Cunning innovation makes a stir in the soft-drink world

Beverage Mixing & blending

Cunning innovation makes a stir in the soft-drink world

The intermediate bulk containers (IBC) used in soft-drink production pose a tough blending challenge: the super-dense concentrate they contain requires a powerful agitator, but the small opening at the top of the container gives limited access to the liquid. Fortunately, there is now a solution.

Carbonated soft drinks the world over are made by mixing water and sugar syrup together with a surprisingly thick concentrate. Before and during the production process, the concentrate has to be kept moving in order to prevent sedimentation at the bottom of the intermediate bulk container (IBC).

The fact that IBC containers have just one very small opening at the top poses a challenge: soft drinks producers require an agitator tiny enough to fit through the opening, but large and powerful enough to stir this super-dense concentrate.

After testing several prototypes, the innovators at Tetra Pak company Miteco came up with the idea of a retractable, anchor-shaped agitator, which could be inserted into the container’s small orifice. Once inside, a set of long, strong blades would unfold and rotate, reaching every part of the container. When all the concentrate had been used and the container was empty, the blades would retract as the device was lifted out.

This invention, now a product called the Tetra Pak® Agitator IBC, created such a stir that major beverage producers are requiring its use with all their concentrates. By listening to customers and looking for creative solutions to everyday problems, the innovators made beverage production easier and better. Problem solved!

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