience, we offer our customers in challenging regions reliable assistance too and are able to implement in-house plants within a very short space of time.

ALPLA operates one of its most state-of-the-art in-house plants in Aston Clinton, UK. In 2014, Arla Foods UK opened one of the world’s most sustainable dairies 50 kilometres north-west of London. Three years prior to this, the dairy cooperative had set itself the ambitious target of cutting its carbon emissions by a third and significantly reducing its plastics consumption by 2020. Energy-efficient process technologies meant ultra light milk bottles with a high proportion of recycled materials could be produced at the new plant. In a comprehensive selection process, Arla chose ALPLA as its partner for ‘next-generation packaging solutions’ in 2012.

ALPLA therefore not only set up a production facility right next to the dairy cooperative, but also developed a bottle which is 20 per cent lighter than the standard products. ALPLA optimised the production process to allow as much recycled food-grade HDPE (rHDPE) as possible to be used. The proportion of rHDPE used is now at 40 per cent.

‘Lightweighting’: a Diet for Packaging

 
The optimisation of packaging certainly is a continuous and never-ending process. An important part of this process is the optimisation of resources.
 

Perfect infrastructure saves time and money

The in-house plant meets the very latest requirements in terms of energy consumption and the degree of automation. The decisive factors here are reduced compressed air consumption and a sophisticated infrastructure and warehousing technology. The entire process is fully automated. The bottles are produced by means of EBM technology on BMU machines made by Soplar, ALPLA’s main machinery supplier. This machine platform is one of the most energy-efficient in the world and boasts low energy expenditure during material processing and minimal production waste.

The ALPLA workers maintain close dialogue with those responsible at Arla, enabling process and packaging optimisations to be achieved on the basis of partnership and short routes. ALPLA and Arla also work together closely in the area of health and safety. Monthly health and safety forums, discussion of best practices and joint safety training all contribute to the prevention of workplace accidents. The 50 staff members participate in monthly ‘health challenges’ (health programmes and competitions), use the fitness facilities at the site and regularly attend family days and other staff events.

 

FACT BOX

 

The benefits of an in-house plant at a glance:

 

  • Elimination of secondary packaging and transportation costs
  • Reduction in carbon emissions and other transport-related environmental impacts
  • Customised logistics solutions, automated storage
  • Packaging production directly connected to the customer’s bottling line
  • Close collaboration promotes innovation and improvements
  • Local jobs created